Author(s): Claudio Baltazar Correa de Mello and Eric Charles Henri Dorion
The emergence of the industry of the city of Caxias do Sul, Brazil, is linked to the Italian immigration phenomenon of the late nineteenth century country. However, the modernization of its industrial park, more especially from the 1980s, is due to the combination of an entrepreneurial associative culture. In such context, this article analyzes the implications of the industrial entrepreneurs’ actions that impacted on the State of Rio Grande do Sul economy and social development between 1980 and 2010. The study identifies and recognizes the determinant actions in which the local industrialists achieved through the discourses and their significance as entrepreneurs. It validates a relation between those actions and the region’s socio-economic development conditions. The qualitative research implemented an exploratory study, where data collection was done through guided and recorded interviews with industrialist entrepreneurs and local community leaders of Caxias do Sul, to highlight the entrepreneurial action that marked the history of the region. Data analysis is based on a qualitative concept that deals with the narratives of the entrepreneurs about the conditions of regional socioeconomic development. The results confirm that the individual and collective actions of the entrepreneurs show institutional entrepreneurship combined to closed innovation.