A research study was conducted among 10 second generation owners of medium-size family businesses in Mexico to gain a better understanding of how their firms were founded and of how these business owners have succeeded in growing their companies and keeping their business alive for more than 40 years. Literature from leadership, management, and family business was reviewed to analyze the existing research on the topic. The literature review revealed that many authors have addressed similar issues, but from different perspectives. This study presents the experiences of a group of second generation business owners in great detail, focusing on their role as leaders and managers of their organizations. A comparative case study was conducted. A detailed description of each study case is presented to familiarize the readers with the participants and their companies. The study found that the companies researched were started in the 1950s and 1960s, a time when there was little competition and little government regulation in Mexico. At the time, several entrepreneurs were able to take advantage of this situation and positioned themselves as first entrants in their respective industries. However, in the 1970s and 1980s, Mexico experienced several devaluations, resulting in great deals of uncertainty for the business community. Most recently, in the 1990s and 2000s, it has been difficult for medium-size family firms to stay alive due to intense global competition. The business owners who participated in this study think that the most important factors for the survival of their firms have been: adopting new technologies; implementing modern business management practices; offering excellent customer service; projecting confidence as leaders; and gaining long-term commitment from key employees. The findings of this study are consistent with the literature review. However, this research provides a more detailed description of certain events and presents a closer look at the reality of the day to day experiences of medium-size family business owners.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Family-owned business enterprises -- Mexico

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

McManus, John F.;