Upgrading in global value-chains: a case study of technology-learning among IKEA-suppliers in China and Southeast Asia
Authors: Ivarsson, Inge; Alvstam, Claes Gran
Source: Journal of Economic Geography, Volume 11, Number 4, 28 July 2011 , pp. 731-752(22)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract:This article analyses technology upgrading in global value-chains, by using unique data from the Swedish-based home-furnishing retailer IKEA and 23 of its suppliers in China and Southeast Asia. We show how these suppliers use IKEAs technological support to improve their operational and duplicative capabilities, and, more importantly, their adaptive and innovative capabilities. Theoretically, this suggests that typologies of governance structures need to include a developmental category, where buyer-driven value-chains are coordinated by powerful retailers with a global sourcing organization designed to facilitate close, local and long-term interaction, resulting in an efficient sourcing of low-cost, finished products, as well as technological upgrading among suppliers.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 28 July 2011
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