Study Cases of Two Small Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) in the Southern Metropolitan Region of Buenos Aires

Abstract: The main purpose of the paper is to understand which specific strategies Argentinian small medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) adopted during the second half of the 20th century to adapt to and confront economic cycles, and how the learning process allowed them to endure over time. To do so, we focus on the learning paths of two metallurgy firms established in the Quilmes District, south of the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Region: SINPAR (1931), and Gora (1958), which have accumulated experience and recognition at the local level, for more than sixty years. By studying those companies, we aim to a twofold result. The first is to show that the strategies of the SMEs in the manufacturing sector are based on internal capabilities of meeting demand and responding to the domestic economy. The second one associates the long-term endurance of companies with a strong family management structure over more than one generation. Based on those results, we will argue that the SMEs lasted over time because their founders and successors developed the ability to adapt and of learning how to respond to and take advantage of the uncertainty, restrictions and opportunities of the Argentinian economy.