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Quality Management (GQ)

The area of Quality Management aims to generate and disseminate knowledge about quality management to address quality issues from product development to process improvement. In this context, studies are carried out concerning quality coordination in companies´ supply chains and networks, as well as planning, quality control and improvement practices, learning mechanisms and business performance measurement systems. These studies are developed mainly in companies and agribusiness, food, automobile, metal-mechanic and the service sector supply chains.

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Agribusiness Systems Management (GSA)

The objective of this line of research is to generate and disseminate knowledge to improve the quality and productivity of Brazilian agribusiness, adapting the Brazilian Agribusiness System (SAI) to international competitiveness standards. The SAI is understood here as the sector of economic activity that includes everything from the production of inputs, goods and services for agricultural production to the storage, transportation, processing and distribution of agribusiness products or their derivatives. Preference will be given to researchers from this line of research who adapt and develop management tools and methodologies especially adapted to agribusiness problems.

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Technology and Innovation Management (GTI)

The area of Technology and Innovation Management studies the competitive dynamics and agent behaviour in relation to technology – understood in a comprehensive way as knowledge with a practical end that provides the development of innovation. It involves the study of the ways (arrangements, mechanisms and types of intra- and inter-firm coordination) used by companies to acquire technology, innovation processes, administrative systems implemented for technological training and improvement of production and business operations, as well as the impact of technology and innovation on the development of economic agents and the economy.

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Institutions, Organisations and Work (IOT)

This area focuses on a set of theoretical approaches that are the object of intellectual efforts made by the academic and teaching staff,which include: economic sociology, social networks, cooperation and policies, the new Institutionalism in Organisational Analysis, work analysis and organisational constraints and transaction cost savings. One of the initiatives of this line of research is the Study Centre in Economic and Financial Sociology (NESEFI) [], whose members include Master´s, Doctoral and Undergraduate students linked to the Department of Production Engineering, as well as other courses and programs from UFSCar and even from outside the university.

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Production Systems: Planning and Control (PCsP)

The area of “Production Systems: Planning and Control” studies the design and management of production systems (goods and services) in order to improve material and information flow, as well as the system performance. The production system may comprise only one company or many companies (e.g. supply chains, industrial clusters). The academic and teaching staff who work in this area develop studies and supervise students in various areas of activity, among them: agribusiness, food, footwear, metal-mechanics, transportation and other services. The problems are studied considering the following approaches: strategic, managerial practices, quantitative and computational methods.

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Work, Technology and Organisation (TTO)

The research object of Production Engineering is the design and coordination of production situations, in which production and work processes are articulated. Production Engineering shows its singularity, compared to other branches of Engineering, in terms of having Work as the object of research and knowledge production. It is also different from Work Sciences by considering the work in its concrete conditions of achievement. Thus, Work is a singular human activity, historically and socially contextualized, simultaneously found at the core of analysis, and structuring and organising elements of production situations. In addition, Work should be understood considering the constraints placed by Technology, Organisation and society. The relations between Work, Technology and Organisation are understood from the descriptive aspects, related to an instrumental rationality focused on efficiency and effectiveness, as well as from the normative aspects related to socially defined norms or criteria that help designers and organisers to make decisions. Research in this line of research produces knowledge and contributions for transformations in two fields: a) in the field of Engineering Design aimed at producing descriptive, explanatory and/or propositional models for the product, process and work design activity; and, b) in the field of Social Dynamics and Work focused on the production of descriptive, explanatory and/or propositional models concerning production and work organisation and the conditions in which the work is performed, considering social, technological and organisational change processes.

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