Global Value Chains and the Natural Environment:
Advancing Knowledge for Research, Practice, and Policymaking
- Ismail Gölgeci, Ph.D. Aarhus University, Denmark
- Sven Kunisch, Ph.D., Aarhus University, Denmark
- Mehmet Demirbag, Ph.D., University of Essex, United Kingdom
- Ans Kolk, Ph.D., University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Mathew (Mat) Hughes, Ph.D., Loughborough University, United Kingdom
- Gary Gereffi, Ph.D., Duke University, North Carolina, USA
AMP Associate Editor:
The rise of global value chains (GVCs) is perhaps the most notable phenomenon in the conduct of economic activity in the 21st century (Buckley & Strange, 2015; Gereffi, 2018; Gereffi, Humphrey, & Sturgeon, 2005). GVCs are the nexus of interconnected functions and operations through which goods and services are produced, distributed, and consumed across the globe (Kano, Tsang, & Yeung, 2020). About 50 percent of global trade takes place through GVCs (World Bank, 2020). Accordingly, GVCs and global supply chains play a key role in the field of management (Gereffi, 2019; Gereffi & Lee, 2012; Kano & Oh, 2020; Kano et al., 2020; Serdijn, Kolk, & Fransen, 2021; Villena & Dhanorkar, 2020).
There is mounting evidence that GVCs have a profound impact on the natural environment. For example, business activities embedded in GVCs and global supply chains are increasingly taxing on the natural environment, including loss of biodiversity, potable water, and clean air and soils, threatening the survival of humankind (Rockström, Steffen, Noone, Persson, Chapin, Lambin et al., 2009; Sarkis, 2021; Steffen, Richardson, Rockström, Cornell, Fetzer, Bennett et al., 2015). Yet, research about GVCs and the natural environment is scarce. GVC research has thus far primarily focused on social sustainability (social/labor issues) and economic sustainability (upgrading) (e.g., Gereffi, 2019; Kano & Oh, 2020; Kano et al., 2020; Serdijn et al., 2021). A few recent studies have started to explore topics related to GVCs and the natural environment (Achabou, Dekhili, & Hamdoun, 2017; Ras & Vermeulen, 2009; Sun, Li, Ma, & He, 2019). Notwithstanding early research, there is a pressing need to advance our knowledge in the management field about GVCs and the natural environment that can shape theory, practice, and policy for years to come.
We believe that the management field should take a prime role in developing and disseminating knowledge about GVCs and the natural environment but is yet to grasp this opportunity (e.g., Nyberg & Wright, 2020; Sharma, 2022). As such, this special issue seeks to turn the spotlight on the 'natural environment' in GVCs and global supply chains so that management scholars can inform practice and policymaking about GVCs and the natural environment.
Purpose and Aims
Against this backdrop, the purpose of this special issue is to provide the platform for a collective effort to advance new knowledge about GVCs and the natural environment for management research, policy and practice. For example, instead of considering the natural environment as exogenous, there is a need to study externalities, endogenize the natural environment, and understand how adverse effects can be avoided and not just managed. Similarly, businesses involved in GVCs often experience tensions, face trade-offs, and must make difficult choices to address pressing issues in the national environment. GVCs may also have contradictory and unexpected influences on the natural environment worldwide. They may be a driver of the so-called "the pollution haven effect" that threatens the natural environment in emerging markets and around the globe (Berry, Kaul, & Lee, 2021). Here the incentive challenge is replaced by co-opting solutions to evade rather than truly address the environmental problems (e.g., consider how carbon credits create a market for offsetting rather than solving emissions, pollution, and environmental harm).
The aims of this special issue include:
- advancing new perspectives on GVCs and the natural environment, including protection and potential restoration of the natural environment;
- developing and extending theories with policy implications that bridges natural and social sciences to advance the research on sustainability and GVCs;
- developing the connection between management evidence and public policy concerns by critically examining the impact of GVCs on public policy;
- discussing policy concerns that call for the development of new GVCs theory and research.
Prospective authors should note that the purpose of AMP is to carry consolidation and extensions of scholarly debates with a theoretical and policy significance (i.e. primarily conceptual work). Policy can encompass any level: state, society, economy, community and/or organizational. As such, we seek consolidations and extensions of scholarly conceptual debates on GVCs and the natural environment to advance theory, policy, and practice.
Example Topic Areas of Interest
- Actors (institutions and stakeholders):
- What is the interplay between supranational institutions, GVCs, and the natural environment? What are the policy implications for nation-states?
- How might an increase in automation or digital technologies affect GVCs in an international economy and different actors/stakeholders in society? Who will gain and how from automation and digitalization, and what will be their environmental effects?
- Governance, authority, and responsibility:
- GVCs require complementary investments in supply chains to prevent coordination failure. How might distributive governance, authority, and responsibility around (parts of) GVCs be organized across national borders?
- How do justice, power asymmetry, inclusion, engagement, and empowerment between supply chain partners from different countries influence the natural environment? When and where do GVC governance choices enable environmental upgrading in GVCs?
- To what extent are sustainability certificates and carbon credits helpful to protecting and maintaining the natural environment?
- Time and temporality:
- What is the role of time horizons of actors in GVCs in the natural environment?
- What is the connection between temporal scaling, temporal non-stationarity, and the natural environment in GVCs?
- Location and geography:
- What is the potential of nearshoring, on-shoring, local production, and geographic route optimization in global supply chains in supporting the natural environment?
- How the geographic route optimization extends internationalization theories?
- Paradoxes, tensions, and trade-offs:
- What are the consequences of supply chain tensions in controlling the narrative around the natural environment and planetary restoration?
- How do pitfalls of technological upgrading, product upgrading, and functional upgrading in relation to environmental upgrading in GVCs emerge and dissipate?
- Externalities and unintended consequences:
- What policy instruments can help countries capture an externality (such as technology spillovers) from GVCs?
- How can countries coordinate FDI to prevent rent-seeking and misallocation of capital and increase environmental benefits from GVCs?
- To what extent does regulatory policy deal with externalities from GVCs (e.g., to maintain clean water, curb emissions and pollution, reduce single-use products, etc.)?
- Scholars are reminded that AMP seeks papers that advance theory and contribute to policy (broadly defined).
- We welcome conceptual and qualitative (e.g., narratives, multiple cases, experiments) papers, but note that AMP is neither a theory-tested nor a mathematical modeling journal.
Submission and Review Process
Submitted manuscripts must adhere to the scope, standards, format, and editorial policy of the Academy of Management Perspectives (AMP). "Author Guidelines" and the AMP Style Guide for Authors must be followed. All papers must be submitted through the official AMP submission system between 1 March 2024 and 15 March 2024, indicating that the submission is for this special issue.
The guest editors will organize two workshops as part of the call for papers. The first workshop (virtual) is an idea development workshop (IDW) before formal submissions and is intended to be held in autumn 2023. With this workshop, the guest editors and select expert scholars of the field will provide peer feedback on tentative ideas proposed within the scope of the call.
The second workshop (physical) is a paper development workshop (PDW) for authors who are invited to revise and resubmit a manuscript in early autumn 2024 hosted by Aarhus University. This workshop aims to offer in-depth and constructive comments to papers that received a revise and resubmit and steer the prospective authors toward a successful contribution to the proposed special issue and AMP. Attendance is not a precondition for publication, nor does participation in the workshops assure acceptance of the paper in the special issue. Details about the IDW and PDW will be communicated in time.
Please send queries about the special issue to the guest editors.