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Internalization strikes back? global value chains, and the rising costs of effective cascading compliance

Van Assche, A. and Narula, R. ORCID: (2022) Internalization strikes back? global value chains, and the rising costs of effective cascading compliance. Journal of Industrial and Business Economics. ISSN 1972-4977

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s40812-022-00237-x


Strategies that make quasi-internalization feasible such as cascading compliance provide a means for lead firms to control the social and environmental conditions among their suppliers and sub-suppliers in ways other than equity ownership. We take an internalization theory lens to reflect on the effectiveness of cascading compliance as a governance mechanism to promote sustainability along global value chains. While cascading compliance provides significant economic benefits to the lead firm, there are disincentives for suppliers to invest the required resources to meet the sustainability conditions, leading to periodic social and environmental violations. Enhanced cascading compliance (‘cascading compliance +’) that adds trust inducing mechanisms to engage suppliers in joint problem-solving and information-sharing has the promise to improve sustainability. But the added transaction costs that this generates has the potential to crowd-out suppliers and possibly even make full internalization attractive again.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > International Business and Strategy
ID Code:108538


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