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Executive Managers in Large Mexican Family Businesses

Discussion Papers

No.040

November 2005

ABSTRACT

The involvement of members of owners' families in the running of large family businesses in Mexico is decreasing. Although family members still hold key posts such as that of CEO, other executive posts tend to be delegated to professional salaried managers. Top managers, including family members, share some common characteristics. They are young compared with managers in other developed countries, their quality as human resources is high, and many of them are graduates of overseas MBA courses. Most of them are sufficiently experienced. Improvement of quality among top managers is a recent phenomenon in Mexico, and has been encouraged mainly by the following two factors. First, globalization of business activities was promoted by intense competition among firms under conditions of market liberalization. In order to equip themselves with the ability to cope with the globalization of their operations, large family businesses tried hard to improve the quality of top management, by training and educating existing managers, and/or by recruiting managers in the outside labor market. Second, developments in the Mexican economy during the 1990s led to a growth in the labor market for top managers Thus, business restructuring caused by bankruptcy, as well as mergers and acquisitions, privatization and so on, led to the dismissal of business managers who then entered the labor market in large numbers. The increasing presence of these managers in the labor market helped family businesses to recruit well-qualified senior executives.

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

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