Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


International Business

First Advisor

Dr. John Sargent

Second Advisor

Dr. Linda Matthews

Third Advisor

Dr. Jose A. Pagan


Researchers have investigated business groups or grupos económicos and personal and managerial capitalism as separate topics. This dissertation integrates these concepts in order to study the effect of personal and managerial capitalism on firms' performance in Colombia's grupos económicos. Colombian grupos económicos were selected as the sample for this study for a number of reasons. For example, Colombian is ranked first in Latin America in the overall ranking for world competitiveness for countries with a population greater than 20 million (The World Competitiveness Year book, 2003). Although small by international standards (Reinhardt and Peres, 2000), since at least the 1970s the Colombian grupos económicos have had a tremendous impact on the Colombian economy through helping the country increase its competitiveness.

The two theoretical concepts that are the focus of this dissertation are grupos económicos and managerial philosophies. Grupos económicos are a set of companies “bound together in some formal/or informal way” (Granovetter, 1994). Chandler's seminal work identified two types of managerial philosophies or governance philosophies; these are personal capitalism and managerial capitalism (Chandler, 1990; Carney and Gedajlovic, 2002). Chandler (1990) expresses strong views as to the benefits of managerial capitalism and the problems associated with personal capitalism.

I developed a scale to measure personal and managerial capitalism, and I used the scale to test the effect of these two managerial philosophies on firms' capabilities in Colombia's grupos económicos. The first practical finding presented in this dissertation is that member firms of the Colombian grupos económicos are characterized by both personal capitalism and managerial capitalism. The second practical finding is that managerial capitalism firms during a specific period of time had higher growth in sales than firms that operated under the personal capitalism philosophy. The results from this study can serve as the basis for further research work in other Latin American countries.


Copyright 2003 Carmen Leonor Martinez-Lopez. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American