Cover image for Cotton's renaissance : a study in market innovation
Cotton's renaissance : a study in market innovation
Jacobson, Timothy C., 1948-
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Publication Information:
Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
xvi, 346 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
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HD9075 .J33 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Cotton's Renaissance is the story of one of the more remarkable feats in the annals of enterprise. At its center, the book shows how U.S. cotton growers lost half their market share in the 1960s and 1970s and then won it back through highly innovative marketing and organization. To place this unprecedented achievement in perspective, the authors analyze and interpret the responses of cotton growers over two hundred years to the timeless problems of nature, technology, markets, and politics. The upshot is a dramatic history of how growers learned--after more than a century and a half of trying to manage supply--how to drive and shape demand for their commodity. This key change in perspective and behavior was accomplished by the creation of a unique public-private company that helped thousands of growers to cultivate demand and to survive in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. The impact of Cotton Incorporated on the markets for cotton was nothing less than an entrepreneurial coup in strategy and organization. In its "total marketing" effort to rebuild cotton's market share, it fostered substantial scientific, technological, and managerial improvements in the quality and performance of cotton. In doing so, it has enhanced the efficiency not only of the farmers who grow cotton but also of the intermediaries who transform it into consumer goods. This account of the cotton industry's revival, which took place at every level of production and distribution, holds many important lessons for anyone interested in history, economics, marketing, or public policy.

Table of Contents

Introduction: why grow cotton, anyway? Culture and economy
Part I Managing Supply
1 'The snow of southern summers': King Cotton and his markets in the age of industrial revolution
2 Nature and know-how: organization and technology in the Postbellum era
3 Acts of God and Government: the search for political solutions
Part II Approaching the Market
4 Synthetic shock: competition's alarm
5 Creating Cotton Incorporated
Part III Managing the Market
6 Creating consumption
7 Managing the mill: the necessary illusion of control
8 Competitive markets in a global economy
Afterword: trends and cycles