Thesis: The technological-transactional nature and firm’s performance

A firm is a complex economic agent. This agent has been studied through different theories of the firm. While, some works underlined its technological nature, other works emphasized its transactional nature. However, the nature of the firm covers both dimensions. These two dimensions could be studied through two essential capabilities: the technological one and the transactional one. The objective of this thesis is to analyze the relation between the technological capability and the transactional capability, aiming to generate the assets specificity in order to reach firm’s superior performance compared to its competitors. For accomplishing that objective, it was elaborated a theoretical model based in four theoretical assumptions: capabilities heterogeneity, the existence of a transactional trajectory, besides the technological trajectory; the capabilities are not negotiable; and the capabilities are antecedents to the assets specificity. The model is also composed for four construction blocks: the technological capability, the transactional capability; the specific assets; and the performance. The method employed to test this model was descriptive, utilizing for its operability a survey. The chosen study objet was the Brazilian metal-mechanical sector. Three of the obtained results are the following ones: (1) A relation between the essential capabilities (technological and transactional) and the assets specificity is positive and high, indicating a big link between this two constructs; (2) The relation between the assets specificity and the firm performance is minor than the relation between the capabilities and the assets specificity; (3) a combinational relation of the essential capabilities and the assets specificity with the firm performance is bigger than the relation between the firm performance and some of these construction blocks, when these relations are analyzed in an isolated way. The theoretical implications of those results confirm that the firm has a technological-transactional nature. Furthermore, the studies related to the firm performance should not be devoted anymore just to analyze its capabilities; although, they should cover the assets specificity, as a complementary element. Finally, the fact of confirming the existence of a translational capability as a key element of the nature of the firm opens a new possibility for moving towards of what in this thesis is named as: Transactional paradigm.

Author: Tello Gamarra, Jorge Estuardo

Advisor: Zawislak, Paulo Antonio

Level: Doctorate Degree

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