Mexico's Maquiladora Industry: Where Strategic Human Resource Management Makes a Difference

Teagarden, Mary B.; Butler, Mark C.; von Glinow, Mary Ann
January 1992
Organizational Dynamics;Winter92, Vol. 20 Issue 3, p34
Academic Journal
This article examines the use of strategic human resource management in the maquiladora industry in Mexico. For multinational enterprises on the trail of the low-cost worker, the path has led to the developing and newly industrialized countries of the Pacific Rim, countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea. But the luster of these now-traditional offshore manufacturing sites is fading. Rising labor and other factor costs, coupled with political instability, have forced production cutbacks and delivery delays. Thus it is that Mexico, through the maquiladora option, is becoming an increasingly attractive "offshore" manufacturing site. Mexico laid the groundwork for the maquila option when it partially relaxed restrictive foreign investment policies in 1965 through establishment of the Border Industrialization Program (BIP). At that time, the U.S. had terminated the "Bracero" program, which allowed the seasonal entry of up to 500,000 Mexican workers into the U.S. The Bracero cancellation had a severe impact on a large number of male agricultural workers, and Mexican officials saw the BIP as a vehicle that would compensate for this displacement.


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