Business Enterprises and Entrepreneurship
Edited by Geoffrey Jones and Andrea Lluch
Chapter 6: Staffing and management in British MNEs in Argentina and Chile, 1930–1970
Business history in Latin America has undergone a remarkable expansion. The retreat of the political Left and the declining influence of dependency theory in universities and research institutes, coupled with a shift in economic policy to favour the private sector, helped to open up research on domestic business groups and their inter-relationships with foreign firms and the state, the dominant actor in most Latin American economies in the mid-twentieth century. At the same time the study of foreign business moved away from the issues of power that dominated the research agenda in the period when the imperialism and dependency paradigms were dominant. In part this has meant a reversion to traditional business history approaches in the form of company histories emphasising strategy. However, at the same time new areas of study have opened up, such as the cultural contrasts and conflicts between foreign bosses and Latin American workers, or the role of foreign business in changing patterns of consumption in Latin America. This growth in research both on domestic and foreign firms has meant that Latin America has been of interest both to those compiling collections of essays on international business history and to the international journals that specialise in the subject. Despite these advances, the state of business history in Latin America is, in the eyes of those at its leading edge, some way behind other areas of the world.
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