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Title: Governance in global value chains : exploring multiple layers of lead-firm orchestration
Author: Hertenstein, Peter
ISNI:       0000 0004 7229 6891
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis explores the mechanics of governance within several layers of participating firms in the global value chain of the automotive industry, and how new forms of governance shape the development of the Brazilian and Chinese automotive industry. In particular, it examines how the local supply firms from Brazil and China can integrate and upgrade in the globalized automotive industry. By using the global value chain (GVC) framework, the changing inter-firm dynamics between buyer and supplier are analyzed, and their impact on the indigenous supply firms from Brazil and China examined. The results highlight the role of product architecture in defining the value chain governance approach. Through the evolution of product architecture, the lead-firms can globalize their approaches to procurement and supply chain management. Moreover, the globally harmonized products allow the lead-firm to effectively restructure the global supply base to establish a globally harmonized components supply industry by internationalizing the most capable supply firms. Oligopolies along the entire GVC are consciously created by the lead firm. The dynamics of competition between supply firms are changing, as the market for integral components with high asset-specificity are merging into one global market with oligopolistic and oligopsonistic features. While some supply firms from the emerging markets have been able to utilize their business ties with western assembly firms to upgrade within the GVC, most are under pressure to be squeezed out of the GVC through increased global competition. The thesis contributes to the field of development studies by analyzing the prospects for emerging market firms to participate and upgrade in the GVC of western lead-firms. Furthermore, it contributes to the economic theory of governance by presenting evidence of forms of influence outside the realm of supplier-buyer contracts. The thesis further extends the global value chain framework by introduction a fine-tuned approach to ‘power’ as a determinant of governance.
Supervisor: Nolan, Peter H. Sponsor: Konrad-Adenauer Foundation
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Global Value Chains ; Transaction Cost Theory ; Emerging Markets