Global Value Chain Governance and Power Asymmetry between Lead Firms and Suppliers: Case of Apple’s Global Value Chain and the State of Its Governance

  •  Shoji Akino    
  •  Nobuhiko Yamanaka    
  •  Yawen Huang    
  •  Wataru Kikuchi    


The purpose of this paper is to elucidate modern production systems in which coordination and control among companies have become widespread globally. In particular, the authors aim to test the Global Value Chain (GVC) governance theory empirically with a focus on the state of Apple’s GVC governance. More specifically, the authors attempt to determine whether the relationships theoretically explained in Gereffi, Humphrey and Sturgeon (2005) can be observed in Apple’s GVC and contribute toward understanding Apple’s state of coordination. This study shows the state of coordination in Apple’s GVC does not necessarily correspond to the theoretical types. Simply put, the three determinants do not reflect the state of coordination in Apple’s GVC. This paper adopts augmenting and complementary explanations from the resource-dependence perspective to elucidate Apple’s GVC governance by empirically illustrating how Apple’s GVC governance are achieved through the accompanying asymmetric power relationships between the company and its suppliers.

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