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Globalisation, the platform economy and governance




Globalisation in the late 20th century was characterised by fragmentation — offshoring to low-wage locations and outsourcing. Fragmentation has to be accompanied by some degree of coordination. The theory of global value chain (GVC) governance analysed how lead firms in value chains exercised control over suppliers even in the absence of ownership. But the 21st century has seen the emergence of new drivers of globalisation based on platforms — Apple, Google, Intel, Airbnb, gaming platforms, and many more. Well-defined chains of suppliers and buyers are replaced by complex networks of platform providers and “complementors” that may not even transact directly with each other. What forms of coordination are required in the platform economy, and how different are they from the governance mechanisms analysed by GVC theory?

John Humphrey
is an Honorary Professor at the University of Sussex Business School and formerly a Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies in Brighton. He has researched and published extensively on global value chains, with empirical studies in the automotive and horticulture sectors and contributions to the development of global value chain theory. He is currently writing about the governance of technology and market platforms from a value chain perspective.

If you have any queries, please contact Professor Jean Chalaby.

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When and where

4.00pmWednesday 14th November 2018

BLG07 University Building City, University of London Northampton Square London EC1V 0HB United Kingdom