ECSAS 2023 – Turin 26-29 July

Managing the Green Revolution: Management Education and Indian Agriculture: 1963-1975


van Haaften Lourens - University of Groningen, Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences, Groningen, Netherlands


41 – Managerialism and the Transformation of Indian Capitalism in the Mid-Twentieth Century: The Experience of Ahmedabad


 This paper delves into the circulation of a set of management ideas and concepts between India and the US that played a role in India’s Green Revolution in the late 1960s. The article examines how the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Ahmedabad – one of India’s first expertise centers in management knowledge – formed a site for experimenting with management knowledge to achieve various development aims during 1963-1975. It explores how the creation of a new educational program in management was interwoven with political questions regarding how to train a new type of agricultural manager who could support India in its transition towards a socialist society. It describes how state-of-the-art theories and models for managerial accounting and marketing, developed in the context of US capitalism, found application in the governance of India’s agricultural sector and were employed in developing agricultural cooperatives. Based upon archival research and oral history, this embedded account of the development of scientific and educational practices in Ahmedabad searches for a deeper understanding of how the transnational circulation of management knowledge formed a critical factor in the project of making governable spaces in India in the 1960s and 1970s.