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DOMINGUEZ HERNANDEZ, María Luisa; HERNANDEZ GIRON, José de la Paz  and  TOLEDO LOPEZ, Arcelia. Competitiveness and environment in fragmented sectors: the case of craftsmanship in Mexico. Cuad. Adm. [online]. 2004, vol.17, n.27, pp.127-158. ISSN 0120-3592.

Small craftsmanship businesses have rudimentary processes and low production volumes, participate in small portions of the market, are disperse, and depend largely on the entrepreneurial capacity of business owners. What factors are essential for them to be competitive? The answer to this question is the main objective of this paper, which intends to contribute to the understanding of competitiveness in the craftsmanship sector in Mexico, as an example of fragmented industries. In order to determine how a small local business adapts to the new challenges of the market, the resource approach is combined with a strategic analysis of fragmented industries. Having this purpose in mind, a structured survey was applied to 176 craftsmen in three Mexican states (Oaxaca, Jalisco and Guanajuato). A path analysis was used to describe the relation between competitiveness and the perception of a generous environment, government support, innovation, and differentiation strategies. Two paths to competitiveness were found: the first one, a hierarchical order going from innovation and generous environment to competitiveness; and the other one, going from government support to innovation, differentiation strategies and competitiveness.

Keywords : competitiveness; innovation; competitive environment; fragmented industries; craftsmanship.

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