Globalisation, value chains and firm-level catch-up in developing countries : the cases of Boeing, Wal-Mart and Coca-Cola in China
University of Cambridge
Department of Land Economy
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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Liu, C. (2005). Globalisation, value chains and firm-level catch-up in developing countries : the cases of Boeing, Wal-Mart and Coca-Cola in China (Doctoral thesis). https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.11654
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This dissertation examines the recent changes in global business structure and the implications for catch-up at the firm level in developing countries through the case studies of Boeing, Wal-Mart and Coca-Cola and the impact of their activities in China. The case studies investigate the strategies of these fi1111S, the resulting value chain structures, and the patterns and impact of their activities in China. Data is collected from interviews with company management, value chain partners, and relevant regulatory bodies, supplemented by information from public sources. The research aims to contribute to the empirical work on multinational firms in relation to economic development and seeks to build a deeper understanding of the ways in which developing countries are integrated into the global economy. General observations of the three value chains include: 1) the industries have become increasingly concentrated at a global level due to large economies of scale and scope in activities such as branding, technology investment and systems integration; 2) all three finns play an important role in shaping value chain structures through planning and coordinating the activities of key partners; 3) the pressures for consolidation have "cascaded" down the supply chains tlu�ough the firms' systems integration efforts, causing increasing concentration in high value-added segments of their supply chains. The value chain structures of the firms in China differ according to their strategies, as does the impact of their activities. A general positive impact relates to greater consumer welfare through increased product quality and safety and lower prices. Certain sectors have witnessed increased entrepreneurial activity, transfer of management and technical know-how, and enhanced factor productivity. At the same time, the "cascade effect" and local activities of the multinational firms have substantially increased barriers for the "catch-up" of local fim1s in the same industry.
This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.11654