Keywords: developing countries, Gereffi, GCC theory, global commodity chains, industrial upgrading, knowledge transfer, Yazaki Corporation (Japan) Ltd, Yazaki (Samoa) Ltd, transnational corporations, TNCs, Samoa, Japan, small island countries, TNC subsidiaries, globalisation
Analysis of industrial upgrading in TNC subsidiary: the case study of Japanese TNC transplant in Samoa
Most global literature on topic of 'industrial upgrading' (transfer of knowledge and skills) to firms in developing countries generally assert that overseas buyers (TNC firms) upgrade firms operating in developing countries and argue that all firms in developing countries are being upgraded irrespective of whether they are domestic or TNC owned subsidiaries. This is not always the case. The empirical evidence from the case study of Japanese transplant Yazaki in Samoa shows that parent TNCs do not upgrade their subsidiaries in small island countries. This article uses Gereffi's (1994) 'global commodity chains' (GCC) perspective and his concept of 'industrial upgrading' to analyse whether 'industrial upgrading' is taking place in a Japanese transplant in Samoa. This article argues that we should dig this issue further so that we have a much better understanding of what is going on in developing small island countries which will add further to our understanding the capitalist global production system.