Bruno da Rocha Braga
Administration, University of Brasília
March, 2015
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Doctor of Science in Administration (UnB)
Master of Science in Systems Engineering (COPPE/UFRJ)
Bachelor in Administration (UnB)
Bachelor in Computer Science (DCC/UFRJ)
Professor of Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Brasília (IFB)
Analyst of the Central Bank of Brazil (BCB)

Professor do Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia de Brasília (IFB)
Analista do Banco Central do Brasil (BCB)


Competitiveness is defined as the ability and performance levels of firms, industries or political-administrative regions in the exploitation of factors of production and the provision of goods and services to the market. A socio-economic phenomenon that depends on more than just the structural conditions and boundaries of the organization, competitiveness is a product, as well, of collaboration, of collective action undertaken by firms, support institutions, government and civil society. Interorganizalional processes, both operational and strategic, arise from transactions that are legally and financially independent but organizationally and economically interdependent, establishing cooperative relationships that are determinants of performance over the long term. Based on a literature review of the competitiveness that results from inteorganizational cooperation, focusing on the resource, relational and systemic perspectives of competitiveness, the study addressed two theoretical-empirical gaps encountered in the literature: (1) the lack of a multidimensional, systemic approach for understanding the competitive performance of the firm that recognizes the contribution of firm competitiveness to that of the socio-economic system; and (2) inteorganizational cooperation among different actors of the system who interact in the search for solutions to systemic problems or issues, that is to say, competitive problems that cannot be resolved by means of market mechanisms or by state intervention. Credit unions, characterized as a network industry regulated by the government, were chosen as an empirical domain appropriate for elucidation of questions with respect to the dynamics of the relationships of the individual credit union with other organizations in the socio-economic system that result in the creation of resources and the development of competences contributing to system competitiveness. Research was exploratory and qualitative in nature, carried out by means of a multiple-case study with a longitudinal perspective. Primary and secondary data were collected from archives, data bases and unstructured interviews with managers of the two cooperatives studied. Process tracing was used for characterization of the theoretical concepts and for refining the theoretical model developed for the study. Content analysis and sequence analysis using discreet mathematical models based on category theory and the theory of generative grammar were used for processing study data. These are new approaches for treatment of qualitative data introduced in this dissertation, the first for semantic integration of different models of data analysis and the second for the elaboration of qualitative models for emergent process-based phenomena. In both cases the interorganizalional processes for combination of resources and exchange of information and knowledge taking place within the context of the relationships among the actors of the socio- economic system were traced. These processes arc considered basic to the process for development of firm competences that contribute to systemic competitiveness. In addition, propositions of the theoretical model in this regard were tested. Findings confirm the results of previous studies that propose the existence of economic and organizational dimensions to the phenomenon of competitiveness and reveal the dynamics of the relations of cooperation and contribution that firms establishes with the partners and the social structures at their organizational and environmental surroundings in order to promote the systemic competitiveness.