Abstract: Integration or Cooperation: The Impact of Institutional Change and the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) on the Network Structure of Alcoi Textile Firms

Joaquim Cuevas, Lina Gálvez, and Lluis Torró

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to analyse how the Alcoi textile entrepreneurs' network linked to one of the most important Spanish industrial districts responded to institutional changes and exogenous shocks—in particular, the Spanish Civil War (1936-39)—through modifying its integration and cooperation levels. With the beginning of the war in 1936, the centuries-old entrepreneurs' association and the 128 firms that belonged to it were taken under control by the workers. Some of the entrepreneurs escaped but most of them stayed in their factories, as part of the technical committee but deprived of their executive power, which de facto passed to the Anarchist Union CNT, which rationalised production by integrating all the existing firms into a single one. The war captive demand and the centralized organization imposed by the Unions explain the good performance of the integrated firms by end of the Civil War. The new fascist regime imposed after the victory of General Franco forced the conversion of all employer and worker associations into State Vertical Unions. The Alcoi textile entrepreneurs' network created in 1940 a limited company that allowed them to maintain their properties, achieving a greater degree of cooperation without property integration that has lasted until the present. This paper analyses to what extent this higher degree of cooperation was a consequence of the good results obtained during the integration process pursued in the war period, or an answer to Franco's institutional changes.