The role of suppliers in global value chains
Published in March 2019
Supplying parts or products to leading transnational buyers or producers is widely regarded as an important initial step in the growth of small suppliers. However, improving their positions within value chains governed by dominant customers has posed major challenges to such suppliers. This study turns the focus to customer and market diversification, a strategy that has a range of potential benefits for suppliers yet has been largely neglected in the literature. This interim report brings together the two strands of theoretical and empirical literature on global value chains and strategic management to identify research gaps and a research agenda, and to elaborate key concepts and conceptual tools for analyzing supplier diversification. It is argued that integrating the two strands of literature is crucial for tailoring the conceptual tools such as dimensions and paths of diversification and relatedness specifically to the analysis of supplier diversification.