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The global value chain and internalization theory

  • Gabriel R G BenitoEmail author
  • Bent Petersen
  • Lawrence S Welch
Commentary

Abstract

In a research note in this issue, Strange and Humphrey discuss how a global value chain (GVC) approach serves to usefully move internalization theory towards a better understanding of the increasingly important ‘middle ground’ between markets and hierarchies in the contemporary highly globalized international business scene. After a brief recount of their main arguments, we argue that their discussion needs to the extended, as it does not adequately recognize important differences between internalization theory and the GVC approach. Specifically, the approaches differ on the notions of efficiency, opportunism, and level of analysis. We then argue that internalization theory can benefit from the systemic view implied in the GVC approach, and discuss the role of trust as a coordinating mechanism in international business. This leads to a more general discussion of internalization theory and the difficulty of encompassing dynamic considerations such as learning and foreign operation mode combinations and flexibility within value chain interdependencies. We conclude with a research agenda that flows from our discussion.

Keywords

internalization theory global value chains multinational corporations foreign operation modes 

Résumé

Dans une note de recherche de ce numéro, Strange et Humphrey expliquent en quoi une approche fondée sur la chaîne de valeur globale (CVG) peut utilement faire évoluer la théorie de l’internalisation vers une meilleure compréhension du « terrain d’entente » de plus en plus important entre les marchés et les hiérarchies sur la scène de l’international business actuellement très globalisée. Après un bref rappel sur leurs principaux arguments, nous affirmons que leur réflexion doit être élargie car elle ne reconnaît pas de manière adéquate les différences importantes entre la théorie de l’internalisation et l’approche de la CVG. Plus précisément, les approches diffèrent sur les notions d’efficacité, d’opportunisme et de niveau d’analyse. Nous soutenons ensuite que la théorie de l’internalisation peut tirer parti de la vision systémique associée aux approche des CVG et discutons du rôle de la confiance en tant que mécanisme de coordination de l’international business. Cela conduit à une réflexion plus générale sur la théorie de l’internalisation et sur la difficulté d’englober des considérations dynamiques - telles que les combinaisons de modes d’apprentissage et d’opérations à l’étranger - et la flexibilité dans les interdépendances des chaînes de valeur. Nous concluons avec un programme de recherche qui découle de notre discussion.

Resumen

En una nota de investigación en este número, Strange y Humphrey discuten cómo un enfoque de Cadena Global de Valor sirve para mover de manera útil la teoría de internalización hacia un mejor entendimiento de la cada vez más importante “zona intermedia” entre los mercados y las jerarquías en la escena contemporánea de negocios internacionales altamente globalizados. Después de un breve recuento de los principales argumentos, argumentamos que su discusión necesita ser extendida ya que esta no reconoce adecuadamente diferencias importantes entre la teoría de internalización y el enfoque que cadena de valor global. Específicamente los enfoques diferente en las nociones de eficiencia, oportunismo y nivel de análisis. Luego argumentamos que la teoría de internalización puede beneficiarse de una visión sistémica implícita en el enfoque de cadena global de valor y discutimos el rol de la confianza como un mecanismo de coordinación en negocios internacionales. Esto lleva a una discusión general de la teoría de internalización y la dificultad de abarcar consideraciones dinámicas como las combinaciones de aprendizaje y modo de operación en el extranjero y la flexibilidad entre las interdependencias de la cadena de valor. Concluimos con una agenda que fluye de nuestra discusión.

Resumo

Em uma nota de pesquisa nesta edição, Strange e Humphrey discutem como uma abordagem de Cadeia de Valor Global (GVC) serve para de forma útil avançar a teoria da internalização para uma melhor compreensão do cada vez mais importante “meio termo” entre mercados e hierarquias na altamente globalizada contemporânea cena de negócios internacionais. Após uma breve recontagem de seus principais argumentos, argumentamos que sua discussão precisa ser estendida, uma vez que não reconhece adequadamente diferenças importantes entre a teoria da internalização e a abordagem GVC. Especificamente, as abordagens diferem nas noções de eficiência, oportunismo e nível de análise. Argumentamos então que a teoria da internalização pode se beneficiar da visão sistêmica implícita na abordagem GVC e discutimos o papel da confiança como um mecanismo de coordenação nos negócios internacionais. Isso leva a uma discussão mais ampla da teoria da internalização e à dificuldade de englobar considerações dinâmicas, como combinações de modo de aprendizado e operação estrangeira, e flexibilidade dentro das interdependências da cadeia de valor. Concluímos com uma agenda de pesquisa que deriva de nossa discussão.

摘要

在这一期的研究札记中,Strange和Humphrey讨论了全球价值链(GVC)方法如何有效推动内部化理论, 以更好地认识当代高度全球化的国际商务场景中市场与等级之间日益重要的“中间地带”。在简要叙述了他们的主要论点之后, 我们认为他们的讨论需要扩展,因为它没有充分认识到内部化理论与GVC方法之间的重要差异。具体而言, 这些方法在效率、机会主义和分析层面上存在差异。我们然后认为内部化理论能从GVC方法中隐含的系统观中受益, 并讨论信任作为国际商务协调机制的作用。这导致了对内部化理论更通用的讨论及包含动态考虑的困难, 例如学习和外国营运模式的组合以及价值链相互依赖性内的灵活性。我们用讨论中产生出的研究议题来结束此文。

Notes

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

We thank Rajneesh Narula and two anonymous reviewers for their insightful feedback and many constructive suggestions on this work.

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Copyright information

© Academy of International Business 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriel R G Benito
    • 1
    Email author
  • Bent Petersen
    • 2
  • Lawrence S Welch
    • 3
  1. 1.BI Norwegian Business SchoolOsloNorway
  2. 2.Copenhagen Business SchoolFrederiksbergDenmark
  3. 3.Melbourne Business SchoolCarltonAustralia

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