Technology Management in SMEs: Suppliers as links for business collaboration
The main aim of this paper is to analyse the process of technology management in footwear manufacturing firms and the influence of its suppliers on this management process. It is argued that suppliers contribute to inter-business collaboration that should serve as a strategy to mitigate the problems of competitiveness and sustainability in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The methodological strategy is quantitative. A random sample of 33 footwear manufacturers settled in Guanajuato, Mexico was selected. The instrument was applied to upper-intermediate level and top-level managers in the participating organisations and validated with the Cronbach Alpha Test ( = 0.8891). This paper allows the understanding of the constituent elements in the process of technology management of these SMEs which is shown through the analysis of means' difference. The results allow the inference that suppliers play a key role in the diffusion and transfer of technology in the footwear cluster. However, SMEs perceive their influence in two directions: as a threat to their competitiveness by sharing information with other companies in the sector and as an opportunity to accelerate the design and development of innovative and competitive products.