A Typology of Power in Global Value Chains

Mark Dallas, Stefano Ponte, Timothy Sturgeon

    Research output: Working paperResearchpeer-review

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    ‘Power’ has been a foundational concept in examining global value chains and production networks for understanding patterns and dynamics in the global political economy. Yet, in most GVC scholarship, power is not explicitly defined and is applied as a unitary concept, rather than as having multiple dimensions. Clarifying the concept of power has become particularly urgent in recent years given the proliferation of new GVC frameworks, which extend beyond dyads of transacting firms or firm-state linkages, to incorporate other stakeholders and mechanisms – including NGOs, labor unions, standards and conventions. In this paper, we propose a typology for the varied meanings and usages of power in GVCs. We delineate two principal dimensions of power: transmission mechanisms – direct and diffuse; and arena of actors – dyads and collectives. Combined, these two dimensions yield four ideal types of power exercised in GVCs: bargaining, demonstrative, institutional and constitutive. We offer brief illustrations of these four types of power and provide an agenda for further research in the field.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
    PublisherCopenhagen Business School, CBS
    Number of pages37
    ISBN (Electronic)9788793571006
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    SeriesWorking Paper / Department of Business and Politics

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