Business groups in Portugal in the Estado Novo period (1930–1974): Family, power and structural change

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Abstract

This article analyses the seven largest business groups in Portugal from the 1930s to the mid-1970s, a period in which they attained an unprecedented scale and scope. The analysis involves a comprehensive reconstruction of the groups' equity participations and corporate networks, using new sets of data. A few common features are found: these groups were based on family ownership and remained inward-looking, holding large equity participations in affiliate firms and segmenting them from more inclusive partnerships with other groups. But diversity should also be stressed: they displayed enormous plasticity in their dynamics of growth, combining exogenous and endogenous explanations. It is this plasticity that explains their resilience, capacity for adaptation, and ultimately their ubiquitous nature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-68
Number of pages20
JournalBusiness History
Volume58
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2016

Keywords

  • Business groups
  • Portugal
  • strategy
  • twentieth century

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