Towards A Prospectus…. Working title: “The Development of a Multinational in Time and Space: A Case Study of Mahindra Tractors”. Inspiration. Pasco County Fair – It rained, what shall I do? Look at all those tractors! Tractors from India?! How can I make sense of this discovery?
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Towards A Prospectus… Working title: “The Development of a Multinational in Time and Space: A Case Study of Mahindra Tractors”
Inspiration • Pasco County Fair – It rained, what shall I do? • Look at all those tractors! • Tractors from India?! • How can I make sense of this discovery? • Novelty: • An India-based transnational • Foreign investment in the U.S. • Tractors: an unlikely 3rd world import
Some facts about Mahindra Tractors • 1945 Mahindra begins to assemble Willys Jeep for US Army in Asia (under license ??) • 1963 J.V. with International Harvester • engineering, tooling, mfg. know-how • goes on to develop its own indigenous tractor design • 1994 Enters U.S. Market • Final assembly/testing in Texas and Georgia • 1995 J.V. with FoMoCo to build Escorts in India • 2003?
Towards a Research Question… • How can we understand and explain this? • How is Mahindra growing in a highly concentrated, technologically advanced, global industry? • And why is it investing in the U.S. – the heartland of farm machinery production? • Why from a base in India?
Quick, what can we learn about India as a home country? • India is highly dependent on agriculture… • In 1947, small market, all tractors imported CKD • Now it’s the world’s largest tractor market! • India has a tractor density of 10.5 tractors per thousand hectares of Gross Cropped Area (GCA): international average of 28/ Kha of GCA. • Mahindra is #1 but new entrants in India: Ford-New Holland (JV?) and L & T John Deere (JV?).
Look! Some regional data! Alluvial soils of the Punjab and Haryana (beneficiaries of the Green Revolution) are best tilled with low powered tractors while laterites and black soils of south and west need higher powered tractors!
Low-powered tractors Punjab Haryana High-powered Tractors of south and west
Now we need some theory • Start with the textbook: • Product Life Cycle (p. 162 & 183) • Sequential model of TNC growth (p. 191), International strategic alliances ideas (p. 227) • Are there any references in Dicken that I can use? • Now let’s expand our reading list • Time to get off the web and into the library!
So then I try Web of Science • “tractor geography”: nothing! • Then try “tractors” – 53 hits • Many on safety/health issues, not relevant • But some are recent and worth looking at…
Reshaping the landscape: The impact and diffusion of the tractor in American agriculture, 1910-1960, Olmstead AL, Rhode PW JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC HISTORY 61 (3): 663-698 SEP 2001 This article analyzes the revolutionary impact the tractor had on rural America and examines the economic, technological, and institutional factors governing the machine's diffusion. Our simultaneous-equation regression model helps decipher the complex relationship between farm scale and diffusion. In addition, analyzing diffusion as a capital replacement problem reveals that the shift to the new technology was far more rapid than what has generally been thought and provides anew perspective on the long co-existence of both horses and tractors on farms. Eureka! We have this one!
The diffusion of tractors on the Canadian prairies: The threshold model and the problem of uncertainty Lew B. EXPLORATIONS IN ECONOMIC HISTORY 37 (2): 189‑216 APR 2000 The diffusion of tractors during the late 1920s proceeded more slowly than predicted by the threshold model. This lag is reinterpreted as a failure of the threshold model to incorporate farmers' expectations of future prices. Volatility in wheat prices and falling tractor prices are shown to make delaying a tractor purchase a rational decision for wheat farmers in Saskatchewan in the late 1920s. The pattern of diffusion is better explained by a threshold model modified to include uncertainty. (C) 2000 Academic Press. Not in library! ILL
Debating farm power: draft animals, tractors, and the United States Department of Agriculture, Ellenberg GB • AGRICULTURAL HISTORY 74 (2): 545‑568 SPR 2000 • No abstract
The changing spatial networks of large state‑owned enterprises in reform‑era China: A company case study, Li XJTIJDSCHRIFT VOOR ECONOMISCHE EN SOCIALE GEOGRAFIE 93 (4): 383‑396 2002Abstract:In the past two decades China's transition from a planned economy to a market‑oriented economy with enterprise reform ‑ targeting an increase of enterprise autonomy and improvement of productive efficiency ‑ has resulted in many changes in spatial networks of large state‑owned enterprises. Detailed data from interviews with China's largest agricultural machinery company, China First Tractor Group Corporation Ltd, reveal that the density of networks was being strengthened. Except in sales and material supply, networks in management, technology and other types of material linkages were spatially expanding. Behind these changes were many political and economical factors. Personal relationships or guanxi only played a secondary role. State‑owned enterprises (SOEs) in China experienced different mechanisms from the chaebols in South Korean and Chinese business in other Asian countries in networks formation and evolution. While the changing patterns of spatial networks in general favoured SOEs,their negative effect of shrinking the market area cannot be ignored.Eureka! We’ve got this one!
Rural Masculinity in Transition ‑ Gender Images in Tractor Advertisements BRANDTH B JOURNAL OF RURAL STUDIES 11 (2): 123‑133 APR 1995 The article investigates stability and change in images of masculinity in a technologically well‑developed agriculture. By analysing tractor advertisements, it is shown how agricultural machinery is a male arena, and how tractors represent many qualities important to rural men and their masculine identity. The article also shows how technology and masculinity are mutually and simultaneously constructed. The users, the men farmers, give the tractor gender, and the tractor makes the farmers into real men. As the tractor is becoming computerized and more comfortable, new images of masculinity are in the process of evolving. The ideal of the farmer as a strong, dirty, manual mechanic is giving way to a more business‑like masculinity. A question is whether the traditional, hegemonic type is being replaced, reconstructed or whether the two types will coexist peacefully, as variation in the meaning of gender is a general feature of late‑modern culture.
Now let’s try GeoBase • Tractor • India and development, India and multinational, India and industrial, India and transnational
'Appropriating' technology? Tractor owners, brokers, artisans and farmers in rural Bangladesh. Lewis,D.J.Journal of International Development. 1996. 8(1), pp 21‑38.Although tractors have long been regarded by policy makers in Bangladesh as being technologically 'inappropriate' to local conditions, they have nevertheless been in use in Comilla District for several decades. The failure of cooperative institutional arrangements for farm mechanization in the 1960s has stimulated local rural entrepreneurs to establish their own custom ploughing arrangements. This is a response to a continuing draught power shortage and the needs of farmers to achieve a swift turnaround time between harvesting rain‑fed paddy and plantingthe increasingly profitable potato crop. This type of arrangement forms part of wider entrepreneurial service delivery systems which are becoming increasingly important in rural Bangladesh, where small‑scale agriculture interacts with 'lumpy' technological inputs.Need ILL for this one
What is in Eureka? • Nothing explicitly on agricultural machinery • What about multinationals based in third world countries? • Try TNC/MNE AND Third World/Developing as key word combos
Transnational corporations in world development: third survey / United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations. ‑‑ Publisher New York : United Nations, 1983 • Multinational managers and poverty in the Third World / Lee A. Tavis, editor. ‑‑ Notre Dame, Ind. : University of Notre Dame Press, c1982 • Transnational corporation linkages in developing countries : the case of backward linkages via subcontracting : a technical paper / United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations. New York : United Nations, 1981
Now let’s check the web for more applied/empirical work • Google on Mahindra – all promotional/advertising/farmer testimonies • No use to me • Try Google on Mahindra AND “case study” • Wow!
http://www.srijansolutions.com/october02/ermcase.asp ERP Case Study: “Going Strong, The SAP Way ” A case study of ERP enabled business process change at automotive giant Mahindra & Mahindra This is a case study, apparently by Indian management consultants (SAP), on the implementation of ERP at Mahindra, explaining a major strategic change (Business Process Reengineering (BPR) initiative) which started as early as 1991. What is ERP? “Enterprise resource planning” attempts to integrate all departments and functions across a company onto a single computer system that can serve all those different departments' particular needs. http://www.cio.com/research/erp/edit/erpbasics.html
Remember the goal (mandate) • I am writing a ten page paper not a book! • It must investigate a problem of geographical relevance, that develops some aspect of industrial location, the behaviour of firms, the development of industries in space or the globalization of an economic activity. • Use course concepts… • integrating geography and industry… • …and support all this with some data
Drafty outline to guide work • Intro • Research question: • How can we understand and contextualize the growth and restructuring of Mahindra Tractor in terms of the theory of multinational firm development? • Method: A case study to illustrate theory • Theory: Product Life Cycle with a twist • Role of home country conditions • Technology transfer via licensing/JV • Role of host country conditions: U.S./Uganda!
Drafty Outline (concluded) • Empirical section • Explain how Mahindra development conforms to theoretical expectations • PLC/home country/tech transfer/host country expansion • Conclusion: What have I learned? • What do I want to teach my reader at the end of the piece? Is this what I promised in the intro? • References (I think that I have enough to start; are they all available?)
What to do now? • Library work/find and photocopy • IL loans must be requested now! • Read, read, read to fill in blanks • More library work inspired by reading • Revise outline in light of mandate & reading, iterative process • Think about data, presentation and analysis to support qualitative stuff. • Time to think about that working title….
Working title: “The Development of a Multinational in Time and Space: A Case Study of Mahindra Tractors” “Small Wonders: How Mahindra Tractors is Becoming a Global Competitor from an Indian Base”
If I knew what I was doing… • this wouldn’t be research! • But I know I am making progress in an iterative learning and creation exercise. • It all starts with inspiration from real world observation informed by abstract concepts and theory that give us words to describe what we see and feel and want to teach to others.