Perdurability, Families, and Internationalization Processes: Approaches from business history in Latin America

Abstract: The main purpose of this text is to present a special issue with a set of researches that describes the history of companies, groups, and business families managed in Latin America from diverse approaches. Additionally, this article introduces the mid-range concept “durability of entrepreneurial process” as part of an agenda to business history in Latin America encouraging complementary methodologies and the theoretical debate. Economic and business history in Latin America has become open to a vigorous debate, strengthening the analysis of sectors, large companies, national economic groups, long-lived non-family business, and family-based companies as major lines of study. As emerging topics, business historians in Latin America have also approached the study of internationalization, the evolution of organizational structures, the performance and corporate governance of businesses, women and business, and recently family succession and business families in Latin America. In a much smaller proportion emerging research topics, with great potential, have focused on small and medium-sized family businesses, immigration and ethnic descent-business. An agenda that more firmly promotes a theoretical and methodological proposal in business history studies in Latin America is urgent. The countries in which scholarship has progressed in these lines and subjects of research for over three decades are Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Brazil, and Uruguay. The Latin America Congress of Economic History (CLADHE in Spanish) is the primary engine of discussions between economic and business historians who have held six events from 2007 and also, we must recognize the opportunity that the Business History Conference opened in their 2019 and 2020 meetings to discuss business history in Latin America. This presentation highlights contributions in this special issue about Mexican business groups and families, and the empirical and most relevant theoretical elements of the articles included about Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, the Valencian SMEs in Latin America, and the political risks to invest in the region. [Following proof-reading, some minor corrections have been made to this abstract]