Are multinationals and governments from emerging economies configuring global value chains in new ways?

Claes Alvstam (Department of Business Administration, Centre for International Business Studies, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden)
Inge Ivarsson (Department of Business Administration, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden)
Bent Petersen (Department of International Economics, Government and Business, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark) (Department of Business Administration, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden)

International Journal of Emerging Markets

ISSN: 1746-8809

Publication date: 7 March 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The hallmark of today’s global value chains (GVCs), still dominated by multinationals from advanced economies, is a sophisticated international division of labor based on scale economies and prevailing factor endowment differences between countries. However, GVCs led by multinationals from large emerging economies may be configured on the basis of considerations that supplement factor cost efficiencies, namely, those of societal objectives as formulated by political actors in the home country. In this context, the purpose of this paper is to examine the implications of political and socio-economic factors on GVC configuration of multinational firms.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper provides an in-depth case study of a leading Chinese car manufacturer, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (ZGH) and its value-chain configuration, with a special focus on the acquisition of Volvo Car Corporation.

Findings

The authors show how ZGH’s configuration of its GVC, including that of acquired Volvo Car Corporation, takes place in symbiosis with political actors. The advantages and disadvantages of this symbiosis are highlighted.

Research limitations/implications

The study focuses on GVC configuration of one company, ZGH, in one industry, the automotive industry, in one emerging economy. The external validity of the study may therefore be limited. Furthermore, the focus is on the geographical/locational configuration of GVCs and ignores the ownership aspects.

Originality/value

The paper provides novel empirical evidence to better understand GVC configuration of multinational firms from emerging economies.

Keywords

Citation

Alvstam, C., Ivarsson, I. and Petersen, B. (2019), "Are multinationals and governments from emerging economies configuring global value chains in new ways?", International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOEM-02-2017-0055

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Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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