Sustainable rural companies, for innovative indigenous peasants

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International Journal of Arts and Commerce


Vol. 1 No. 5

October 2012



119


Sustainable rural companies, for innovative indigenous peasants


Dra. Bertha Alicia Arce Castro
1

Facultad de Ciencias Administrativas y Sociales

(School of
Ma
na
gement
and S
ocial
S
ciences
)

Universidad
Veracruzana
, México
.


Dr. Jorge RamírezJuárez
2

Instituto de Investigaciones de Estudios Superiores de la
s Ciencias Administrativas

Veracruzana,


México.
Research of Advanced Studies in Management
Sciences Universidad Veracruzana Mexico


Dra. Rosa María Sánchez Hernández
3

Facultad de
Ciencias Administrativas

y Sociales,

Universidad Veracruzana, México
.




ABSTRACT

The sustainable rural companies for indigenous peasants with the
ability to
innovate

represent the best
choice to overcome the social backwardness and poverty of these social groups.This article shows the
results obtained in a Totonac community where a group of researchers started rescue work activity be
almost forgotten, the meliponicult
ure or management of stingless bees, which once Sweetener provide the
native inhabitants of America: forest honey.

A priority is to keep the knowledge and traditions Totonac being very careful to direct efforts toward change
in production processes, with
the intention of adding value to a honey whose healing properties are being
rediscovered as a source of employment and economic improvement, innovation and culture for these
farmers who struggle to survive in a modern world and dizzying.


Keywords
:

Sustain
able rural companies, change in traditional processes, melipona honey, innovation and
culture.


INTRODUCTION

The honey of the totonaca jungle:

a long forgotten treasure.

In the deep of
the forest lives a little stingless

bee called Melipona, which nests in the hollow trunks of trees
and produces a honey whose characteristics are unique.

How many times have not read of the weakness of the Aztec king Montezuma by tasting the "unsweetened
chocolate", and has rarely been ques
tioned about the origin of the sweetener, as t
he honey bee produced by
the
called European or
“apismellifera”
andsugarcane
come to America with
Spanish

people
.




1
Address: Pinos No 13 Col Santa Fe Las Trancas, Xalapa Veracruz, México

E
-

mail:
alisson2113@gmail.com

Phone.
52 228 812 8094


2
Address: Calendario Huízar No. 32 Indeco Animas Xalapa Veracruz, México

E
-
mail:
Joramirez101910@hotmail.com

Phone. 52 228 812 7819


3
Address: Morelos 23 Coatepec, Veracruz, México

E
-
mail:
rosasanchez@uv.mx

Phone.
52 2
28 816 0235


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October 2012



120


The totonacas dwelt important territory of Mexico, creating a large Hispanic culture that has per
sisted
through the years signified by traditions, religion and legends passed down through families.

The meliponiculture or management of stingless bees is a legacy that today can be an important factor to
ensure the continuity of their descendants.


1.
BACKGROUND

The meliponiculture or management for stingless bees is an activity practiced by countless generations of
totonac, which

have been identified in these insects honey medicinal properties used by healers in their
communities.

Unfortunately it has
been being forgotten by new generations, young people see no benefit in practice,
because the management of these insects requires dedication and time and learning, so most prefer to pursue
other more current and less demanding in skills.

The scientific im
portance of the proposal is that however has made
the classification of different genera of
stingless bees, not found in the literature referring to the native stingless bee of the study area, also found
documentation regarding the specific techniques th
at employ totonac for playback and management in clay
pots.

It’s important to point the sociocultural and ecological originality of this project whose proposal is based on
the proper management of natural resources essential for sustainable development and

the promotion of a
well balanced economic growth to contribute to poverty reduction.


1.1
Problem

statement

Rural families are marginalized Mexican changes and trade liberalization benefits, the current socio
-
economic environment has highlighted the
productive inefficiency of the agricultural sector in Mexico,
noted during the discussions leading to the signing of the Free Trade Agreement, Martinez and Rivera
(
2005)

and unfortunately, time and actually confirm. The trade and economic demands of today'
s world
require that organizations be able to assume the functions of the dominant economic paradigm technician,
Guizar, (1998).

The rural indigenous communities in Mexico suffer from a large social backwardness, poverty and
education in basic
services, wh
ich

limits employment opportunities, coupled with insufficient earnings from
low prices from the sale of their produce.

This research began as a need to provide indigenous organizations in the region Totonacapan mechanisms
that enable them to meet the dema
nds versatile current environment, improve their income and promote the
conservation of biodiversity in the production of honey and innovating advantage their ancestral knowledge
and skills in a first stage and a second make the marketing in the new green
markets.


Research questions

Is it possible to create conditions for the development of beekeeping through sustainable production units?

Or waking up the spirit of innovation and knowledge management among Indians?

What is the d
evelop training?
(
Teamwork
and acceptance of new knowledge)

Does honey meliponas may become an improvement in income?

Does the development promote conservation meliponiculture natural environment?

Target

Promote to creating sustainable production units, innovative and knowledge to
facilitate economic
improvement, conservation of traditional knowledge and promote environmental conservation.

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The practical object of study for the research is located in the region of Totonacapan of the coast and
mountains, in the community of Gildardo
Muñoz, Mun
icipality of Papantla Veracruz Méxic

The hypothesis.



The meliponiculture developed production units, sustainable, innovative and knowledge managers can be
an important factor to ensure the continuity of indigenous Totonac, promoting economic im
provement,
preservation of culture, traditions and the natural environment.


1.2
Sustainable development

In socioeconomic Brundtland Report prepared by different nations to the UN in 1987, was first used the
term sustainable development (or sustainable
development), defined as one that meets the needs of the
present without compromising the needs of future generations. It involves a major change in terms of the
idea of
sustainability, mainly organic, as a framework that also gives emphasis to the econo
mic and social
development.

Sustainable development can be defined as: "The continuous improvement of business operations to ensure
the availability of long
-
term resources through environmental, socially sensitive and transparent relationship
with consumer
s, business partners and the community." This definition is consistent with the United Nations
Brundtland "the multiple and complex relationships over time that are created through biological and
ecological processes in renewable resources associated with
their current utilization rates and availability in
the future", led to the development a concept that gained wide notice in the second half of the last century:
the so
-
called sustainability. a sustainable resource does not mean that it is not used, it is
done in such a
proportion that does not jeopardize their future availability, or at least not so distant future.

If it is non
-
renewable resources, means that removal occurs at a rate that will not affect the long
-
term
welfare of future generations.

If it i
s a renewable resource, meaning that their use is consistent with the ability of nature to reproduce
and its cycle of growth or decline. "(Gomez G, 2009)

The systems approach provides that any organization is a system that remains in contact with their
env
ironment, which establishes close and distant.

Any activity that the organization will develop a mutual impact on demographic factors and
environmental, econ
omic, social, legal, political,
Arce and Calves (2011)

The theoretical implications of the proposed

innovation is viewed from two perspectives, the first from
the point of interference in a long traditional production proven and fully identifies with the Totonac culture
of this region can affect intrinsic relations and optics of the need to intervene in

the process to increase
revenue and to contribute to economic and social improvement of the people. Theoretically, technological
innovation is not impossible to control, even if you own content that may affect the characteristics of the
mutation.

Then it
becomes important to reflect on the complex relationships that are developing between science
-
technology
-
society, from a circular logic and systemic (Rosenberg, 1982). Therefore, it is necessary to
consider the complex nature of the innovation process and
the relationship between technological innovation
and society.

Innovation is not just the application of the results of research and development of high
-
level, but also is
the result of entrepreneurial, strategic, decision
-
making, organizational and imagin
ative.

Notably Totonac producers (indigenous people of the region of Papantla) have a significant competitive
advantage, which has not been exploited yet and that may be the touchstone for that beekeeping promote
social sense to expand in the region and co
nstitute a permanent source of income and very important to the
community. This advantage is their ancestral knowledge of the jungle and the exploitation of a special
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variety of bee whose honey is highly prized and commercially reaches values
of five to
ten times higher than
the European honey produced by bees, which is the Bee Stingless, also known as bee Melipona (Ramirez,
2011)

1.3
Justification.

The Totonac Indian community located near the former ceremonial centerTajín like many others, share
problem
s such as interference of external agents that promote breakdown in the social structure, in the case
of this particular population participation PetroleosMexicanos (PEMEX), which given the depletion of oil
wells, this re exploring those located in the coa
stal area of the Gulf of Mexico and crossing indigenous
human settlements, also, the exploitation of export crops vocation as citrus occupy increasingly greater
territory displacing small communal plots. Added to this, the lack of employment opportunities
and lack of
skills to play existing migratory phenomena have increased, affecting households, culture and sense of
belonging.

From the environmental point of view, the area is threatened by deforestation to increase grazing. This has
seriously endangered t
he ecosystem, the forest areas are becoming smaller, and its inhabitants suffer and
their existence is threatened, as the Melipona bee, which has evolved in parallel with the woods from the
Cretaceous.

This insect has the property of pollinating species th
at without them would disappear and secondly the forest
gives him food and shelter.

Today in the Americas about 14 species of Melipona and Trigona are managed traditionally handled by
farmers (Espinoza, 2004).


1.4 Limitations

Exploratory research
conducted during 2009
-
2012 in Totonac community, has just completed the first phase
of the project, lack the second corresponding to adopting quality culture, marketing and sales so the results
are not conclusive.


2.
METHODOLOGICAL DESIGN

Methodologically

and during development work followed the phases set out:


2.1
Investigative Phase:

Theoretical research on modern trends in state organizational theories that respond
to new scenarios of current socioeconomic system, as well as information about the uses,

customs, culture,
traditions, religion, language, and worldview Totonac review state of the art of beekeeping in different areas,
collection and reporting applications, composition, benefits, benefits of Melipona bees and the honey they
produce. From the
collection of information from the subject of interest and on the basis of critical
evaluation identifies the limitations and benefits of the possible application of the model, these aspects
which form the basis for making decisions about the chances of su
ccess or failure of the corresponding
model.

2.2
Conceptual phase:

This is the phase where it deploys the Organizational Change Model is reviewed as
it was first conceived and then if necessary as a derivation of the results obtained during the investigati
on of
possible adjustments to be made, based on the requirements of model, laying the foundations for replication
in the new context. Finally, we review the relevance of the premises in its application.

2.3
Design phase:

Details the application of the prop
osed model under study in understanding their testing,
validation and adjustment. We carried out the analysis of the results of the application.

At each stage of the research used particular methods of analysis and synthesis, combined with other more
speci
fic as integration techniques and group participation, in
-
depth interviews with members of the
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participating groups, experts, conducting surveys, literature reviews and technical didactic teaching and
learning, among others.

In summary, these steps followe
d during the conduct of the investigation allowed to identify the
characteristics that the socio
-
economic environment requires organizations, the limitations of the current
organization and structure of production in the activity under study, the fundament
al components of the
model and its interrelationship, and validate the model developed, defining indicators of economic, social,
demographic variables and the results were validated in the application.

2.4
Conceptual Base

The design of the model systems ap
proach is supported by:

• The relative contributions to the development, change and organizational culture, communication,
knowledge, group participation, quality, innovation and creativity.

• Theories, models and approaches change literature refers are fo
rmulated to companies in the industrial or
service and has not considered its application in rural families as proposed in this research.

• Community learning, change of
mind
-
set
,
behaviours

and ways of working, creativity and innovation are
the factors that accrued on business success.

As model assumptions are established as study subjects experienced peasant families in the production or
processing of any good non
-
traditional, wanting to wo
rk collectively and learn new ways of doing things.


3. Results:

Sustainable production units

As an alternative solution to a group of researchers from the Universidad Veracruzana establish the
possibility of creating new forms of organization supported in

"organizational change model for the creation
of non
-
traditional SMEs" (Arce, 2008) that seeks transitional forms of production ancestral indigenous rural
families into new working practices that allow them to create collective enterprises approach to ach
ieving
business competitiveness, sustained on the basis of the synergy produced by its four pillars:
"Differentiation", " Knowledge Management "" Culture of Quality "and" Ecological Culture ".

Reaching these new forms of organization requires a strong comm
itment to the change agents involved in
rural households, not only to promote training for the appropriation of new forms of work and modern
techniques, but the sensitivity to not violate family
relationships,

customs and traditions of these
communities. Arce et al (2012)

Following this logic, the first step taken by the researchers was to obtain the approval of the Supreme
Council Totonaco to implement the project that would allow production to transform the w
ay traditional to
more mechanization in order to increase the number of swarms, encourage young people to participate and
learn the principles of beekeeping.

As a second step in this process of change and after the training needs assessment proceeded to de
velop the
plan and training programs all with the goal of establishing forms of partnership in the framework of respect
for the customs of the community.

To bring order to the management of resources and accountability in the use of them, members of the
co
mmunity interested in participating begin to organize and form a society of producers, where learning is a
driving force of the organization. Production techniques by two experienced meliponicultoresTotonac
known ancestral practices of management of these
insects and are recognized in the community and
organizational learning, by the change agents of the Universidad Veracruzana.


4. Discussion

The activities developed by the working group during the intervening years researchers have been organized
for
presentation in relation to the specific objectives that were raised at the beginning of the project:

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4.
1
Constitute a new form of organization.


It creates a new organization with the participation of eight families of peasants self called "Bat Workers
wild honey" in Totonac: ChalkatnainXlaKiwitaxkat, organization among its activities is the technological
improvement, increased production and marketing of Melipona honey.


4.2 Determining strategies to manage and order changes and define the objectives of

the company.

With the collaboration of teachers invited to participate in the project activities were conducted to determine
the mission and vision of the company and the internal and external diagnosis. Internal diagnostics allowed
to know the characteri
stics of the families that make up the new organization and the most
favourable

conditions for the future development of the company, determine the criteria for identifying their strengths
and weaknesses. The external diagnosis facilitated know the conditi
ons of macro economic environment,
social, cultural and environmental policies surrounding the organization, identifying aspects of the market
that can help or hinder providing management information to identify opportunities and threats. Methods
and techn
iques: observation, interviews, surveys, document research, small group discussion, role play,
projective techniques, market information, policy and trade balance.

Then we proceeded to the detection of training needs and the possible causes that may hinder

the success of
the organization such as the change of the collective family
labour
, convincing new hierarchies, lines of
authority, responsibilities and obligations without violating the values identified strengthen group cohesion
and development teams.


We designed a weight matrix of causes and results from policies and actions were designed to improve the
aspects evaluated disadvantaged. Importantly, all decisions were made by consensus, minimizing unilateral
decision
-
making

or individual.

We identified
key aspects Totonac group willing to participate in the project and thus have the basis for
detection of training needs, as shown in Table No 1

SWOT Analysis Table No. 1 producer group Melipona honey.

Source: Own elaboration

STRENGTHS

OPPORTUNITIES

F1: Own resources

F2:
Experience in the process.

F3: Knowledge of the product and its uses.

F4: Close ties in the community.

F5: Deep
-
rooted identity and pride in their knowledge
and roots.

F6: interest in learning the new techniques to improve
the production of honey.

O1: Nove
lty of the product.

O2: Interest in the benefits of
consuming it.

O3: Preparation of Gourmet products

O4: New markets for organic
products

O5: Research medical and cosmetic
about honey and its properties

WEAKNESSES

THREATS

D1: Lack of knowledge by
some of the obtaining of
the honey.

D2: They have never worked on computer.

D3: Don't know how to join.

D4: Subsistence a few swarms

D5: Doesn’t exist any kind of quality in the process of
obtaining.

D6: Hierarchies in U.S. households.

D7: limited formal

education

A1: Similar products in the market.

A2: High number of pests.

A3: Destruction of forests and
invasion of the ecological zones.

A4: Global warming

A5: Agrochemicals and pollutants

A6: Further increase of migration

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4.3
Training of teamwork.

The group begins to receive training in order to grab the essential knowledge, overcome the fear of change
and uncertainty, considering that the changes are agreed, never imposed; individuals must make a
commitment and therefore under
stand that change is a necessity. Methods and techniques: the teaching of
learning techniques playing worked very well since being unfamiliar with school experiences seniors have
difficulty focusing attention for long periods, the use of drama, motivationa
l videos, interviews and dynamic
in organization and planning presentation, animation, communication, exercises Dynamics to determine
organizational climate were used and were very efficient.

4.4Promote the management of knowledge and the creation of new p
roducts through theFeasible to
bid on the company innovation and differentiation

It was partially, since the members were unaware of the management of insects and devoted themselves to
master the techniques of propagation of swarms and maintenance. As futu
re work is helping the company
define its competitive strategy, identify its generators costs and value processes and the development of new
products. As a strategy for the dissemination of the product were informative leaflets about the properties of
hone
y, as well as
colour

prints, canvases and posters which were shown during the collective event with the
participation of all members.


Photo 1each

of the members displayed posters during the dynamics the dissemination of the product and its
origins.

4.5 Implement technological innovation in production processes

Was successfully completed, activities aimed at increasing the production until recently unknown
as control

of pests and food supplemented, improvement in the process of obtaining of honey and

the construction of a
new Apiary by the producers themselves.

Next year is expected to be able to establish the
honey extraction
room (producers decided to build the extraction room with its own resources and at the end of this project
already have a 50%
advance picture No 2) this is an achievement that will improve the quality of the
harvest, will get the honey and maintain protected invaders diaper tables of stainless steel instead of the dirt
floor, where the work of collection without hasty will be mad
e will be used and using syringes instead of
breaking the diapers, likewise is you can track the volume obtained by hive, identify the source of the honey
for their flowering.

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Photo 2
. Construction of extraction with own resources room


4.5.1.
Technological innovation:
is important to note the way in which farmers

They

have begun to develop innovation based on the generation of knowledge based on observation, at the
start of the project was given of wooden boxes that originally mediate 22
centime
tres

instead of clay pots,
producers noted that insects preferred to nest up through what he joined two boxes one on top of other
imitating the trunks of the trees.


Photo 3
. It shows two wooden boxes that allows the nest to grow vertically

In the same wa
y they tried to make boxes of 60
centimetres

per side, and found that bees spread and placed
the pots of honey out of the swarm, which makes it easy to uncover the harvest box without violating it
photography No 4

.

Photo

4. New size in wooden
box

shows the technological innovation

Source: Own elaboration

They have also innovated the way of providing power supplemented to the
bees;

given
there

small size they
drown when offered honey of sugar or water. The Totonaca producers devised hang between th
e subject
divisions of the Apiary blankets soaked with water with ropes, the bees stick to the cloth taking the liquid
that need them without getting wet their wings, since this happen they would die. This has allowed bringing
down mortality in time of hea
t or cold by providing them with sweetened water.

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These reforms have encouraged producers to increase the number of pots and boxes, to date has nearly
tripled the number of swarms, since it is easier to make the division of the hive.


Photo
5. Open box. I
t is possible to observe the provision of containers of honey, around the main
honeycomb, note that some are still open since they are not even completely filled and others are already
sealed.

Source: Own elaboration


Photo
6. Increase in the number of pr
oduction of the producers group pots. Source: own elaboration

4.5.2 Adoption of innovation

From the start of the project was a constant question how would accept technological innovation first
replace the pots with wooden boxes, and secondly the new layout

of the Apiary which is traditionally made
under roof of Palm and reeds of wood by an elevated structure from the floor and dais above the floor. After
two years of the start date responsible for the project noted that not only producers accepted innovatio
n but
improved it to design boxes tailored to the needs of their bees and that with respect to the meliponarios
combine the idea of proposed construction but left in a few boxes and others use clay pots, but now no
longer on the ground floor, as shown in t
he picture No 7.


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128


Photo
7.
Ph
D
. Bertha Alicia Arce and the new Apiary built by producers, note that imitate design and pots
are separated from the floor

4.6 Adopt the culture of quality in the processes

Was fulfilled satisfactorily the first phase achieving not only the increase in production (from an annual
litter

two) but get non
-
contaminated honey of drowned insects, as it was the
case previously
, improving
income from sale.

Expected perfect yet the pr
ocess using the extraction room equipped with tables of stainless steel as well as
measures of hygiene and cleanliness, which
requires construction

of toilets and running water.

4.7 Involving the totonac community in the project of the meliponicultura pre
servation and
conservation of the environment.

With the participation of the ladies were meetings where there were known the achievements and the need
for the cooperation of the community in the conservation of the ecological environment to weigh the
benef
its that this represents for the community. To chat participants are shown in photos 8 and 9.


Photo 8 Interested in the meliponicultura indigenous women's group and who know the benefits of this
in the preservation of the environment


Photo 9. During

visit and talk about the importance of the participation of women in the project


4.8 Academic results:

Training of new researchers and this year students participated in different ways: 2
providers of social service and 1 intern, 1 student of master and
former fellow of the project, 5 degree, 7
articles, 3 academic stays, work 5 papers in international conferences, 5 chapters of book 1 book
published:

“Profile

of the TotonacaMeliponicu
ltor" published this year. Arce
, Ramirez (20012)

The participation of young students of the Universidad Veracruzana has been very important since joining
the project not only participated as trainers, monitors and pollsters, but courses have been designed and have
been entitled with the experience develo
ped, likewise one of the thesis is currently pursuing masters in
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Tropical Research
Centre
, and one of the researchers masters is currently developing a PhD based on the
meliponicultura in the Centre of research.


5 Conclusions and recommendations



The mel
iponicultura is a promising activity to develop among rural families in the region of Totonacapan.



You need a strong impetus to establish new production units and a very committed work of the agents of
change.



As a generator of income and jobs is very attr
active since it can be carried out by the totonac without
altering their ways of production.



It benefits the conservation of habitat and the identity of this ethnic group in danger of disappearing.



Indigenous communities require the creation of new forms o
f organization, enabling them to integrate into
the dynamics of the current markets, while preserving the principles of ethics and sustainability that
maintain the cohesion and preservation of these groups, respecting the organizational culture and values
of
the subjects of change.


Recommendations

In t
he
beginning of the project
, to be able to ascertain effective change and the expected benefit is needed
continue with the training programs and strengthen the culture of quality. It is also necessary to strengthen
value chains in order to ensure the supply for production and market
ing. So it is recommended the
continuation of the investigation.


References

1.Arce Castro Bertha Alicia, Jorge Juarez Ramirez, Rosa María Sanchez Hernández: Proposal of organizational
innovation for the creation of sme's products in a community exotic
indigenous Totonac in Papantla,
Veracruz, Mexico in International journal of Business and Social Research ISSN 2164
-
2540, Vol. 2 No 3,
2012

2Arce Castro Bertha Alicia: how to create competitive rural enterprises new model of organizational change for
small

and medium
-
sized rural enterprises. Spanish academic publisher ISBN 978
-
3
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8454
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9340
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4 Germany
2012

3Arce Castro Bertha Alicia Ramirez Juarez Jorge, García Flores Atzin: profile of the TotonacaMeliponicultor
Spanish Academic publisher ISBN 978
-
3
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8484
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6744
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0. Germany 2012

4Arce Castro Bertha Alicia: model of organizational change for the creation of small and medium
-
sized
enterprises of non
-
traditional products
.
Thesis presented in option to the scientific degree of Doctor of
technical scienceshigher Polytec
hnic Institute "José Antonio Echeverría" Faculty of Engineering Industrial
Department of applied mathematics 2008

5Arce Castro Bertha Alicia, Silvio Calves Hernandez sustainability in thehousing in Cuba in Ibero
-
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Observatory of thelocal development

and social economyacademic magazine, issued and maintained by
thegroup EUMED.NET De La Universidad De MálagaISSN: 1988
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2483
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Nro.10
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June 2011

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without
sting in the Sinai, aldea San Antonio flower Apiary, Papajita, San Marcos, University of San Carlos of
Guatemala Agronomy Faculty of agronomic research.

7Gomez Gutierrez Carlos: potentials and limitations of joint development, Ministry of the envi
ronment for
sustainable development, Mexico, 2009

8.Guizar, r. organizational developmen
t. Principles and applications;
McGraw
-
Hill, Mexico 1998

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9.Martínez, E.; Rivera, r. development of industrial value chain models. University autonomous of the Northeast

Coahuila.2005

10.Jorge Juarez Ramirez, Maple Castro Bertha a. competitiveness of SMEs
Jalapeñas

International Congress
to
cademia
J
ournals.com ISSN 1946
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5351Online 1948
-
2353Chiapas, Academy 2011 Journals.com

11.Rosenberg, N., 1982. Inside the Black Box: Tec
hnology and Economics (Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge).




Corresponding

A
uthor:


Dra Bertha Alicia Arce Castro.
1

Address: Pinos No 13 Colonia Santa Fé Las trancas,

Xalapa Veracruz, MéxicoZone

Postal 91194 Tel 52 22 88 2412 19 y 54 22 88 12 80 94

Email:
alisson2113@gmail.com
;


barce@uv.mx



Sponsoring information
:

T
he Secretariat of Public Education through the program improvement to teachers PROMEP and the
Universidad

Veracruzana in Mexico funded the research.