Who Rules the World?
Edited by Georgina Murray and John Scott
Chapter 7: The Transnational Class in Mexico: New and Old Mechanisms Structuring Corporate Networks (1981–2010)
Alejandra Salas-Porras1 Since the nineteenth century, boards of directors in Mexico have served as both space and device for the articulation of diverse economic, regional and political interests and agendas (Wasserman 1987). Since then board interchanges have been conceived of not only as venues for economic transactions but also as vehicles for coordination, collective action, reciprocity and solidarity that promote stability and trust amongst the business community (Lomnitz and Pérez-Lizaur 1989; Cerutti and Marichal 1997). However, patterns of interlocking are very dynamic and respond with relative speed to changes in the economic and institutional environment. Flavia Derossi (1971), for example, discovered that since the 1960s large Mexican business groups2 have tended to rationalize and professionalize several administrative functions, separate some of the managerial functions from those involving strategic control, and restructure the composition of the board, making it more complex by differentiating the functions of internal and external directors. The former usually have a more active participation in the administration of business activities, as high-level executives, as members of the family holding the major shareholding stakes and, as is more often the case in Mexico, in a combination and overlapping of administrative and strategic functions that are mostly undertaken by the members of the family controlling the firm – or group of firms – in question. The latter carry out specific functions such as facilitating client and supplier relationships, linking the company with state agencies or monitoring the economic and political environment, besides representing contacts which contribute in the building of...
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