Work and Employment in the Global Economy
(Global value chains, production networks, and global labor flexibility) IDPM
Industry, Trade, and Development MSc
23 Sep, 2014
Since the commodity chains or networks, which begin with crude materials and finally vary to a finished product in order to conduct sales in the global market (Rainnie et al., 2011), have highly received consciousness, many researches, especially from the early 1990s, have performed to gain a deeper understanding of how the commodity chains or networks function in the globalized world. As these researches have continued, the key concepts called Global Commodity Chain (GCC), Global Value Chain (GVC), and Global Production Networks (GPNs) have launched to cultivate the discipline of the analysis of the commodity flows. However, these theories were initially based on the firm analysis due to the emergence of transnational corporations (TNCs), which means a lot of researches have mainly depended on the secondary data for their empirical researches as a sort of supply-based analysis (Henderson et al., 2002). It is quite obvious that TNCs, mainly from the developed countries, are currently activating in the developing countries to seek for the further low-wage labours to maximize the profits. In return to their profits, the condition of the labours from less advanced nations is increasingly getting worse. For instance, 13 young workers in Foxconn, which is the Tier 1 supplier of Apple Inc., committed suicide between January and May 2010 and we can imply from their acts that how their working conditions of Foxconn are under development (Chan, J. and Pun, N, 2010). Therefore, this essay is firstly introducing the difference between GCC, GVC and GPNs in term of labours’ perspective and then describing the contradiction, which labours have encountered currently, by utilizing the term ‘labour flexibility’ and concurrently...
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