Determinants of global R&D mandate: the case of General Motors of Brazil

Flavia Consoni, Roberto Carlos Bernardes, Gabriela Scur


Multinationals firms have accelerated the internalization of their activities and reorganized R&D strategies management through global innovation network by allocation of global project responsibilities to their subsidiaries. This tendency has motivated this article which analyzes the restructuration process of the General Motors Corporation’s (GMC) product development strategies. In the case of General Motors Corporation, such reorganization resulted in the definition of a new concept of global architectures of vehicles, customized designs in relation to the market destination and the definition of five global centers responsible to the development and the management of these new architectures. The Brazilian subsidiary of General Motors (GMB) is one of these centers and became responsible for two mandates: to lead all global projects of medium pickups including the design activities, project and engineering; and collaborate in global project planned to emergent markets.  Based on a case study in the Brazilian General Motors subsidiary during 2011 and 2012, this paper investigates the factors that motivate the choice of Brazil to be the global center, its attributions and results to the local firm. It remarks that GMB once integrated to the global engineering net catch opportunities to improve its local routines of product development. Nevertheless, it did not improve their research capabilities. 


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Revista de Administração da UFSM. Brazilian Journal of Management

Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil, eISSN 1983-4659