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A family-owned publishing multinational: The Salvat company (1869-1988)


  • Maria Fernandez Moya


This article analyses the ability of European family businesses in the publishing sector to adapt to the various politico-economic circumstances of the turbulent twentieth century, examined through a case study of one of Spain's most prominent historical publishing houses: the Salvat company. The objective of the paper is to explain the reasons behind Salvat's growth as a family-owned multinational, from the time of its founding in 1869 to its eventual acquisition by the French group Hachette in 1988. It will be shown that this growth was supported by a number of factors: a notable capacity for innovation, not only technological but in terms of management and organisation; the active insertion of owners and managers in a diversity of social networks; an early and intense internationalisation; and - beginning in the 1960s - the professionalisation of the company's management. A process of knowledge accumulation within the company itself was the foundation for all of this adaptational capacity, and the key to understanding how Salvat evolved from a small family-owned Catalonian publishing house in 1869 to the world's leading Spanish-language publisher in the 1970s.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria Fernandez Moya, 2010. "A family-owned publishing multinational: The Salvat company (1869-1988)," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(3), pages 453-470.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:bushst:v:52:y:2010:i:3:p:453-470
    DOI: 10.1080/00076791003721969

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