2. New value chains architectures: digitalization, globalization, de-globalization and the future of work

Theme N°: 
2

Value chains appear to be under the firm grip of OEMs. Yet, the electrification and digitalization of vehicles are creating opportunities for new actors, both in the supply chain and many new OEMs. It is already clear that battery makers, electricity producers and distributors, mobility providers, internet companies and new car manufacturers specializing in EVs and connected/autonomous cars will all take away some of the control held by OEMs and global suppliers on value chains.  But we should also consider the possibility for new types of value chains to be built around these new actors. In the case of autonomous vehicles, many believe that those who will control the software will become the primary players, in the same way in which Microsoft commodified personal computers in the 1990s. Another interesting case is New Energy Vehicles (NEVs) in China, where the domestic internet giants see themselves as providers of Industry 4.0 technologies, connecting consumers and service providers with NEVs producers. In the case of EVs, battery producers at one end of the value chain, and energy providers and distributors at the other end, could also reshape the value chain of new mobility system around the storage, use, and management of energy.
 
We welcome papers that analyse the current transformations of value chains linked to digitalization/electrification and papers that explore the scenarios of new types of value chains built by or around new digital/energy actors.
 
How are OEMs and global suppliers integrating new actors into their global value chains? Do new actors such as Tesla and Byd, CATL, Panasonic, Waymo, Alibaba, and Uber challenge their dominant positions? How do the current transformations compare with those of the electronic industries in the 1990s, when digital companies commodified hardware manufacturers?
 
Can digital technologies be used by new car manufacturers to enter the market, and by local suppliers to upgrade their position in the value chain, particularly in emerging markets? That is, do these new technologies provide opportunities to leapfrog existing players, or will they reinforce the hegemony of incumbents based primarily in the Global North?
 
How are industry 4.0 technologies changing the organisation of value chains? Will the current lean production paradigm in productive organisations and employment relationships chang? Are employment and work conditions improving or worsening? How is digitalization in factories and R&D centers changing the nature of work and the employment relationship? How do industrial and trade unions deal with these transformation in different countries and at different levels of the value chain? 
 
How can changes in trade policies, in terms of both new agreements and on-going trade conflicts, affect global value chains? Do they reinforce or reduce globalization, in terms of trade and in terms of the dominance by global suppliers of national systems of production? 

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