|Dr. Charlotte Keijser
Firm Participation, Learning and Innovation in Heterogeneous Value Chains of IT-enabled Services: The case of South Africa
Rene Belderbos, Micheline Goedhuys & Michiko Iizuka
Understanding how developing countries can successfully participate in GVCs has become an important subject for policy makers and forms the fundamental question that motivates this dissertation. In this respect, by taking the case of South Africa, it analyses the characteristics and drivers of firm participation in local, regional and global value chains of IT-enabled services, and the mechanisms of firm learning and innovation. To this end, qualitative and quantitative data were collected through interviews and a questionnaire survey, respectively. A major conclusion of this dissertation is that learning in value chains and learning from the NIS are both important for capability building at the firm level. From a policy perspective, strengthening the NIS is key to tackle current challenges facing the South African ITES sector (e.g. shortages of skills and lack of industry interactions) and can positively influence the development of firms’ internal resources, promote GVC participation, and facilitate learning in GVCs.