The Future of Value Chains

by Charles Hofacker


In a Post-Pandemic World, Special issue of California Management Review; Abstract deadline 22 Jun 2020

POSTING TYPE: Calls: Journals

Author: Richard J. Lutz


California Management Review (CMR)
at the Berkeley Haas School of Business

Special issue on

The future of value chains in a post-pandemic world

Guest Editors:

  • Rajat Panwar, Appalachian State University, USA
  • Jonatan Pinkse, University of Manchester, UK
  • Valentina De Marchi, University of Padova, Italy

The COVID-19 outbreak has given an unprecedented shock to the global economy. It has also laid bare the vulnerabilities of many practices that have overtime become defining and sacrosanct features of our economic systems. In particular, global value chains (GVCs) and global production and supply networks (GPSNs) have come under scrutiny as distant production facilities closed down, demand patterns shifted, and mobility of goods came to a virtual halt. Concerns have been noted about overreliance on GPSNs to meet even the most basics of our needs1. Disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak to supply networks have inflicted immense hardships upon firms and communities globally. It is incumbent upon management scholars to reflect upon this distressful situation and develop knowledge to avert its reoccurrence.

The role of GVCs in modern economic development is well documented2,3. GVCs have not only made it possible for consumers to buy products at affordable prices but they have also created employment opportunities for millions of people in impoverished regions of the world4. Due to their impact on both demand and supply of goods, GVCs are often considered engines of economic growth and technological advancements5,6,7. At the same time, GVCs are also associated with profound social and environmental problems. Decimation of tropical forests, exploitative labor practices, marginalization of poor communities, and excessive greenhouse gas emissions from transportation of goods are examples of the array of problems that GVCs trigger or exacerbate, even when lead firms in value chains strive to ameliorate such adverse social and environmental impacts from their supply chains8,9.

Partially in response to these problems, and partially as a way to safeguard small businesses and protect local economies, the need for developing local value chains, i.e., promoting local production and supply networks, has been emphasized by economists, geographers, and development scholars10. This sentiment has also been echoed through growing community support for such movements as buy local and Mainstreet America. However, localization or regionalization, which is just one of the components of value-chain configuration, may not always be a viable alternative from an economic or a management perspective.

Broader changes in value chain configurations may be necessary, including changes in governance types, levels of disaggregation, and process upgradation among participating firms in a value chain11. The COVID-19 outbreak has renewed the need to carefully examine how GVCs impact our societies and the environment and the need to carefully articulate how they should be configured to prevent pandemic disruptions and resulting adverse impacts on firms and communities. Similarly, it is important to understand how firms can reconfigure their supply chains to make them robust and resilient to pandemic disruptions.

The aim of this Special Issue is to stimulate these debates by combining a range of management perspectives including, but not limited to, sustainability, strategy, entrepreneurship, marketing, finance, and innovation. Consistent with the mission of CMR, all papers should provide novel insights into the practice of management and policy formation, offering managers explicit and concrete guidance about better ways of doing business. Papers can be single or multidisciplinary, and they can be empirical (quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods) or conceptual.

The following overarching questions will fit this Special Issue. Additionally, prospective authors are encouraged to think beyond these realms and consult with the guest editors about whether their ideas may be within the scope of this Special Issue.

  • In what ways has the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted global, regional, and local value chains; and how have lead firms— and other actors — in value chains handled disruptions?
  • What management lessons can be drawn from these disruptions that can aid in improving management practices both at the firm and value-chain levels?
  • Which value chain configurations are more resilient to pandemic disruptions than others?
  • Which value chain configurations are more suitable than others for environmental sustainability and social justice?
  • How can firms make their supply chains robust and resilient to pandemic disruptions?

Sector and country-specific studies, with management lessons applicable beyond specific contexts, are welcome.

Review Process & Timelines

Author/s should submit an extended abstract which must run between two and five pages, double-spaced, fontsize 12. The abstract should clearly state

(i) the author(s)’ details;
(ii) purpose of study;
(iii) the research question(s) being addressed;
(iv) how the paper addresses the core thrust of the special issue;
(v) the relevance of study for practitioners, scholars, and CMR readership; and
(vi) what impact author/s hope to make with the proposed paper.

The deadline for abstract submission is June 22, 2020. Please send your extended abstracts to Rajat Panwar via email: panwarr@appstate.edu

The Guest Editors will review these extended abstracts for those that are most likely to result in first-rate, highimpact submissions. Authors of chosen abstracts will be invited to submit a full draft of their paper online through the CMR system by September21, 2020 to be peer reviewed. Full drafts should run between 5,000 and 8,000 words, double-spaced, font-size 12. Additional CMR submission guidelines


should be followed closely.


1Panwar, R. 2020. It’s time to develop local production and supply networks. Strategy Insight Note. California Management Review. April 28.

2Gereffi, G., & Lee, J. 2012. Why the world suddenly cares about global supply chains. Journal of Supply Chain Management, 48(3): 24–32.

3De Marchi V., Di Maria E., Golini R., Perri A. 2020. Nurturing international Business research through Global Value Chains literature: A review and discussion of future research opportunities. International Business Review.

4Gereffi, G. 2018. Global Value Chains and Development. Cambridge University Press.

5Pietrobelli, C., & Rabellotti, R. 2011. Global value chains meet innovation systems: Are there learning opportunities for developing countries? World Development, 39(7): 1261–1269.

6Giuliani, E., de Marchi, V., & Rabellotti, R. 2017. Do global value chains offer developing countries learning and innovation opportunities? European Journal of Development Research, 1–19.

7Alcacer, J., & Oxley, J. 2014. Learning by supplying. Strategic Management Journal, 35(2): 204–223.

8Murcia, M.J., Panwar, R., & Tarzijan, J. 2020. Socially responsible firms outsource less. Business & Society. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0007650319898490

9Giuliani E. 2018. Regulating global capitalism amid rampant corporate wrongdoing—Reply to “Three frames for innovation policy. Research Policy, 47(9): 1577-1582,

10Crouch, C., Gales, P. L., Trigilia, C., & Voelzkow, H. 2001. Local production systems in Europe: Rise or demise? OUP Catalogue.

11 Hernandez, V., & Pedersen, T. (2017). Global value chain configuration: A review and research agenda. Business Research Quarterly, 20(2), 137-150.