Journal article Open Access

Competitive Strategies in Contexts of Organized Crime: The Case of the Avocado Industry in Mexico

Jerjes Aguirre; Mario Goméz

Mexico’s avocado industry has experienced strong growth, but this has developed parallel to an intensification of organized crime activity in the country’s principle producing region. In this context, the present article analyzes the strategic response of the avocado industry to a situation of intense criminal activity by examining how it developed competitive sui generis strategies in order to survive and expand in a context dominated by the presence of organized crime groups. The analysis develops the concept of social capital as an expression of competitive capacity to demonstrate how the avocado industry devised unique strategies to achieve growth in a setting of high insecurity. It also demonstrates this industry’s great capacity to adapt to its context by utilizing certain intangible assets, especially its knowledge of local political structures and the dynamics of criminal groups.

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