Beyond Typologies of Global Value Chain Governance: the Accumulation of Technological Capabilities

Zhenming Sun, Guanghui Zhang


Global value chains (GVC) offer opportunities and challenges for business developing in low income economies. The existing literature on GVC mainly focuses on two niches: governance and upgrading. The global buyers play as ‘lead firm’ in GVC context. However, the issues of upgrading activities at firm-level remain largely uncovered by the GVC literature. From the perspective of the literature on technological capabilities, this paper presents a framework to examine the levels of upgrading activities of producers in low income economies in the GVC quasi-governance structure.

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