In a book of interest to both researchers and policymakers studying the dynamic sources of competitive advantage in the global economy, Gereffi and fellow editors explore how firms organize manufacturing and innovation activities amid ongoing technological shifts.
The international fragmentation of economic activities – from research and design to production and marketing – described through the lens of the global value chain (GVC) approach impacts the structure and performance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) agglomerated in economic clusters. The consolidation of GVCs ruled by global lead firms and the recession of 2008-09 exacerbated the pressures on cluster actors that based their competitive advantage on local systems, spurring an increasing heterogeneity, both across and within clusters, that is still overlooked in the literature.
Drawing on detailed studies of different industries and countries, the book shows the co-evolutionary trajectories of clusters and GVCs, and the role of firms and their strategies in organizing manufacturing and innovation activities in the context of ongoing technological shifts. It explores the tension between place-based variables and global drivers of change, and the possibility for territories containing such clusters to prosper in the new global scenario. By adopting insights from the GVC framework and management studies, the book discusses how the internationalization strategies of firms create opportunities as well as constraints for adaptive upgrading in clusters.