Abstract: The Transition from European Periphery to Mediterranean Core: The Largest Spanish Corporations and the Responses to Economic Integration, 1980-2005
During the last decades of the twentieth century, Spain has been characterized by an age of significant political and economic change due to an intense transformation of both domestic and international contexts. The aim of this paper is to investigate the transformation of the ownership, strategies, and structure of the largest companies in Spain during this turbulent time period. The empirical evidence proves that, even if the strategies and structures of big business in Spain converged to those of US and other European firms, some factors made and still make the largest corporations in Spain unique. This diversity could be explained considering on one side the economic and political history of this industrial late-comer country and on the other side the identity of big business in Spain. During the last decades of the twentieth century the largest corporations in Spain had been in fact in particular services companies and subsidiaries of foreign multinationals.