Benedicte Bull (2013): 'Diversified Business Groups and the Transnationalisation of the Salvadorean economy'
in Journal of Latin American Studies
El Salvador has undergone a deep economic transformation over recent decades, from a model based on agro-exports to an open, transnational service-based economy. This transformation has occurred in a context dominated historically by a small group of elite families that formed family-owned diversified business groups (DBGs). This paper studies the leading groups’ strategies in confronting transnationalisation. It shows that the DBGs have adapted to the new realities through a combination of sector shifts, internationalisation and the adoption of different kinds of relationships with multinationals. In spite of this, there is little evidence that the DBGs have become less important or subordinate to multinational corporations. Rather, they have, in different ways, exploited their local and regional knowledge and networks to confront competition at home and expand at the regional level.
Keywords: business groups, globalisation, transnationalisation, El Salvador