Global competition in mature industries. Upgrading through manufacturing
Manufacturing industries in developed countries have been experiencing profound changes over the last decade. Production of inputs and commodity goods has been increasingly outsourced to emerging countries’ low-wage suppliers, thus nurturing an unprecedented process of ‘global shifts’. Departing from the acknowledgment of this fast-changing scenario, we raised the question of whether operation can still play a role in the economic development of Western industries. While industrial statistics confirmed that the production of standardized products has been largely relocated overseas, the development of a number of case studies in the North Carolina’s and Northeast Italy’s furniture industry outlined that the manufacture of sophisticated, customized goods keeps its roots locally. By using the global value chains (GVCs) approach, we found that in-house or in-cluster control over sourcing and operations represent a strategic activity in the process of product upgrading. Accordingly, we claim that manufacturing can still play a central role in mature industries and pave the path for a next pattern of sustainable development in Western economies.
|Date of creation:||Dec 2012|
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