Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 88, Supplement 2, pp 319–333 | Cite as

Globalization and the Careers of Mexican Knowledge Workers: An Exploratory Study of Employer and Worker Adaptations

  • Robert Boutilier


Previous research on the impacts of global trade on Mexican companies showed that the family remained the basic institutional model. Since then, however, Mexico’s economy has become the most open economy in Latin America with a rising percentage of university-educated workers. As a middle-income country unable to provide the cheapest labor in the world, Mexico may yet benefit from globalization by entering the global knowledge economy. In semi-structured interviews with eight university-educated knowledge workers from Cuernavaca, Mexico, this exploratory study looked for evidence of change and adaptation. The interviews raised questions about factors that may prolong or curtail the future pervasiveness of patriarchal business practices. It was hypothesized that merit-based hiring and promotion have become highly valued, while the social responsibility of nepotism is being questioned. The article presents several additional hypotheses about the changes that may be taking place in Mexican business practices.


family firm globalization knowledge economy knowledge worker meritocracy Mexico nepotism patriarchy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Sustainable Community DevelopmentSimon Fraser UniversityVancouverCanada

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