This article advances conceptualizations of global production networks (GPNs) through an analysis of the relational processes that firms in Bolivia's growing wood products industry use to build ties to international markets. Both large- and small-scale manufacturers are increasingly internationalizing their operations in response to the global demand for tropical hardwoods and decentralization of control over the country's forest resources. These firms use four different types of production networks and networking practices to develop international market ties. Each of these networks is distinguishable by its entry barriers, value-creation possibilities, upgrading strategies, and the cognitive, social, and cultural factors that influence who participates in them. There are important differences in the strategies used and challenges faced by Bolivian suppliers striving to develop relational proximity (i.e., a mutual alignment of interests) to international buyers or clients. These differences-in the role of power, positionality, social interactions, and local factors-create important discontinuities between the production networks that require distinct policy interventions. Beyond their policy implications, the findings contribute to theories on the role and dynamics of agency, power, and embeddedness in GPNs and raise important epistemological questions for economic geographers. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Annals of the Association of American Geographers
Murphy, James T., "Global Production Networks, Relational Proximity, and the Sociospatial Dynamics of Market Internationalization in Bolivia's Wood Products Sector" (2012). Geography. 407.
“This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Annals of the Association of American Geographers in 2012, available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/00045608.2011.596384.