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Americanisation in 20th Century Europe: business, culture, politics. Volume 2

 | 
Nick Tiratsoo
, 
Mathias Kipping

The Americanisation of a European latecomer: transferring US management models to Spain, 1950s-1970s

Nùria Puig

Résumé

Cet article étudie de quelle manière l’américanisation pénètre la communauté des affaires en Espagne sous Franco. Tandis que l’aide et les investissements américains facilitèrent la création de réseaux libéraux, d’institutions copiées sur le modèle américain, et de positions pro américaines au sein des cercles avancés d’entrepreneurs, l’adaptation de techniques et d’idées de management spécifiques au niveau de l’entreprise constitua un processus très hétérogène et complexe. Ceci est analysé au travers de l’exemple de deux entreprises très engagées dans ces réseaux. Au sein de la société pétrolière et pétrochimique d’état ENCASO, le savoir-faire américain voisine avec des méthodes et des valeurs militaires germaniques et locales, traditionnelles et paternalistes. Dans la société pharmaceutique CEPA, l’organisation scientifique et les procédures de recherches américaines furent adoptées avec ferveur, tandis que les stratégies de management, les politiques de promotion et les pratiques comptables restèrent dominées par la culture de l’actionnaire principal, le groupe industriel et financier Urquijo.

Texte intégral

introduction

1Americanisation has been seldom approached by economic, social, and political historians concerned with the modernisation of Spain. Spain, as a matter of fact, remained economically backward and politically isolated during most of the American century, and missed much of the prosperity that followed the Second World War in Europe. However, economic and technical assistance from the United States was granted after 1950 as a counterpart for military cooperation in the context of the Cold War. The United States became the first source of foreign direct investment and technology, and their influence on Spanish economy and society has been growing steadily ever since. This chapter presents the findings of an ongoing research project on the United States and the economic and social modernization of Twentieth Century Spain. It examines the process of transfer and adaptation of American models – particularly business management and education – in the Franco period.

2Spain, like many European peripheral nations, underwent a complex process of modernization in which local needs, institutions, and policies continuously interacted with American interests and projects. Given the remarkable differences between Spain and the democratic and economically advanced European countries, it seems reasonable to think that Spain followed a particular pattern of Americanisation. From a macroeconomic perspective Spain appears as a strong case of Americanisation. Indeed, authoritarianism, international isolation and the geopolitical location of Spain strengthened the political and economic role of the United States in Spain, since the former remained the main supporter of the latter in the international arena well into the 1960s. The particular institutional setting upon which Spain’s late and fast industrialization occurred – a rather rhetorical combination of economic nationalism and strong technological dependence - tended to encourage American investment and Spanish-American business arrangements. The superiority of US techniques and values was widely acclaimed in Spanish business circles, especially in those strongly dependent on foreign raw materials, technology, and contracts. If we examine the process from a microeconomic perspective, however, we find important constraints, like those emerging from the state-led industrialization process set in motion after the Civil War (1936-1939), the size and quality of the Spanish market, and the fascist management of industrial relations. Bureaucrats as well as businessmen in touch with American ideas, artifacts, and interests, often recognized that Spain’s economic and social backwardness made very difficult to implement fully what we now call the American model, and few attempts were made actually to do so, even in American joint ventures and subsidiaries.

3What did American’ mean for most Spanish entrepreneurs, managers, and engineers? Depending on their industrial branch and their closeness to American firms, the answer was mass production, high productivity levels, systematic management, effective advertising and marketing, and mass consumption. Although these values could be well identified with industrial capitalism, American, European or Japanese, the influence of the former grew at a very fast rate after the war, successfully rivaling with Spain’s best trade and cultural partners, the European nations. The degree of enthusiasm with which Spaniards reacted to American management methods and ideas at the firm level could also vary enormously, and they rarely embraced the whole package. The opposite attitude, from reluctance to resistance, was also partial.

4The 1950s and 1960s were years of fast growth and modernization in Spain, both supported by an impressive process of learning that took place at macro and micro level. The empirical study on which this chapter is based suggests that both the United States, as the new economic paradigm and most supportive Western nation, and American firms strongly contributed to that learning process. First, I explain briefly the political and economic context of Spanish Americanisation. Then I focus on some American and Spanish institutions and individuals that were instrumental for the transfer and adaptation of US models of production and business management and education to Spain after 1950. Finally, I present two case studies of Spanish firms in which the American influence was particularly significant through technical assistance and business partnership. Yet neither in the state-owned petrochemical concern ENCASO nor in the private pharmaceutical company CEPA were American methods and criteria fully embraced. They were adapted as far as the acquired technology required them and then had to accommodate to in-house managerial patterns, from military authority to family ownership and rule.

the political and economic context

5In the last 25 years, as the Spanish economy has become fully integrated in Europe, the influence of such Americanised institutions as business schools and Consulting firms has increased spectacularly. The origins of this phenomenon go back to the early 1950s and are closely related to the technical support provided by the United States to Franco’s Spain. Although Spain was the only Western European country not invited to join the Marshall Plan after the Second World War, and international isolation was an essential feature of Franco’s authoritarian regime, a bilateral defense agreement with the United States was reached in 1953. As a complement of the plan arranged to build and use several military bases in Spain, the Pact of Madrid included a programme of economic support and technical assistance similar to that granted to the Marshall nations a few years earlier. At least until the late 1960s, the United States tutored the hesitating military, economic and social Westernization of the country against the background of the Cold War and the persistence of dictatorship.

  • 1 E Comin and P. Martin Acena, INI. 50 anos de industrialización en España, Madrid, Espasa Calpe, 19 (...)
  • 2 J. Munoz et al., La internacionalización del capital en Espana, 1959-1977, Madrid, Edicusa, 1978.

6From 1939 on, the Franco Regime dramatically changed the economic framework in which entrepreneurs and managers had to operate. Autarchy and rapid industrialization at any cost became the main objective of the authoritarian economic agenda. An intense regulatory economic policy, together with the rise and privileges of public enterprises, made the State a major player in the industrial arena, often competing against private firms. The state-owned industrial holding Instituto Nacional de Industria (INI) became the paradigm of this new era as well as the laboratory were a new industrial bureaucracy—largely recruited among the engineers of the Army-designed Spain’s development.1 The Spanish industrial map changed, too. New investments were preferably placed in Madrid and in locations with poor manufacturing traditions, as opposed to Catalonia and the Basque Country, the cradle of Spanish industrial capitalism. Due to its administrative closeness and expanding market, Madrid was to remain a magnet also for private—Spanish and foreign-investors, particularly American.2 In addition, the post-war dictatorship brought about a highly important, long-lasting pattern in Spanish industrial relations: in exchange for work stability, the government guaranteed labour peace and low wages. The result of this kind of social contract without social participation was labour market rigidity and low productivity. This is why the introduction of a law of collective bargaining in 1958, largely a response to international pressure, had so many dynamic effects on Spanish management attitudes and organization.

  • 3 J. Catalán, La economía española y la segunda guerra mundial, Barcelona, Ariel, 1995.
  • 4 A. Viñas, Los pactos secretos de Franco con Estados Unidos. Bases, ayuda económica, recortes de so (...)
  • 5 Boxes 5, 7, 11, entry 1400, RG. 59; boxes 2, 8, entry 387, RG. 469, National Archives and Record A (...)

7Yet the failure of the self-sufficiency project was visible as early as 1950. Free public expenditure, price control, and arbitrary intervention during the previous decade had resulted in high inflation rates, shortages of food and raw materials, black markets, corruption, and post-war-like living standards.3 So the need for outside assistance was felt acutely inside the most outward-looking sectors of the administration. At the same time, the American government, increasingly distressed by the international confrontation between the communist block and the so-called free world, paid attention to neutral Spain.4 A 62.5 million US dollar loan granted by the Export-Import Bank in 1950 was the first step towards a compromise between the leading member and an outsider of NATO. Two years later, in September 1953, a bilateral defense agreement between the United States and Spain was signed. Its clear objective was to secure a military site in a strategic region of the West. Along with the military assistance programme, however, a defense and economic programme was designed to improve the dilapidated transportation System and keep the Spanish economy going while the military bases were built.5 Note that, even if the interests of the Americans were clear, their policy had to be extraordinarily carefully crafted, in order to satisfy the local population, on the one hand, and calm the strongly antiFranco attitudes of most NATO members, on the other.

  • 6 J. G. Peláez, “LOS EEUU y el movimiento español de la productividad”, Información Comercial Españo (...)
  • 7 Box 2, entry 387, RG. 469, NARA.

8One cannot ignore, however, the qualitative dimension of economic aid, particularly of the technical assistance and exchange programme, a non-expensive and long-term effective programme that had been already implemented in the Marshall countries. In Spain, from 1954 through 1963, this programme helped to create or to support several institutions that would have a remarkable impact on the country’s economic and business modernization.6 The Comisión Nacional de Productividad Industrial (CNPI), established by the Ministry of Industry in 1952 and then funded basically by American development agencies, became the key institution of the Spanish productivity drive. The first American-style business school, the Escuela de Organización Industrial (EOI), was founded in 1955 by the Ministries of Industry and Education and financed and supervised by the United States. Furthermore, an official body of consultants was designed to advise the new public sector as well as to regulate an emerging profession. The steady liberalization and maturing of the Spanish economy slowly undermined the monopoly that the administration had initially exerted over most of the technical aid programmes. Already in the mid-1950s, private companies, business schools and professionals successfully applied for American support, and a powerful lobby, the Asociación para el Progreso de la Dirección (APD) emerged. Business schools were created, without exception, under the aegis of different Catholic groups, the most successful-until today-being those of the Jesuits and the Opus Dei. In a very short period of time, then, a network of modernizing institutions was Consolidated. All of them shared a common aim: the education in modem management of an entire generation of Spanish entrepreneurs, managers, administrators, foremen, and supervisors.7 Accomplishing this task within the framework of a repressed society and a strongly regulated, developing economy was not easy. Diplomacy as well as ambiguity had to be displayed in generous amounts by both the public and private agents truly interested in ‘bringing Spain into the Twentieth Century’ and building confidence among businessmen while preventing any kind of social and political upheaval.

9It would be naive, of course, to make American assistance the source of the impressive development experienced by Spain in the 1960s and early 1970s, but one cannot deny the dynamic effects of the United States on the Spanish economy and business community. Indeed, the United States remained the main source of foreign capital and technology, and the only advanced nation to officially support Spain until 1958. In the next two decades, Spain went through the ‘Spanish miracle’, defined by the highest European growth rates, massive foreign investment, and technology transfer, together with tourism, fast urbanization and emigration. Modernity remained remarkably concentrated in Catalonia, Madrid, and the Basque Country. It was there that modernizing networks arose or expanded. The traces of the United States were particularly visible in Madrid.

a new institutional setting

  • 8 Zeitlin and G. Harrigel (eds.), Americanization and its limits. Reworking US technology and manage (...)
  • 9 M.L. Djelic, Exporting the American Model. The Postwar Transformation of European Business, Oxford (...)

10As elsewhere in Europe, in Spain the rising influence of the United States operated through the classical carriers, namely State action, business schools, technical and management consultancies, and foreign direct investment, usually related to local lobbies.8 This section provides a brief survey of such carriers, except for American investment, which will be addressed subsequently. American as well as European ideas and contacts melted in the making of new social and business networks, which became a remarkably outward-looking setting within an officially inward-looking country.9 Of course there was a strong continuity between pre-war and post-war individuals, institutions and ideologies, but the United States acted as a catalyst of modernity by providing loans, technical support, and business opportunities in isolated Spain while defending the interests of American investors.

  • 10 M.F. Guillén, Models of Management. Work, Authority, and Organisation in a Comparative Perspective (...)
  • 11 Boxes 483, 496-498, Industria, Archivo General de la Administration, Madrid [hereafter AGA].

11Before the advent of liberalization in the Spanish economy, management had to adapt to the inward-looking economic and mental model established after the Civil War. Among private entrepreneurs and officials, productivity soon became a central issue, for education levels, on the one hand, and labour incentives, on the other, were extremely poor.10 The Instituto Nacional de Racionalizacion del Trabajo (INRT) of 1945, first, and then CNPI were established (though poorly funded) to raise industrial productivity and disseminate scientific management techniques, preferably at the shop floor level, across the country through training courses and specialized journals that mainly addressed foremen and middle management.11 Top management, in turn, was scarcely addressed in Spain, the obvious reason being the absence of complex, hierarchically organised firms. Whereas INRT-an institute within the new scientific establishment-approached the productivity issue from a rather theoretical perspective, CNPI, controlled by the Ministry of Industry, was concerned with the implementation of new techniques in public and private firms.

  • 12 Box 20, entry 387, RG. 469, NARA.
  • 13 Box 1, entry 387, RG. 469, NARA.

12American agencies placed much emphasis on technical exchange and assistance programmes.12 They had learned in post-war Europe that too much emphasis on techniques was usually fruitless, while broad approaches to management and organization caused less troubles and resistance. Moreover, technical assistance constituted an effective instrument of propaganda for the United States, and this was vitally important if the core ideas of liberal capitalism and free enterprise were to be disseminated in a strongly regulated country. The propaganda had two main targets: to convince the Spanish population of the good will of the Americans and the superiority of their economic model, and to make the risk of having foreign soldiers on home soil acceptable.13 The implementation of the technical assistance programme was assigned to an existing institution, the CNPI. Its secretary and leader, Fermín de la Sierra, a young engineer and official at the Ministry of Industry and INRT, had traveled to the United States in 1946 and 1947, where he became acquainted with new management models taught at some top business schools and their implementation in large companies across the country. Back in Spain, he was entrusted with the foundation of the Commission and became the first professor of industrial organization at the Madrid School of Industrial Engineering. De la Sierra had also experience in the private sector and was at ease with industrialists. Within the Spanish administration, increasingly divided between pro-state and pro-market ideologies, he apparently had the support of both, and so was ideal in the eyes of the Americans to carry out this delicate task.

  • 14 It actually absorbed less than 1 per cent of the total economic aid funds: O. CAI.VO, “The Impact (...)

13In spite of the financial modesty of the whole technical programme, it made possible the establishment of productivity centres in the most dynamic manufacturing regions, as well as the implementation of a training plan, using productivity instructors, for both public and private companies.14 Although public and private interests co-existed, the US agencies insisted on giving priority to the latter. The same idea gave birth to the project of founding a post-graduate business school (EOI) in 1955 to spread the main techniques of management administration and, last but not least, the spirit of capitalism. The example was soon followed by the socially aware Society of Jesus, which since 1908 had run an influencing engineering school, the Instituto Católico de Artes e Industrias (ICAI), in Madrid. A business school, the Instituto Católico de Administración y Dirección de Empresas (ICADE), was founded as an annex to ICAI in 1956. Whereas the EOI initially looked at the new born public managers, ICADE remained closely attached to the private firms that had contributed to its foundation.

  • 15 N. Puig, “Educating Spanish Managers: The United States, Modernizing Networks, and Business School (...)

14An instrument, therefore, of the productivity drive in Spain and the American diplomacy, the Commission was also the first of a series of modernizing networks in Madrid, Barcelona, and the Basque Country, the most dynamic regions of an isolated and developing country.15 Spain remained indeed in the 1950s and 1960s a poorly institutionalized society where trust and connections (local and foreign alike) mattered a lot. Since the supply of educated manpower was limited, relatively few people had a strong influence in this early and difficult stage of Spanish modernization, and concurrence among them was not really tierce. In Madrid, public bodies such as INRT and CNPI played a leading role in the whole process. Fermín de la Sierra and his team exemplify very well how the American and the Spanish administrations co-operated in spite of all political (international and domestic) difficulties. Even if backed by the American agencies and the Ministry of Industry, CNPI had to face many obstacles: reluctance of the fascist elements in the government to accept scientific management; constant interference by the state-owned holding INI; the indifference of many officials and private entrepreneurs; chronic lack of funds; and, in the 1960s, the rise of a new political group in the government which was more market-oriented and close to the Catholic organization Opus Dei.

  • 16 N. Puig and P. Fernández, “Las escuelas de negocios y la formación de empresarios y directivos en (...)

15The influence of CNPI and its business school, EOI, arrived in Barcelona, Bilbao and San Sebastián through the regional productivity centers and the Catalan branch of EOI, the Escuela de Administración de Empresas (EAE). This school was founded in Barcelona by José Orbaneja, also a manysided engineer with industrial experience, professor of industrial organization at the School of Industrial Engineering, leading member of the business and academic circle Instituto de Economía de la Empresa, and an early participant in various industrial missions to the US. Built on the entrepreneurial tradition of Catalonia, all these initiatives found the eager support of enlightened businessmen while co-operating with the Chamber of Commerce and other business corporations. A similar experience occurred in the Basque Country. There, local industrialists created their own productivity circles, but co-operated with public institutions like the regional branches of CNPI. Much more influential in the long run, however, would be the two Catholic business schools founded in Barcelona in 1958: the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Empresa (IESE) and the Escuela Superior de Administración y Dirección de Empresas (ESADE), run respectively by Opus Dei and the Society of Jesus. Both benefited from their solid connections with the Catalan business community and the private-sector-friendly governments of the 1960s and 1970s.16

  • 17 N. Puig and A. Alvaro, “Estados Unidos y la modernización de los empresarios españoles, 1950-1975: (...)
  • 18 Box 18, entry 387, RG. 469, NARA.
  • 19 Box 28, entry 387, RG. 469, NARA.
  • 20 M. Gallego, “Las inversiones de multinationales USA en España”, Economía Industrial, 133, 1975 p. (...)

16On the whole, the private sector played a much more relevant rôle in the dissemination of modem management than one might think. The business community was indeed responsive to the opportunities granted by the US technical exchange programme.17 As early as 1956, a group of managers and owners that had joined the first industrial tours to the United States founded the Asociación para el Progreso de la Dirección (APD) to promote the introduction and exchange of new management ideas. The first US report on the Technical Assistance Programme in Spain presented APD as a clear success of the Mission.18 Even though its director, the sociologist Bernardino Herrero, had good relations with the US Embassy and was able to obtain some funds for the organization of international seminars on top management, for example, APD was basically supported by private individuals and companies. The Association, patterned very much after the American Management Association, had many links to the business circles emerging around the American aid. Its founder and leader was José Maria Aguirre, manager and owner of the construction firm Agroman, one of the few private companies to get a loan from the Export-Import Bank in 1950 and one of the many firms involved in the building of US military bases.19 Aguirre’s brother and partner was in the 1950s commercial attaché at the Spanish Embassy in Washington. Another supporter and later president of APD was Antonio Garrigues, an international lawyer who built most of his reputation by assisting the arrival of many American firms in Spain. No wonder, then, that his position strengthened in the 1960s and 1970s, the golden age of US investment in Spain, and that he was appointed Ambassador in Washington. A neat representation of the most modem face of the Spanish economy constituted the rest of the founding nucleus of APD: power, oil, Chemicals and pharmaceuticals, electrical equipment, mining, Steel and metallurgy, cement and construction, banking and insurance, and Consulting. The links with the construction of the military bases and the US programme of economic support were equally obvious.20 As with most Spanish institutions, APD showed concern with low productivity, managerial isolation, and labour unease. The first and most dynamic working team of APD was that concerned with Human Relations. Its leading voice was Robert Cunat, an enterprising economist who in 1952 had established the Consulting firm Técnicos Especialistas Asociados (TEA) with the Urquijo industrial bank as partner. Cunat also spent a long time as Human Relations director of Standard Eléctrica, the former Spanish subsidiary of International Telegraph and Telephone. As regards management education, APD soon specialized in promoting communication within the business community, and between businessmen and the administration. In sharp contrast with business schools, APD preferred to address top managers. In the political arena, this liberal lobby always showed tactfulness, for-as Aguirre once put it-they were acting in “an arranged economy and an unpredictable framework”. APD also stretched to the industrial periphery, co-operating in Barcelona with the Instituto de Estudios Económicos, and establishing a branch in the Basque Country. It is interesting that the main Consulting firms were members of APD.

the americanisation of spanish firms: encaso and cepa

  • 21 N. Puig and P. Fernández, “Modernizing Spanish Companies: The Implementation of Modem Management I (...)
  • 22 This section bases on an ongoing research project. For an overview and more precise archival refer (...)
  • 23 Gallego 1975; Munoz et al. 1978: 113-136.

17To what extent did these institutions influence Spanish management practice? This can be best appraised by looking at the firm level, since it was here that local and foreign, old and new ideas, habits, and techniques met and were set to work.21 In order to show how many-sided and complex the social process that we are identifying as Americanisation became within particular companies, this section briefly analyses two of them. Both the Empresa Nacional Calvo Sotelo (ENCASO) and the Compañía Española de Penicilina y Antibióticos (CEPA), founded in the post-war period, were or became closely associated with two new industries, petrochemicals and antibiotics, two powerful representatives of Twentieth Century technological progress and American scientific and entrepreneurial leadership.22 In Spain, American direct investment grew at very high rates after the Second World War, so that the United States became the most important foreign investor in the 1950s and 1960s, well above Spain’s traditional investors, France and the United Kingdom.23 Before the war, American investment, more visible than the managerial institutions that I have briefly described, had focused on utilities, car making, and film distribution. After the war, the increase in scale went hand in hand with an increase in scope, particularly in oil and petrochemicals, electrical equipment, pharmaceuticals, food Processing, and several consumer goods. American capital and technology, finally, strengthened their position in Spain through specialized firms, consultancies, and advertising agencies. This phenomena had outstanding effects in Madrid, which, as already noted, became the seat of most US subsidiaries and joint ventures. In addition, Madrid was made the economic capital of the country by the new rulers and INI’s headquarters were consequently placed there.

18Our two firms can be seen indeed as the result of the new scenario created by state intervention and US assistance and interests: both were partners of American investors and licensers; both benefited from American loans, aid programmes, and business contracts; both became associated with post-war modernising networks; and both were Madrid-based. There were, however, significant differences between the two. Whereas ENCASO was a huge state-led industrial project, designed and run by military engineers, CEPA remained a middle sized, market-led firm, managed by liberal minded Spanish investors and managers. During the period we are concerned with, the particular background of each firm strongly conditioned, and limited, the implementation of American techniques and ideas. This will be shown by analysing the process at three levels: the board of trustees, the technical and research units, and the shopfloor.

  • 24 311.4 (technical projects), 311.6 (ENCASO’s subsidiaries), 311.7 (board of trustees minutes), ENCA (...)

19The story of ENCASO, the controversial forerunner of Spain’s current leading oil and petrochemical company, REPSOL, is related to two major topics in post-war European economic history: the rise of state-owned firms, and the shift from German to American technological leadership and from coal to oil as main industrial feedstock.24 ENCASO was founded in 1944 as a state-owned carbochemical complex with various industrial sites (all of them in backward areas); aimed to produce synthetic oil and other derivatives of bituminous coal and lignite; and received technological assistance from IG Farben and several German engineering firms. In spite of the German defeat in 1945 and the following expropriation of German assets by the Spanish government, ENCASO remained for a long time attached to the German hydrogenation process and its licensers, as was also INI’s most spoilt and expensive firm. The desire for self-sufficiency became in this way associated with Nazi technology and organization. Indeed, ENCASO’s director, Joaquín Planell, and other influential top managers had become familiar with the German version of scientific management, rationalisation, at the Spanish military engineering schools that they had attended in the inter-war period. This probably explains why there was basically a good understanding between Spanish and German managers, engineers, and technicians when the former visited Nazi Germany looking for an agreement, and the latter came to Spain to supervise the construction of the first plants. A mixture of military authoritarianism, corporatism, and paternalism would remain the main characteristics of ENCASO’s management at all levels well into the 1960s.

20Before that, ENCASO followed an erratic path that was increasingly criticised even within the Spanish administration, since not a single drop of synthetic oil was ever obtained. For one thing, ENCASO’s directors managed to keep their links with German Chemical and engineering firms while getting access to the Eximbank loans and the economic and technical aid programmes. The result was that German and American firms and technology coexisted in ENCASO: for example, Badische Anilin und Soda Fabrik (BASF) (again an independent firm after the dismantling of the IG Farben) assisted in the hydrogenation plants, whereas Westinghouse built a power station and a fertilizer plan. As early as 1949, however, the state-owned firm went into a joint venture, REPESA, with the first Spanish private refinery, CEPSA (Compañía Espanola de Petróleo), and CALTEX to build a refinery on the Mediterranean. This was a wise move by CEPSA, since it was able keep its private interests in totalitarian Spain in exchange for its international (particularly American) contacts and human capital (CEPSA’s managers would be present in all refineries and petrochemical plants and boards of trustees). Although some German scientists and engineers found shelter in ENCASO as employees, the German firms had more and more difficulties over sending supervisors, and the Spanish technical directors made regular trips to Western Germany in search of advice. It is interesting to note that, as BASF was increasingly focusing on flexible plants and petrochemicals, showing less interest in carbochemicals, ENCASO’s people insisted on the viability of their original projects. At the same time, American engineers were coming regularly to ENCASO’s plants, and the senior and junior, military and civil engineers of ENCASO filled EOF s first classes and went to the US as members of exchange programmes. American contacts became more intense from 1958 onwards, when ENCASO slowly gave up its original plans and developed into an inland refinery and petrochemical complex with the assistance of Kellogg, Foster Wheeler, and other American engineering firms, as well as multinational Chemical firms such as Imperial Chemical Industries, Montecatini, Phillips Petroleum, and Arco. Military engineers lost influence and the new economic bureaucracy in office started to put order in the disastrous financial State of the firm. This coincided with the introduction of labour bargaining and other liberalising measures adopted by the Spanish administration under international pressure.

21Did ENCASO become Americanised? It is at the level of the board of trustees that one understands better the shift from Nazi technical and organisational models to more liberal minded industrial projects. The change was above all forced by international developments and the evidence of ENCASO’s technical and financial failure. Since there was a striking personal continuity from 1944 through 1974, when ENCASO underwent a sound reorganisation and became ENPETROL, the original project was rhetorically defended every year, as was in-house ideology (i.e. the priority of politics and social policy over economics) and management practices (i.e. military hierarchy and discipline).

22This was apparent in the areas of accounting, corporate organization and strategy, where specific proposals to apply foreign methods (particularly from American partners, strongly defended by CEPSA’s man in ENCASO, José Canellas) were systematically rejected after 1954. The same board of trustees rejected offers from various management consultancies such as Bedaux with the argument that military engineers would feel humiliated if they had to follow the instructions of the engineers from a private firm. As pressure over economic performance intensified, the Ministry of Industry and INI were able to impose American accounting and auditing methods, and to introduce a multidivisional structure, a major change in a highly centralized company. This was helped by the fact that ENCASO developed through the 1960s into a petrochemical holding, most of whose firms were linked to multinational companies. At the same time, and in spite of the spectacular rise in living standards experienced in the areas where the firm had its main plants, labour unrest mounted, and so ENCASO’s directors decided to hire a consultancy which developed a long-term plan to improve labour productivity and make wages dependent on it through classical scientific management methods.

23Where American organizational methods were willingly accepted was in the technical and scientific departments established after 1950. This was not exceptional, since Spanish firms, strongly dependent on foreign technology, were accustomed to let their research and development facilities (if existing) operate under the control of their technological partners. This pattern intensified as Spain grew into the second industrial revolution and technology transfer increased dramatically. The available evidence shows that ENCASO’s engineers and scientists strictly followed the instructions of their foreign partners, American and European. The introduction of American engineering concepts and work methodology was especially successful in the technical offices that supported the construction and operation of the oil refineries at Escombreras and Puertollano in Southern Spain. Although it is a topic which requires further analysis, it seems that this adaptation process lead to the establishment of several engineering consultancies, fully owned or participated in by INI. Instead, American scientific culture was absent at ENCASO’s central research department, which remained a fruitless institution until a realistic research co-operation project was established with the French Oil Institute in the 1950s to improve synthetic lubricants, thus removing any autarchy-led inheritance.

24At the plant level, the first traces of modem management practices appeared as late as 1964, when the whole industrial complex had to be drastically restructured and its permanent staff downsized as the outcome of more pressure on financial results by the Ministry of Industry, new labour market rules, the dismantling of the coal mines and coal-based plants, mounting labour unrest, and the creation of petrochemical firms with multinational partners. Like most Spanish industrial firms, ENCASO hired an external consultancy that introduced Bedaux-type methods to increase productivity levels. They were strongly resisted by a workforce of rural origins, geographically isolated, whose basic qualifications (when existing) had been provided by religious orders chartered by the firm, and who were deeply impregnated by the populist and paternalist culture of INI and the Spanish military. An astonishingly high percentage of the less qualified staff, for instance, was physically or mentally handicapped. Even though many foremen had attended specialized courses organised by CNPI, and ENCASO was from the beginning a regular supporter and client of the state-led productivity drive, average productivity levels were very low. It is possible that these efforts were jeopardised by too low qualifications as well as the political and social priorities of a very contested and uneconomic enterprise.

  • 25 M.J. Santesmases, Antibióticos en la autarquía: banca privada, industria farmacéutica, investigaci (...)

25In spite of its very different entrepreneurial background and economic horizon, the origins of CEPA, our second case study, are also related to the fate of German firms.25 The company was founded by the financial and industrial group Urquijo on three basis: the acquisition of the German pharmaceutical firms Bayer and Schering, a sound business which would keep CEPA and an ambitious pharmachemical complex running; the establishment by the Spanish government of a private duopoly to manufacture antibiotics in Spain; and the license agreement signed by the Urquijo group with the American firm Merck. The artificer of this unprecedented move was a brilliant scientist, Dr. Antonio Gallego, who had established contacts at the Rockefeller Foundation in the 1940s and whose brother José Luis had been the scientific director of Bayer under German management. Thanks to their international contacts, the Gallego brothers, on the one side, and the Urquijo group, on the other, kept Bayer and Schering – the cornerstone of Spain’s modem pharmaceutical industry-going between 1945 and 1950, when both firms were acquired by the Urquijo group.

  • 26 Folder 37Q, box 5112; box 322, Industria, AGA.

26The agreement between Merck and CEPA made the latter a technologically advanced company and the only Spanish pharmaceutical firm with an in-house research department and institutionalised relations with the academic establishment through the Instituto de Farmacología Espanola, linked to Gallego’s chair at the Madrid Faculty of Medicine. Again, the artificer of this unique construction was Antonio Gallego, who proved persuasive enough to create, as early as 1954, the first research department supported by Merck outside the United States.26 At the same time, CEPA’s industrial and commercial managers participated in many of the initiatives associated with the productivity drive, like specialised business trips to the US (pharmaceutical industry and quality control), business schools (EOI and ICADE), pro-American lobbies (APD), and management consultancies (TEA). The Urquijo group, traditionally linked to foreign investment in Spain, provided additional opportunities for CEPA’s managers and staff to get in touch with new techniques and ideas.

  • 27 CEPA, Fondo Banco Urquijo, Madrid.

27The minutes of the board of trustees and CEPA’s corporate reports show that on the whole CEPA’s directors were very receptive to the commercial criteria of their German partners (marketing and distribution of CEPA’s products relied on Schering), and the scientific and organizational methods of their American licensers, particularly scientific management at the shop-floor level, quality control, and research and development organisation and management.27 Accounting, however, remained dominated by Spanish traditions (and fiscal requirements), as did the corporate strategy of the firm, very much influenced by Urquijo’s own rules and family interests. It is significant that in 1966, to justify a change in the organizational structure of the firm (too small to become multidivisional), the Urquijo group hired its partly owned subsidiary Consulting firm, TEA. There are many examples of how the interests of the families associated with the group and personal friendship strongly conditioned the decision-making process of the board of trustees.

  • 28 A research project on this topic is being finished by M.J. Santesmases and myself under the title (...)

28The most interesting experience of Americanisation at CEPA occurred within the scientific and technological network created by Gallego and his relatively small team, most of it trained in the United States or by Merck’s scientific directors in Madrid.28 The academic branch, the Instituto de Farmacología Espanola at the University of Madrid, reproduced on a reduced scale the co-operative schema that gave rise to networks of innovation in the American pharmaceutical industry. In Spain, the absence of industrial demand for scientifically trained human capital, among other things, frustrated this potentially fruitful process. Apparently, many of the graduates trained at the Institute went to work for multinational firms, most of them American. What had longer-term effects was the in-house research department, born as the Spanish branch of the Screening Programme on Antibiotics at Merck, that has become the Centra de Investigación Basica Espanola (CIBE), today under the control of Merck’s Spanish subsidiary. Again, CEPA’s strong technological dependence explains the easiness with which Merck’s research and organizational patterns were adapted by the Spanish team. And this strong Americanisation might explain why there were practically no connection between CEPA’s scientists and the Spanish scientific establishment.

29At the plant level, finally, CEPA was one of the first to introduce scientific management, starting with the packaging sections and finishing years after with the accounting department. The most ambitious project was led by an interdisciplinary team of graduates from EOI and ICADE, although eventually external consultants (in addition to Uqruijo’s TEA) were also hired, particularly to solve human resources issues. In contrast to ENCASO’s development, in CEPA the urban environment of Madrid and the lack of political and social constraints probably helped to introduce a modem work, productivity-led culture. As at ENCASO and most Spanish firms, however, scientific management reached its highest point at CEPA only after 1958, coinciding with the advent of a liberalisation project very much pushed by Spain’s international partners.

***

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Calvo Ó. 2001. “Bienvenido, Mister Marshall! La ayuda económica americana y la economía espanola en la década de 1950, Revista de Historia Económica, XIX, p.253-275.

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Djelic M.-L. 1998. Exporting the American Model. The Postwar Transformation of European Business, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Gallego M. 1975. “Las inversiones de multinacionales USA en Espana”, Economîa Industrial, 133, p. 31-45.

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Guillén M. F. 1994. Models of Management. Work, Authority, and Organization in a Comparative Perspective, Chicago, Chicago University Press.

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Portero F. 1998. Franco aislado, la cuestion espanola (1945-1950), Madrid, Aguilar.

Puig N. (forthcoming). “Educating Spanish Managers: The United States, modernizing Networks, and Business Schools in Spain, 1950-1975”, in R.P. Amdam et al. (eds.), Inside the Business School: The Content of Management Education, Oslo, Abstrakt Press.

Puig N. (forthcoming). “The Global Accommodation of a European Latecomer: The Spanish Chemical Industry since the Petrochemical Revolution”, in V. Zamagni et al. (eds.), The World Chemical Industry since the Petrochemical Revolution, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Puig N. and F. Paloma 2001. “Modernizing Spanish Companies: The Implementation of Modem Management Ideas in Spain, 1945-1975”, paper presented to the 17th Egos Conference, Lyon.

Puig N. and F. Paloma, 2001. “Las escuelas de negocios y la formation de empresarios y directivos en Espana. Madrid y Barcelona, 1950-1975”, paper presented to the VII Congreso de la Asociación de Historia Económica, Zaragoza.

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San Român E. 1999. Ejército e industria. Los origenes del INI, Barcelona, Crítica.

Santesmases M. J. 1999. Antibióticos en la autarquía: banca privada, industria farmacéutica, investigación científicay cultura liberal en Espana, 1940-1960, Programa de Historia Económica WP 9906, Madrid, Fundación Empresa Pùblica.

Viñas À. 1981. Lospactos secretos de Franco con Estados Unidos. Bases, ayuda econômica, mortes de soberanía, Madrid, Alianza.

Zeitlin J. and G. Harrigel 2000. Americanization and its limits. Reworking US technology and management inpost-war Europe andJapan, Oxford, Oxford University.

Notes

1 E Comin and P. Martin Acena, INI. 50 anos de industrialización en España, Madrid, Espasa Calpe, 1991; E. San Român, Ejército e industria. Los origenes del INI, Barcelona, Crítica, 1999; A. Gómez Mendoza, De mitos y milagros. El Instituto Nacional de la Autarquía, Barcelona, Universitat de Barcelona-Fundación Duques de Soria, 2000.

2 J. Munoz et al., La internacionalización del capital en Espana, 1959-1977, Madrid, Edicusa, 1978.

3 J. Catalán, La economía española y la segunda guerra mundial, Barcelona, Ariel, 1995.

4 A. Viñas, Los pactos secretos de Franco con Estados Unidos. Bases, ayuda económica, recortes de soberanía, Madrid, Alianza, 1981; F. Guirao, Spain and the Reconstruction of Western Europe, 1945-1957, London, MacMillan, 1998; B.N. Liedtke, Embracing a Dictatorship. US Relations with Spain, 1945-1953, London, MacMillan, 1998; A. Moreno Juste, Franquismoy construcción europea, 1951-1962, Madrid, Tecnos, 1998; F. Portero, Franco aislado, la cuestión espanola (1945-1950), Madrid, Aguilar, 1998.

5 Boxes 5, 7, 11, entry 1400, RG. 59; boxes 2, 8, entry 387, RG. 469, National Archives and Record Administration, Washington [hereafter NARA],

6 J. G. Peláez, “LOS EEUU y el movimiento español de la productividad”, Información Comercial Española, 409, 1967, p. 145-148.

7 Box 2, entry 387, RG. 469, NARA.

8 Zeitlin and G. Harrigel (eds.), Americanization and its limits. Reworking US technology and management in post-war Europe and Japan, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2000.

9 M.L. Djelic, Exporting the American Model. The Postwar Transformation of European Business, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1998.

10 M.F. Guillén, Models of Management. Work, Authority, and Organisation in a Comparative Perspective, Chicago, Chicago University Press, 1994.

11 Boxes 483, 496-498, Industria, Archivo General de la Administration, Madrid [hereafter AGA].

12 Box 20, entry 387, RG. 469, NARA.

13 Box 1, entry 387, RG. 469, NARA.

14 It actually absorbed less than 1 per cent of the total economic aid funds: O. CAI.VO, “The Impact of American Aid in the Spanish economy in the 1950s”, unpublished MSc dissertation, LSE, 1998; and “Bienvenido, Mister Marshall! La ayuda económica americana y la economía española en la década de 1950”, Revista de Historia Económica, XIX, 2001, p. 253-275.

15 N. Puig, “Educating Spanish Managers: The United States, Modernizing Networks, and Business Schools in Spain, 1950-1975”, in R.P. Amdam et al. (eds.), Inside the Business School. The Content of Management Education, Oslo, Abstrakt, (forthcoming).

16 N. Puig and P. Fernández, “Las escuelas de negocios y la formación de empresarios y directivos en España. Madrid y Barcelona, 1950-1975”, paper presented to the VII Congreso de la Asociación de Historia Económica, Zaragoza, 2001.

17 N. Puig and A. Alvaro, “Estados Unidos y la modernización de los empresarios españoles, 1950-1975: Un estudio preliminar”, Historia del Presente, (forthcoming).

18 Box 18, entry 387, RG. 469, NARA.

19 Box 28, entry 387, RG. 469, NARA.

20 M. Gallego, “Las inversiones de multinationales USA en España”, Economía Industrial, 133, 1975 p. 31-45.

21 N. Puig and P. Fernández, “Modernizing Spanish Companies: The Implementation of Modem Management Ideas in Spain, 1945-1975”, paper presented to 17th EGOS Conference, Lyon, 2001.

22 This section bases on an ongoing research project. For an overview and more precise archival references, see N. Puig, “The Global Accommodation of a European Latecomer: The Spanish Chemical Industry since the Petrochemical Revolution”, in V. Zamagni et al. (eds.), The World Chemical Industry since the Petrochemical Revolution, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, (forthcoming).

23 Gallego 1975; Munoz et al. 1978: 113-136.

24 311.4 (technical projects), 311.6 (ENCASO’s subsidiaries), 311.7 (board of trustees minutes), ENCASO papers, Sociedad Espaqola de Participaciones Industriales (SEPI), INI archives, Madrid.

25 M.J. Santesmases, Antibióticos en la autarquía: banca privada, industria farmacéutica, investigación científica y cultura liberal en España, 1940-1960, Fundación Empresa Pùblica WP 9906, 1999.

26 Folder 37Q, box 5112; box 322, Industria, AGA.

27 CEPA, Fondo Banco Urquijo, Madrid.

28 A research project on this topic is being finished by M.J. Santesmases and myself under the title Innovación industrial y científica en España. La era de los antibióticos, 1940-1970.

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Universidad Complutense de Madrid

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