The analysis of this research focuses on achieving competitiveness through intellectual capital and knowledge management, since these elements have become essential resources for present and future companies. Viedna (1998) considers these two elements as the cornerstone of the paradigm of excellent or successful companies in the 21 st century.
To that end, we posed the following investigation question: what is the key knowledge that generates intellectual capital and competitive advantage in aeronautical and space sector companies located in the State of Queretaro? The study was carried out in the aeronautical sector of the state of Queretaro, which is one of the new sectors that demands high security from its customers and that has gained importance over the last few years. For that reason, the investigation was considered pertinent. Throughout the history of humanity there has been an evolution in knowledge, understood as the creation, transformation and use of it. According to UNESCO (2005), this is indispensable for economic growth as well as for the well-being of nations and of their individuals, companies and diverse institutions (Towards Knowledge Societies, France, UNESCO World Report, 2013).
As mentioned in Sullivan (1998), the world has changed to the extent that "whereas in the past, along the history of mankind, man's muscle and physical strength was used to take resources from the environment to protect themselves, the future will involve the use of man's mind" (p. 330). Today the speed of change surpasses the ability of companies, to respond, therefore signs about trends and trajectories are weak. The future is now considered unpredictable and full of surprises. And in this global context of constant change, competitiveness has emerged but does not arise spontaneously when the macro context is modified or created solely by means of entrepreneurship at the micro level. It is rather the product of a complex and dynamic pattern of interaction between the state, companies, intermediary institutions and the organizational capacity of a society (Gonzalez & Mendieta, 2009).
Intellectual capital cannot be measured nor managed; therefore, there will be a focus on maintaining those assets representing a value. There is an increasing demand for effective control of intangibles. Knowledge capital can and should be calculated, because it helps explain where a company gets its benefits from (Valhondo, 2003). In this sense, Paul Romer (cited in Sullivan) considers innovation a fundamental source of value in an industrial society.
The assets of companies are usually considered fixed assets and capital. However, it is necessary to take into account an intangible asset which does not appear in the financial statements of the company as such. This is the ability of people to create intellectual capital and to develop competitive advantages. The following provides a good example: you can have a studio with an easel, paints and brushes, but to create a masterpiece the artist is missing, i.e., the intangible asset of intellectual capital (Itami, 1987).
Companies should consider their fixed and financial assets as part of their capital since there is also so-called intellectual capital, such as the skills of employees, knowing and having good relations with customers, suppliers, market knowledge, as well as the ability to innovate. These are some of the elements that make the difference between subsisting and disappearing firms (Hosseini & Saleh, 2016).
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT AND INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL
Salazar (2004) considered that historically the concept of knowledge management can be visualized in three phases:
The Industrial Revolution (1750 -1880)
The revolution of productivity or second industry (1880 -1945)
And the management revolution (1945 - 2010)
Salazar (2004) stated that, during the first stage, knowledge was applied to tools, processes and products, in an attempt to increase productivity at a lower cost. At a later stage, Frederick W. Taylor employed so-called scientific administration through the detailed and analytical study of work, thus achieving higher productivity as an outcome of these processes and automating various manual procedures. Currently, in the third stage, which Salazar (2004) calls the management revolution, it is said that the management revolution also seeks automation but through robotics, a technique that uses information technology for the design and use of industrial appliances. That is, knowledge is applied to knowledge itself. In the same sense, Drucker (1999) mentioned that the evolution of knowledge in the first phase/stage (18th century) was applied to tools, production processes and products. In the second...