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Family Business in Mexico: Responses to Human Resource Limitations and Management Succession

Discussion Papers

No.012

November 2004

ABSTRACT

Indigenous firms in Mexico, as in most developing countries, take the shape of family businesses. Regardless of size, the most predominant ones are those owned and managed by one or more families or descendent families of the founders. From the point of view of economics and business administration, family business is considered to have variety of limitations when it seeks to grow. One of the serious limitations is concerning human resource, which is revealed at the time of management succession. Big family businesses in Mexico deal with human resource limitations adopting measures such as the education and training of the successors, the establishment of management structure that makes control by the owner family possible and divisions of roles among the owner family members, and between the owner family members and the salaried managers. Institutionalization is a strategy that considerable number of family businesses have adopted in order to undergo the succession process without committing serious errors. Institutionalization is observed in such aspects as the establishment of the requisite condition to be met by the candidate of future successor and the screening by an institution which is independent of the owner family. At present these measures allow for the continuation of family businesses in an extremely competitive environment.

Keywords: family business, ownership, management, succession, Mexico
JEL classification: K22, L22, M12, M13

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