Rashid MD Mamunur, a University of Lethbridge master’s student studying International Management, has won a Mitacs Globalink Research Award worth $6,000 that will allow him to conduct research in India this summer.
“It’s really exciting. This summer I will have no courses so I can explore the culture of India and, at the same time, do my academic research,” he says.
The award gives senior undergraduate and graduate students in Canada the opportunity to conduct 12- to 24-week research projects at universities overseas.
“I chose India because my project is off-shore outsourcing,” he says. “China and India are lucrative locations for off-shore outsourcing because of lower wage costs and available manpower.”
Mamunur will focus on RMG, or Ready-Made Garments. Most North American clothing companies outsource production tasks to India and, as a result, Indian companies have long-term experience in the RMG manufacturing process. His main goal is to explore how supplier firms in developing countries learn from their outsourcing clients in developed countries. Client firms can transfer their work whenever a new competitive advantage arises, so supplier firms need to continuously improve to retain their business. He wants to examine how they increase their capabilities and competencies so they can offer higher value-added services to their clients.
Mamunur will work with a supervisor at the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta from June to the end of August. He plans to start by using an online survey with supply chain and production executives or managers at 300 Indian RMG manufacturing firms. From there, the pool will be narrowed to 10 firms, with 20 executives chosen to do in-person interviews.
The study will add to the theory of knowledge and skill acquisition among supplier firms. Results will also help managers fine tune their business strategies. Most of the literature on organizational capabilities comes from the perspective of the client firms but Mamunur’s study will focus on the perspective of the service providers. He hopes to establish causal links to show that learning and capacity development result in moving up the value ladder and help ensure long-term sustainability.
“I’m grateful for this award as it provides a great opportunity for me, or any student, to conduct research in an international environment,” says Mamunur. “I look forward to sharing ideas with other researchers and collaborating on innovative projects.”
Mamunur is originally from Bangladesh, where he obtained a bachelor’s in business administration from Jagannath University in Dhaka. From there, he went to Taiwan on a scholarship to complete a master’s in business administration. Prior to coming to the U of L, he studied French at Laval University in Quebec.
He has published several papers in peer-reviewed journals, including the Global Journal of Strategies & Governance and the International Journal of Business and Management. He’s also presented his research findings at several international conferences.