Issues of Governance and Upgrading
Edited by Hubert Schmitz
13. Chain governance and upgrading: taking stock John Humphrey and Hubert Schmitz 1. INTRODUCTION The upgrading prospects of clusters of local enterprises diﬀer according to the type of global value chain they feed into. This is a central theme of the book running through most of its chapters. This ﬁnal chapter pulls together the evidence and draws out the strengths and limitations of the chain approach to upgrading.1 Our focus on chain governance does not imply that other factors are not important for upgrading. Our proposition is that the upgrading opportunities of local enterprises are often structured by the relationships in global value chains. If this is so, then the chain perspective has a profound eﬀect on the order of questions asked in the debate on upgrading in clusters, switching the focus away from the internal organization of clusters towards the linkages with the global economy, in particular with global buyers. The chapter is structured as follows: section 2 identiﬁes the main positions found in the literature on the connection between chain governance and upgrading. It then provides typologies of chain governance and upgrading. These are necessary for moving the debate forward and formulating hypotheses for new research. Section 3 sets out the propositions with which we started the research project on which this book is based. Sections 4 to 8 then pull together the evidence, drawing mainly on the chapters in this book but complementing them with other recent studies. Section 9 discusses the limitation of...
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