Worker creativity in the supply chain of the auto parts industry in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Puebla (2016)


Auto parts, Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, supply chain, Workers creativity


24 th International Colloquium of GERPISA, Puebla, México. 1-3 June 2016

Workers creativity in the supply chain of the auto parts industry in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua

Carmen Patricia Jiménez Terrazas
Lourdes Álvarez Medina

In the contemporary era of Globalization the role of workforce has significant implications for the firm competitiveness. The employee’s creativity as a part of the innovation process contributes to the generation of intellectual capital and improves organizational performance; therefore it has to be encouraged and harnessed. In the supply chain of the auto parts industry in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, several examples of employee´s creativity are well known but there is little knowledge about employees' opinions on working conditions to stimulate creativity. The aim of this paper is to analyze the employee’s opinion regarding the ways in which second and third tier companies in the auto parts industry seek to foster creativity among its workers. We focused on three points: a) barriers, incentives and promotion practices to foster creativity, b) employees’ perception on work features and c) staff development policies that can impact creativity. This is a quantitative and transversal research. A survey by questionnaire was applied to a sample of 76 employees from seven auto parts companies between 2014 and 2015. Our main results show that workers considered routine and organizational goal opacity as the highest barriers while trust between workers and superiors, and teamwork promote creativity. Engagement and satisfaction could stimulate creativity but most firms don’t care about it. The task is challenging and keeps workers focused on the production and solving problem while the companies train the staff to make decisions and improve their confidence, however the work is so intense that they hardly have time to think about ways to improve it. Although the companies promote creativity among its workers the task within a systematized and standardized automotive production lines does not allow reaching expected results.

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