Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 133, Issue 1, pp 25–38 | Cite as

Economic and Social Upgrading in Global Value Chains and Industrial Clusters: Why Governance Matters

Article

Abstract

The burgeoning literature on global value chains (GVCs) has recast our understanding of how industrial clusters are shaped by their ties to the international economy, but within this context, the role played by corporate social responsibility (CSR) continues to evolve. New research in the past decade allows us to better understand how CSR is linked to industrial clusters and GVCs. With geographic production and trade patterns in many industries becoming concentrated in the global South, lead firms in GVCs have been under growing pressure to link economic and social upgrading in more integrated forms of CSR. This is leading to a confluence of “private governance” (corporate codes of conduct and monitoring), “social governance” (civil society pressure on business from labor organizations and non-governmental organizations), and “public governance” (government policies to support gains by labor groups and environmental activists). This new form of “synergistic governance” is illustrated with evidence from recent studies of GVCs and industrial clusters, as well as advances in theorizing about new patterns of governance in GVCs and clusters.

Keywords

Corporate social responsibility Global value chains Industrial clusters Governance Economic upgrading Social upgrading 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Peter Lund-Thomsen and two anonymous reviewers for valuable feedback on earlier versions of this paper. Lee’s work was supported by the research fund of Hanyang University (HY-2012-2430). All errors of fact and interpretation are our responsibility.

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology, Center for Globalization, Governance and CompetivenessDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  2. 2.School of BusinessHanyang UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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