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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

A sustainable approach to change regulations for the manufacturing industry in Mexico

Mario Rivera-Becerra

A sustainable approach to change regulations for the manufacturing industry in Mexico

The manufacturing industry in Mexico has increased dramatically over the last couple of decades. Multinational companies have decided to move their manufacturing operations into Mexico primarily due to lower costs of labor and less regulatory stringency.

As a result, Mexico’s employment rate has gone up, the total amount of exports has increased and the nation has become the United States biggest commercial partner. However, there are numerous flaws and setbacks surrounding the manufacturing industry in Mexico. Amongst other things, the inclusion of Mexican companies into the multinational supply chain has been almost inexistent; entrepreneurship and technological innovation has not been encouraged.

 This research attempts to illustrate how a holistic approach to highly complex and dynamic situations may bring deeper insight into the causal relationships between the numerous variables that are involved in a problematic situation and highlight those that are more dominant.

Through interviews conducted to medical device industry professionals in Mexico as well as government officials and a related literature review I will identify the dominant causal loops in the issue of Entrepreneurship and Technological Innovation not being encouraged in the manufacturing industry in Mexico and suggest viable and desirable changes at a regulatory level. The use of Soft Systems Methodology (Checkland, Peter 1993) and System Dynamics will provide the tools necessary to perform this task.



Course Overview


The need to engage in better problem definition through careful dialogue with all stakeholder groups and a proper recognition of context.


An ability to work with specialists from other disciplines and professional groups acknowledging that technical innovation and business skills also must be understood, nurtured and combined as precursors to the successful implementation of sustainable solutions.


An understanding of mechanisms for managing change in organisations so future engineers are equipped to play a leadership role.


An awareness of a range of assessment frameworks, sustainability metrics and methodologies such as Life Cycle Analysis, Systems Dynamics, Multi-Criteria Decision making and Impact Assessment.