The concept of upgrading has been used extensively for the last twenty years, to capture the possibility for firms, regions, countries to learn, grow and move toward higher value-added activities thanks to being embedded into Global Value Chains. One of the key finding emerging from this literature is that the extent of such upgrading depends on the nature of relationships with the lead firms (governance). Whereas the literature to date has explored these issues via qualitative approaches, this paper explores the effect that different forms of governance with suppliers and customers have on economic (product, process, functional), environmental and social upgrading based on an analysis of the International Manufacturing Strategy Survey (IMSS) data. The results show that participating to GVCs supports only some forms of upgrading and only under specific governance structures.
For more info: Golini, R., De Marchi, V., Boffelli, A., & Kalchschmidt, M. (2018). Which governance structures drive economic, environmental, and social upgrading? A quantitative analysis in the assembly industries. International Journal of Production Economics, 203, 13-23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpe.2018.05.021