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Plowing the Sea: Nurturing the Hidden Sources of Growth in the Developing World Hardcover – May 30, 1997
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Lindsay is an adviser to senior government officials and CEOs throughout Latin America.
Michael E. Porter is the C. Roland Christensen Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. The author of fourteen books and recipient of the Wells Prize in Economics, he lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Top Customer Reviews
As stated on the first page, Simon Bolivar's epitaph reads, "Whomsoever has worked for a revolution has plowed the sea." Meant by Bolivar to convey despair and the heartbreak of failure, these words are transformed by the authors who have maintained a sense of optimism and good humor throughout their own experiences in the rugged world of transformation consulting. The Introduction, the book's first substantive chapter, is a cautionary tale of the Colombian flower industry, that prospered globally for decades, but later declined and has not yet recovered. Through this "case", seven patterns of firm behavior that inhibits economic agility are identified. The first seven chapters of the book elaborate on these patterns, wonderfully illustrated with other cases (Peru's fishmeal and Bolivia's soy industry, for example). The authors describe a sort of bratty adolescence that traps companies and industries in emerging economies. Chapters 8 and 9 are a fine application of micro principles around the theme of strategy, again focused on the firm. The authors advocate the old-fashion but culture shattering step of focusing on customers, costs and competitors in order to guide and inform decisions about strategy, positioning and productivity. They offer information and learning as a way for firms to experience a "coming of age" in the competitive sense.Read more ›
--President Cesar Gaviria, Former President of Colombia, Secretary General, Organization of American States states that--"This rich and absorbing work provides a new approach for the study of development strategies in the Andean countries and the developing world in general. With clear and insightful arguments, Fairbanks and Lindsay urge government and business leaders to adopt a new economic paradigm, in which wealth creation and distribution no longer depend on existing comparative advantages, but on innovative thinking and competitive advantages. Plowing the Sea is necessary reading for those interested in the sustainable development of Latin American countries."
--and finally, Michael E. Porter, Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business Schoolsays that
Fairbanks and Lindsay offer a wealth of valuable insight into the barriers to change in countries and how to overcome them. The book is brimming with rich case studies that will inform both theory and practice for years to come. Most importantly however, the book is based not just on ideas but on results Fairbanks and Lindsay have achieved during projects set in many countries.
PLOWING THE SEA
By Michael Fairbanks and Stace Lindsay
Harvard Business School 289pp $29.95
Ask the average economist how a country can lift itself out of poverty, and the answer will be simple: Educate your populace, squelch inflation, open your economy to free trade and investment, and then sit back and watch gross
domestic product soar.
But as still-poor people from Bangkok to Barranquilla can attest, it's not so easy
in practice. In Southeast Asia, Thailand took off like a rocket when it opened its
economy, only to come up against huge trade deficits, a currency devaluation,
and a clampdown by the International Monetary Fund. In Peru, with
unemployment high and economic disparities widening, the inflation-cutting
policies of President Alberto Fujimori are falling into disfavor. In Argentina, which
has also cast its lot with free-market capitalism, frustration mounts: Earlier this
year, 11,000 people vied for 800 jobs at a supermarket outside Buenos Aires.
What's a country to do? Three new books try to answer that question in different
ways. In order of merit, they are Plowing the Sea: Nurturing the Hidden Sources
of Growth in the Developing World by Michael Fairbanks and Stace Lindsay;
Determinants of Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Empirical Study by Robert
J. Barro; and The Marketing of Nations: A Strategic Approach to Building
National Wealth by Philip Kotler, Somkid Jatusripitak, and Suvit Maesincee.
Plowing the Sea is the best of the three because it is the most practical. Its
authors advise developing South American nations for Monitor Co., a Cambridge
(Mass.) consulting firm.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book. Touches various points on Economic Development and the human thought process. A must read for everyone in Economics.Published on April 5, 2013 by carlos
If you read Michael Porter's The Competitive Advantage of Nations, than this book will surely help you frame an action plan in the public-private sphere.Published on October 4, 2011 by PKHonduras
A very insightful book about how countries as a whole compete in the world economy. It presents several interesting ideas about relative competitive strengths & weaknesses of... Read morePublished on May 8, 2000 by World Wanderer
This book is a surprise. Very fun to read, very insightful and plenty of new ideas for doing business from emerging economies.Published on March 8, 1999
I found the book a terrific read. I think it is huge task for an developing country to grow out of the habits of being follower. Read morePublished on March 6, 1999