Global Value Chain Governance: Intersections with International Business

Sarah E. McWilliam, Jung Kwan Kim, Ram Mudambi, Bo Bernhard Nielsen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The international business (IB) literature has always analyzed multinational enterprises (MNEs) as firms that internalize market transactions across national borders. Over the last few decades, these firms have evolved from vertically integrated organizations to network orchestrators that coordinate geographically dispersed economic activities. In other words, they are the primal actors within global value chains (GVCs). Despite the commonality of their objects of study, the incorporation of GVC research into mainstream IB remains embryonic and fragmented. This review uses the lens of the eclectic paradigm to funnel disconnected strands of the GVC governance literature from multiple disciplines into a coherent framework. Based on a systematic examination of 143 theoretical and empirical studies, we scrutinize the theory, methods and empirical evidence to promote a more structured integration of GVC governance into future IB research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101067
JournalJournal of World Business
Issue number4
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Published online: December 24, 2019


  • Co-evolution
  • Eclectic paradigm
  • Externalization
  • Global factory
  • Global value chains
  • Governance
  • Multinational enterprises
  • Outsourcing
  • Polarity

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