Esta es un versión antigua publicada el 2022-08-31. Consulte la versión más reciente.

Individual Case Studies of Japanese Knowledge Transfer via Training in Mexico’s Automotive Industry


  • Leo Guzmán-Anaya University of Guadalajara


Palabras clave:

knowledge transfer, training programs, automotive industry, Japanese Foreign Direct Investment, Mexican automotive suppliers


The automotive industry has been considered a source for achieving development in emerging economies. In an ideal setting, supplier firms and assembly plants work interconnected creating positive externalities, but it has been shown that this is difficult to achieve for developing countries. The case of Mexico stands out as a country that has successfully attracted major Japanese automotive assemblers but has struggled to include endogenous firms in the supply chains primarily due to the inability to meet technological and quality requirements. This study employs a qualitative case study methodology to analyze knowledge transfer processes to local firms that participated in a training project from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The results show that through training, participating local firms improved quality and productivity measurements. The knowledge acquired was internalized and diffused within the firm allowing for industry-specific certifications, market growth, and market diversification.


Los datos de descargas todavía no están disponibles.

Biografía del autor/a

Leo Guzmán-Anaya, University of Guadalajara

Centro Universitario de Ciencias Económico Administrativas


Acemoglu, D. (1997). Training and Innovation in an Imperfect Labour Market.

Review of Economic Studies, 64(3), 445-464.

Acemoglu, D., & Pischke, J. (1998). Why do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence.

The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 113(1), 79-119.

Aitken, B. J., & Harrison, A. E. (1999). Do Domestic Firms Benefit from Direct Foreign Investment? Evidence from Venezuela. The American Economic Review, 89(3), 605-618.

Almeida, R. & Carneiro, P. (2009). The Returns to Firm Investments in Human Capital. Labour Economics, 16(1), 97-106.

Balasubramanyam, V. N., Salisu M., & Sapsford D. (1996). Foreign Direct Investment and Growth in ep and is Countries. The Economic Journal, 106(434), 92-105.

Bartel, A. P. (1994). Productivity Gains from the Implementation of Employee Training Programs. Industrial Relations, 33(4), 411-425.

Beltrán-Morales, L. F., Almendarez-Hernández, M. A., Flores-Delgado, V. Trejo-Berumen, K. S., Lagunas-Vázques, M., Ortega-Rubio, A. (2017). Technology Transfer Offices as Promoters of Technology, Innovation and Regional Development in Mexico. International Journal of Innovation, 8(1), 121-136.

Blalock, G. (2001). Technology from Foreign Direct Investment: Strategic Transfer through Supply Chains. Paper presented at the Empirical Investigations in International Trade Conference at Purdue University, November 9-11, 2001 (part of doctoral research at Haas School of Business, University of California Berkley).

Blomstrom, M., & Kokko, A. (1998). Multinational Corporation and Spillovers. Journal of Economic Surveys, 12(3), 247-277. https://doi. org/10.1111/1467-6419.00056

Blomstrom, M., & Sjoholm, F. (1999). Technological Transfer and Spillovers: Does Local Participation with Multinationals Matter? European Economic Review, 43(4-6), 915-923.

Boom, A. (2005). Firm’s Investment in General Training and the Skilled Labour Market. Labour Economics, 12(6), 781-805.

Branstetter, L. (2006). Is Foreign Direct Investment a Channel of Knowledge Spillovers? Evidence from Japan’s FDI in the United States. Journal of International Economics, 68(2), 325-344.

Carkovic, M. V., & Levine, R. (2002). Does Foreign Direct Investment Accelerate Economic Growth? U of Minnesota Department of Finance Working Paper, June.

Chen, Y., Hsu, J., & Huang, M. (2013). Lagged Effects of Training on Financial Performance: Evidence from Longitudinal Data. Global Journal of Business Research, 7(1), 9-20.

Cohen, W. M., & Levinthal, D. A. (1990). Absorptive Capacity: A New Perspective on Learning and Innovation. Administrative Science Quarterly, 35(1), 128-152.

Dumas, A., & Hanchane, S. (2010). How Does Job-training Increase Firm Performance? The Case of Morocco. International Journal of Manpower, 31(5), 585-602.

Dunning, J. H., & Cantwell, J. A. (1986). The Changing Role of Multinational Enterprises in the International Creation, Transfer and Diffusion of Technology. University of Reading Discussion Papers in International Investment and Business Studies, 101.

Falck Reyes, M., & De la Vega Shiota, V. (2014). La inversión japonesa en México en el marco del Acuerdo para el Fortalecimiento de la Asociación Económica entre México y Japón. El caso del sector de equipo de trans- porte. Comercio Exterior, 64(6), 23-34.

Findlay, R. (1978). Relative Backwardness, Direct Foreign Investment, and the Transfer of Technology: A Simple Dynamic Model. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 92(1), 1-16.

Fujimoto, T. (2007). Competing to Be Really, Really Good: The Behind-the-Scenes Drama of Capability-Building Competition in the Automobile Industry. International House of Japan.

Glass, A. L., & Saggi, K. (1998). International Technology Transfer and the Technology Gap. Journal of Development Economics, 55(2), 369-398.

Guzman-Anaya, L. (2016). Japanese FDI Linkages with Local Suppliers. Seijo Green Paper, 72, 59-72.

Hosono, A. (2015). Industrial Transformation and Quality of Growth. JICA-RI Working Paper, 97, March.

Huang, T. C. (2001). The Relation of Training Practices and Organizational Performance in Small and Medium Size Enterprises. Education + Training, 43(8/9), 437-444.

Imai, M. (1986). Kaizen: The key to Japan’s competitive success. McGraw-Hill.

Irawati, D. (2012). Knowledge Transfer in the Automobile Industry. Routledge.

JICA. (2016). JICA Activities in Mexico. activities/index.html. [Accessed: March 10, 2018].

JICA. (2017). JICA 2017 Annual Report. lications/reports/annual/2017/c8h0vm0000bws721-att/2017_all.pdf [Accessed: March 28, 2019].

Kijima, Y. (2018). Long-term and Spillover Effects of Rice Production Training in Uganda. JICA-RI Working Paper, 161.

Kiyota, K., Matsuura, T., Urata, S., & Wei, Y. (2008). Reconsidering the Backward Vertical Linkages of Foreign Manufacturing Affiliates: Evidence from Japanese Multinationals. World Development, 36(8), 1398-1414.

Kokko, A. (1994). Technology Market Characteristics and Spillovers. Journal of Development Economics, 43(2), 279-293.


Lall, S. (1980). Vertical Inter-firm Linkages in LDCS: An Empirical Study. Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 42(3), 203-226.

Lugo-Sanchez, M. G. (2018). The Role of Public Policies in Attracting Japanese FDI in Mexico. In Falck Reyes, M. & Guzmán-Anaya, L. (Eds.), Japanese Direct Investment in Mexico’s Transport Equipment Sector. Macro Impact and Local Responses. (pp. 81-102). Springer.

Mikami, S., & Furukawa, M. (2014). An Empirical Study of the Conditions for Successful Knowledge Transfer in Training Programs. JICA-RI Working Paper, 85.

Ministry of Economy of Mexico. (2016). Crafting the future: a roadmap for industry 4.0 in Mexico. dustry_I40.pdf [Accessed: July 14, 2020].

Nakano, Y., Tsusaka, T. W., Aida, T., & Pede, V. O. (2015). The Impact of Training on Technology Adoption and Productivity of Rice Farming in Tanzania: Is Farmer-to-Farmer Extension Effective? JICA-RI Working Paper, 90.

Nikandrou, I., Apospori, E., Panayotopoulou, L., Stavrou, E. T., & Papalexandris, N. (2008). Training and Firm Performance in Europe: The Impact of

National and Organizational Characteristics. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 19(11), 2057-2078.

Nonaka, I., Toyama, R., & Nagata, R. (2000). A Firm as the Knowledge-Creating Entity: A New Perspective on the Theory of the Firm. Industrial and Corporate Change, 9(1), 1-20.

Raslan, R. A. (2021). Transfer of Technology: A North-South debate? Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property, 11(3), 339-361.

Rivera, M. I. (2002). Technology Transfer via University-Industry Relationship.

Routledge Falmer.

Rodriguez-Clare, A. (1996). Multinationals, Linkages and Economic Development. The American Economic Review, 86(4), 852-873.

Romer, P. 1993. Idea gaps and object gaps in economic development. Journal of Monetary Economics, 32(3), 543-573. 3932(93)90029-F

Sahoo, P., & Bishnoi, A. (2016). Study the impact of Japanese transport infrastructure investment in India. Contemporary South Asia, 24(1), 50-74.

Singh-Puri, H. 2010. Rise of the Global South and Its Impacts on South-South

Cooperation. Development Outreach, World Bank, 8, 7-9.

Tessema, M., Winrow, B., & Teclezion, M. (2012). The Transfer of Training at Macro Level in Least Developing Countries: A Case Study of the “Brain Drain” in Eritrea. International Journal of Training and Development, 16(4), 247-262.

Tokoro, Y. (2006). México y Japón: Una Perspectiva del Acuerdo de Asociación Económica. EconomíaUNAM, 3(7), 47-68.

UNCTAD. (2021). Technology and Innovation Report 2021. United Nations Publications.

Urata, S. (1996). Japanese Foreign Direct Investment and Technology Transfer in Asia. MIT Japan Program Working Paper Series, 96-23.

Yamashita, S. (2004). Development of Automobile Parts Industry and Formation of Export Platform in Thailand. International East Asia Research Center, ASEAN-Auto Project, 4(1).