Abstract: Family Firms in the Age of Globalization: Cooperation and Competition in Spanish Metal Manufacturing, 1870s-1970s

Paloma Fernández-Pérez


Inter-firm cooperation in Spain was an entrepreneurial growth strategy that was well suited during a century of metal transformation activities. Independent regional family firms dominated this economic sector in a national economy relatively isolated from international competition. Metal manufacturing firms in the wire/wire derivatives sector provide a good case study to show the dominance of family firms and regional ties in a sector that apparently required only integration to grow in the age of globalization. The loss of ownership of most old-century firms in the last three decades of the twentieth century proves that cooperation alone is not a guarantee of survival, particularly when the firms studied needed to conquer foreign markets in addition to maintaining their regional markets.

BEH On-Line Paper