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After several years of booming, today the Mexican metalworking industry faces a complex environment largely due to foreign policy changes. Nevertheless, most small-and-medium-sized entrepreneurs do not perceive what is to come because they are busy attending the demands of the present market, which has allowed them to obtain a stable performance in the short term. This research analyzes the explanatory value of innovation and potential absorption capacity, which was conducted on the performance of different strategic archetypes in small-and-medium-sized entrepreneurs of the Mexican metalworking industry, based on the typology proposed by Miles and Snow (1978). With data from surveys applied to 197 SMEs in three regions of Mexico, a non-experimental transactional quantitative-correlational type of research was developed. Half of the interviewees were found to be analysts, for whom innovation and potential absorptive capacity have an explanatory value of 32.3% on performance. The rest of the interviewees feature defender archetypes, in which innovation has an explanatory value of 56.8%. According to Chow’s Test, these differences are not significant in the final performance result. It is concluded that small-and-medium-sized business analysts and advocates develop capacities that allow them to make the necessary adjustments that the environment dictates along the way, generating different competitive advantages that help them achieve similar results in the short term.
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