Journal Article

The organisational morphology of rural industries and its dynamics in liberalised India: a study of West Bengal

Dibyendu Maiti

in Cambridge Journal of Economics

Published on behalf of Cambridge Political Economy Society

Volume 32, issue 4, pages 577-591
Published in print July 2008 | ISSN: 0309-166X
Published online January 2008 | e-ISSN: 1464-3545 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cje/bem057
The organisational morphology of rural industries and its dynamics in liberalised India: a study of West Bengal

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The paper presents an empirical investigation into alternative forms of organisation of rural industries and their dynamics in the post-reform period of India by means of a field survey carried out in the state of West Bengal in 2001–02. The selected industries (handloom, brassware, hornware, clay works, conchshell and lac works) all belong to traditional crafts. The major organisational forms are ‘independent units’ and ‘tied units’, the latter being tied to traders and/or master enterprises for raw materials and work-orders, each of which account for more than 40% of our sample units. The third form, ‘cooperative units’, is clearly in the decline. Tied units appear to define the upcoming trend bringing the forces released by ‘liberalisation’, e.g., the growth of exports, drawn to the level of village-artisans. In particular, the system appears to be a vehicle for product-differentiation and innovation, both of which are very much evident in our study area.

Keywords: Production organisation; Rural industry; Tying up; Stage delegation; Aesthetic value; B53; D23; J54; L33; M55; O18

Journal Article.  6471 words. 

Subjects: Economic Methodology ; Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise ; Economic Development ; Labour and Demographic Economics ; Production and Organizations ; Labour-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining

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