Luis Emilio Lastra-Gil is pursuing a PhD in Information Systems and Innovation in the Department of Management at LSE. He holds a BSc in Finance and Accounting, and MSc in Management from Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM), Mexico, an MBA from the University of Bath, an MSc in Economic History (Research) from LSE, and a Diploma in English History and Literature from The University of Oxford.
Emilio has more than 15 years of telecommunications experience in roles that include Quality and Business Strategy, Project Management, Bids and Proposals, and most recently Business Modelling and Business Analysis at Bell Labs Consulting. He has worked with multiple network providers on a wide range of projects in European, Latin American, Middle East, and African markets, with an emphasis on business transformation, broadband and wireless networks, and services. He has analysed business network ecosystems, identified economic benefits in the addressable market, forecast demand, and built high-level value proposition business cases for operators, telecommunication carriers and Bell Labs Research.
Thesis Title: The Transformative Capacity of ICTs on Medium-Sized Farms: Thriving or Surviving? A Case Study in Mexico
Abstract: This research examines the transformative capacity of ICTs in agriculture, focusing on medium-sized farms. The effects of ICTs on agricultural supply chain governance and decision-making are explored from a business process perspective, using a framework that combines transaction cost and social embeddedness theories. Two interpretive case studies of medium-sized Mexican farms in different crop sectors provide an in-depth understanding of the impact of different ICT services on production, co-operation, and establishing long-term relationships.
Economic exchanges with input suppliers and buyers, and with traditional and non-traditional intermediaries, are explored. Technology enactment and the social interactions that result in realignment of economic organisation are analysed in terms of the transaction attributes asset specificity, uncertainty, and frequency, within the social context of relationships, reputation, and network. The research elaborates on and confirms a transition towards co-operation as a favoured mode of transaction governance.
The findings show that, rather than helping growers individually, advanced ICTs are used more as project management tools for co-operation and help the more entrepreneurial to thrive. In these case studies, ICTs complement and support social relationships that include existing traditional community connections and business links, and also novel virtual contacts and social media that stimulate business development. The significance of social context is corroborated, and should help inform development policy. Analysis from the business process perspective suggests ICT integration and co-operation effects that might extend to the less fortunate in the agricultural ecosystem. Overall, this study of medium-sized farms in Mexico shows that although transaction attributes play an important role in the exchange, relationships and network strongly influence selection of the most efficient agricultural supply chain economic organisation, sometimes disruptively.