Organizational change among emerging latin american firms: from “multilatinas” to multinationals

Jon I. Martínez, José Paulo Esperança, José R. De La Torre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Multinational organizations domiciled in emerging countries have expanded significantly in recent years. This paper focuses on the firm-specific assets, management processes, and organizational strategies displayed by a group of firms based in Latin America, a region that undertook a generalized attempt of economic liberalization during the 1990s. We analyze the operational and organizational strategies of 40 local firms with rapidly expanding international operations within the region-defined as “multilatinas”-and contrast them with those of 58 U.S. and European multinational corporations also operating in Latin America. By comparing these two sets of firms-emerging and experienced-in the same context and over the same time period, we can test for the universality of models of organizational change that are based largely on the latter. We show that multilatinas enjoy less firm-specific assets and make less extensive use of sophisticated management processes than their foreign counterparts. We also see, however, many of these emerging multinationals evolving by adopting more complex coordination and control mechanisms as they face a more integrated and global environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-188
Number of pages16
JournalManagement Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2005


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