Adaptation or Expiration in Family Firms

Adaptation or Expiration in Family Firms

Organizational Flexibility in Emerging Economies

Andrés Hatum

Andrés Hatum explores determinants of organizational flexibility in this examination of four family-owned companies, two flexible and two less flexible, from the edible oil and pharmaceutical industries. By means of an innovative analysis – including longitudinal analysis, coding analysis, statistical analysis and the use of original display charts – he illustrates the determinants of flexibility and sheds light on the process of transformation and adaptation of family firms, an area that has not yet been the subject of extensive empirical inquiry.

Chapter 5: Case Study: Sidus Group

Andrés Hatum

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, family business, organisational behaviour


OVERVIEW OF THE HISTORY OF SIDUS 1938–1999 Founded in 1938 by Miguel and Antonio Argüelles, today Sidus1 is a diversified group that participates in the pharmaceutical industry at various points in the chain of value. By 1999 Instituto Sidus, the mother company, was the fourth largest laboratory in the ranking of pharmaceutical companies in Argentina (IMS, 1999). Another company in the Group, BioSidus, was considered the most important biotechnological company in Latin America (González García et al., 1999). BioSidus was also considered one of the few companies that successfully weathered the economic recession that affected the country over the period 1998–2001 (Ramos, 2001). Both Miguel and Antonio married and had children. Miguel had three children: Estela, Irma and Fernando. Sadly, Fernando died at the age of 18. Antonio had two children, Marcelo and Silvia. None of the female children entered the business and the only male heir was Marcelo, who started to work in Sidus in 1963. By 1984 the company was in effect run by Marcelo Argüelles, although the founders were still alive. Antonio died in 1985 and Miguel in 1987. From the very beginning, the founders emphasized the importance of product innovation as a key factor for success. Product innovation promoted the growth of the company throughout the 1960s and 1980s. The 1980s saw significant changes in the company. In 1980, Instituto Sidus set up a small biotechnological department. This investment would become the star project of the...

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