Volume 43, Number 171,
October-December 2012

Technology Plans, Labor Relations and Social Responsibility in the Mexican Business Sector, Del Valle Rivera, María del Carmen and Boris Marañón Pimentel (coordinators), 1st edition, Mexico, iiec-unam, 2010.

This work, published by the Institute for Economic Research of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, is the result of the seminary “Technological Schemes and Labor Relationships in Mexican Companies,” organized by the iiec-unam in November 2008 with two main objectives: discuss the organizational capacities of the performance of technological innovations in the business environment and foster debate regarding the reach of corporate social responsibility (csr) with respect to labor, social and environmental problems that affect the country.

The main goal of this book is to contribute knowledge regarding the organizational capacities linked to the performance of technological innovation in the business environment by considering the institutional dimension and how labor conditions have been transformed within the productive organization, as well as labor markets in countries such as Mexico. This book also addresses the different problems and points of view related to the theme of corporate social responsibility, which is an approach that is gaining importance all across the world.

There was a positive expectation for the book, as each author shows a broad and critical vision of each theme. The structure of the book is divided into three sections, which makes it coherent and effective.

The first part is focused on “Technological Changes, Labor Organization and Business Innovation,” and addresses three themes fundamental to this research: 1) the nature of technological changes in Mexico and problems related to making labor relations more flexible in the neoliberal economy; 2) changes in the organization of labor in productive activities as a socio-technical system and the labor relations that arise from this; and 3) the connection between technological change and institutional conditions in Mexico.

The authors address these topics in a clear and relevant way, and invite the reader to reflect on the importance of technological innovation in the business environment, which includes important aspects for workers in terms of salary conditions, training and formal education, among other areas.

The second part of the book discusses different problems and points of view related to the theme of corporate social responsibility (which began in the nineteenth century in Europe and the United States when some industrial businessmen became concerned with the housing and well-being of their employees), a theme that is currently very pertinent in Mexico.

Authors such as Mónica Tapia, Francisco Morales and Beatriz Campillo, in their research “Corporate Social Responsibility,” conclude that it is necessary to advance a civil regulation scheme to aspire to form responsible, sustainable and profitable companies. Paz Carrasco calls on the State to assume the responsibility of ensuring compliance with regulations in the private sector, and on businesses to meet international and national standards from the International Labor Organization (ilo). Ismael Núñez analyzes two Mexican beer companies from two approaches: efficiency and ethics. Finally, López Córdova reveals how various actors in the labor world, civil organizations and some academics perceive csr in Mexico.

The third and final section of the book, “Corporate Social Responsibility and Labor Relationships,” refers to some labor aspects and to csr in two different productive branches: non-traditional agricultural exports, where Boris Marañón discusses what companies understand as social responsibility in terms of labor and evaluates this proposal to ameliorate the precarious management of labor in horticulture for Mexican exports; and the textile branch, where Blanca Velázquez demonstrates how labor relationships are an encounter of the social and political capacities between their main protagonists.

All in all, the work is valuable because each presenter collaborates to demonstrate how the new bases of changes in the reproduction pattern have come about, new technologies, different methods to organize work, business policies and the fundamental and necessary participation of labor organizations.

To summarize, this text represents an effort from the authors to communicate and establish a point of understanding with the readers by providing them with new ideas and perspectives related to labor conditions in business and technological innovation.

María Elena Vargas
Institute for Economic Research — unam
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Published in Mexico, 2012-2017 © D.R. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).
PROBLEMAS DEL DESARROLLO. REVISTA LATINOAMERICANA DE ECONOMÍA, Volume 49, Number 192, January-March is a quarterly publication by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, CP 04510, México, D.F. by Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas, Circuito Mario de la Cueva, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán,
CP 04510, México, D.F. Tel (52 55) 56 23 01 05 and (52 55) 56 24 23 39, fax (52 55) 56 23 00 97, www.probdes.iiec.unam.mx, revprode@unam.mx. Journal Editor: Alicia Girón González. Reservation of rights to exclusive use of the title: 04-2012-070613560300-203, ISSN: pending. Person responsible for the latest update of this issue: Minerva García, Circuito Maestro Mario de la Cueva s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, CP 04510, México D.F., latest update: Feb 23th, 2018.
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The online journal Problemas del Desarrollo. Revista Latinoamericana de Economía corresponds to the printed edition of the same title with ISSN 0301-7036