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Development Value Chains Meet Business Supply Chains: The concept of Global Value Chains unraveled


  • Sarah Drost

    (Maastricht School of Management, Endepolsdomein 150, 6201 BE Maastricht, The Netherlands, Phone: +31 43 38 70 848, E-mail:

  • Jeroen van Wijk

    (Maastricht School of Management.)

  • Sietze Vellema

    (Wageningen University and Research Centre.)


Value chain promotion is considered a key element of private sector development strategies and pro-poor growth. However, (value) chain concepts are rather complex and unclear. this paper unravels the concept of global value chains and studies the diversity of key value chain-related (supply chain, commodity chain, value chain) approaches. To this aim, we reviewed academic literature and donor agencies' reports, and consulted a limited number of key informants of donor agencies. This paper distinguishes between the strategic management perspective and the development perspective and reviews added values and limitations of each approach. The results suggest that practitioners use an eclectic approach towards the value chain concept, although the concept originates from clearly distinctive paths and could be susceptible to miscommunication and misuse. The authors avoid misunderstanding by explicitly opting for a public and pro-poor perspective of the concept of the Global Value Chain.

Suggested Citation

  • Sarah Drost & Jeroen van Wijk & Sietze Vellema, 2011. "Development Value Chains Meet Business Supply Chains: The concept of Global Value Chains unraveled," Working Papers 2011/08, Maastricht School of Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:msm:wpaper:2011/08

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Giuliani, Elisa & Pietrobelli, Carlo & Rabellotti, Roberta, 2005. "Upgrading in Global Value Chains: Lessons from Latin American Clusters," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 549-573, April.
    2. Gereffi, Gary, 1999. "International trade and industrial upgrading in the apparel commodity chain," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 37-70, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Scott, Gregory J., 2014. "Agregando valores às cadeias de valor," RAE - Revista de Administração de Empresas, FGV-EAESP Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo (Brazil), vol. 54(1), January.

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    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory

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