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Lead firm’s reconfiguration decision and performance of the value chain

Andrea Gelei (Corvinus University of Budapest, Institute of Business Economics, Budapest, Hungary)
Magdolna Sass (Centre for Economic and Regional Studies and Budapest Business School, University of Applied Sciences, Budapest, Hungary)

Competitiveness Review

ISSN: 1059-5422

Article publication date: 30 December 2020

Issue publication date: 4 February 2021




This paper aims to trace the performance consequences of within-lead firm reconfigurations of global value chains with respect to business performance and upgrading.


The study is based on two detailed company case studies which are analysed in an organizational design approach.


Lead firms systematically separate and internalize high value-added activities in otherwise low value-added processes leading to constant reconfigurations and reorganizations of the production processes in global value chains. The study finds that similar reconfigurations may trigger different changes and changes and performance consequences may differ considerably according to the level of analysis. The two cases help to understand the specific roles of the outsourcing and offshoring decisions in shaping actual global value chain structures.


The consequences of within-lead firm reconfigurations are rarely analysed in the literature.



The publication was prepared within the Széchenyi 2020 program framework (EFOP-3.6.1-16-2016-00013) under the European Union project titled: Institutional developments for intelligent specialization at the Székesfehérvár Campus of Corvinus University of Budapest.


Gelei, A. and Sass, M. (2021), "Lead firm’s reconfiguration decision and performance of the value chain", Competitiveness Review, Vol. 31 No. 2, pp. 310-325.



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