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International Academics and Researchers Unite for Global Value Chains Workshop

International academics and researchers in the field of global value chains (GVC) gathered at Trinity Business School recently for a two-day workshop in collaboration with Duke University Global Value Chains Center.

The event was hosted by Trinity Business School’s Dr. Giulio Buciuni, Assistant Professor in Entrepreneurship and Dr. Paul Ryan, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship & International Strategy along with the Director of the Global Value Chains Centre at Duke University, Professor Gary Gereffi.

Reflecting on the workshop, Professor Gereffi highlighted the need to bring together intellectual communities with overlapping interests. He said: “We have brought together international business researchers from around the world who have done substantial work on globalisation and the changes that have been occurring recently in the global economy. The event has brought together a group of people who haven’t had this conversation together before.”

A key aspect of the workshop was highlighting that the literature between global value chains and international business are interconnected. Professor Henry Yeung, Professor of Economic Geography at the National University of Singapore commented: “We have identified some useful research agendas over the past two days, partly because we all come from slightly different areas. When we get together there is a lot more synergy in terms of the kind of consensus on frontier building than if each of us were to run our own workshop, so there is a lot of great things coming out of this.”

Professor Gereffi added: “International business talks about the strategies and structures of multinational companies purely from an organisational perspective. What the GVC research and the global production network from different areas has brought in is connecting multinationals to development - both development in Latin America, Asia, Africa but also new trends in Europe and North America; this new research agenda is forged from linking companies, places and this dynamic trajectory of global value chains.”

The workshop began with a visit to Google’s EU headquarters in Dublin and returned to the Trinity campus for a series of presentations and Q&A sessions from current researchers including Trinity Business School’s Assistant Professor of International Business Dr. Sinead Monaghan, who presented on the topic of foreign multinational enterprises and how they allocate their global value chain activities to the European Union.

Professor Ram Mudambi, Frank M. Speakman Professor of Strategy and Senior Research Fellow at Temple University was part of the panel on new frontiers of GVC research and believes that Ireland was the perfect place to hold such an event. He said: “The physical environment has been important to this conference. The venue was fantastic and we’re looking forward to coming back again in the future to experience the beautiful new Trinity Business School building. Trinity has always been very much at the cutting edge of thought leadership and has certainly put Ireland on the map. Ireland is very heavily connected with global value chains of many kinds; it’s home to every major multinational corporation subsidiary in the world. It is also an example all of us use in our MBA teaching, it’s a standard illustration of the success of an economy in a very short period of time - not just for the Celtic Tiger period but fundamentally through the idea of integration with global economy as a source of prosperity.”

Professor Gereffi summarised: “It’s the face-to-face interaction that allows you to figure out what’s new, what’s happening, what’s going to come up next and to build new networks where people can think of new ways that they might be able to collaborate with each other. We hope we can build on what we’ve learned here.”