ABSTRACT

This chapter describes a central argument in the literature on political economy, that catching up depends on political as much as techno-institutional capabilities and is associated with state strength (developmentalism) rather than weakness (economic liberalism). State, local, and foreign capitals are key players of industrialization. Yet some nations are caught in the middle-income trap, as predatory states with high concentrations of economic wealth in relatively small groups. Ruling elites monopolize power through weak institutions and lack of ownership and control separation, generating profits that benefit themselves over society. This leads to productivity slowdowns and hinders the next economic growth steps.Hence, this chapter offers the “management critical point” as an alternative model to analyse why family business groups (FBGs), 1 in late industrializing countries like Thailand, are still thriving. Coping with the management resource limitations, an FBG must nurture three competitive capabilities – the use of cheap financial resources, the accumulation of technology and knowledge by developing joint ventures (JVs) with foreign partners, and the planning of future family successors and the use of non-family professional managers.