The Limits of Convergence: Globalization and Organizational Change in Argentina, South Korea, and Spain by Mauro F. GuillénThe Limits of Convergence: Globalization and Organizational Change in Argentina, South Korea, and Spain by Mauro F. Guillén

The Limits of Convergence: Globalization and Organizational Change in Argentina, South Korea, and…

byMauro F. Guillén

Paperback | August 3, 2003

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This book challenges the widely accepted notion that globalization encourages economic convergence--and, by extension, cultural homogenization--across national borders. A systematic comparison of organizational change in Argentina, South Korea, and Spain since 1950 finds that global competition forces countries to exploit their distinctive strengths, resulting in unique development trajectories.


Analyzing the social, political, and economic conditions underpinning the rise of various organizational forms, Guillén shows that business groups, small enterprises, and foreign multinationals play different economic roles depending on a country's path to development. Business groups thrive when there is foreign-trade and investment protectionism and are best suited to undertake large-scale, capital-intensive activities such as automobile assembly and construction. Their growth and diversification come at the expense of smaller firms and foreign multinationals. In contrast, small and medium enterprises are best fitted to compete in knowledge-intensive activities such as component manufacturing and branded consumer goods. They prosper in the absence of restrictions on export-oriented multinationals.


The book ends on an optimistic note by presenting evidence that it is possible--though not easy--for countries to break through the glass ceiling separating poor from rich. It concludes that globalization encourages economic diversity and that democracy is the form of government best suited to deal with globalization's contingencies. Against those who contend that the transition to markets must come before the transition to ballots, Guillén argues that democratization can and should precede economic modernization. This is applied economic sociology at its best--broad, topical, full of interesting political implications, and critical of the conventional wisdom.

Mauro F. Guillén is Associate Professor of Management and of Sociology at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. A former Guggenheim Fellow, he is the author of Models of Management: Work, Authority, and Organization in a Comparative Perspective and the coauthor of The AIDS Disaster.
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Title:The Limits of Convergence: Globalization and Organizational Change in Argentina, South Korea, and…Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pagesPublished:August 3, 2003Publisher:Princeton University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0691116334

ISBN - 13:9780691116334

Reviews

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

List of Tables x

Preface xi

A Note on Sources xv

ONE: Organizations, Globalization, and Development 3

PART 1: Development and Organizational Change 25

TWO: Three Paths to Development, Three Responses to Globalization 27

THREE: The Rise and Fall of the Business Groups 59

FOUR: The Role of Small and Medium Enterprises 95

FIVE: Multinationals, Ideology, and Organized Labor 123

PART II: Organizational Change and Performance 157

SIX: Developing Industry: Automobile and Component Manufacturing 159

SEVEN: Developing Services: Banking as an Industry in Its Own Right 183

EIGHT: On Globalization, Convergence, and Diversity 213

APPENDIX: Data and Sources 235

References 243

Index 275

Editorial Reviews

"Mauro Guillén's rich narrative of industrial strategy in Argentina, South Korea, and Spain sets its sights squarely on the conventional wisdom. It fills a gaping hole in comparative studies, and it is the first book to succeed at showing the substantial variation that persists in national economic institutions. It effectively undermines a fundamental assumption that shapes contemporary economic thought."-Frank Dobbin, Princeton University