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Baimbill-Johnson, Roland (2022) An Examination of the Enhancement of Technological Capabilities in Global Value Chains: A Comparative Study of the Tuna Industries of Ghana and Thailand. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis is set against the narrative that African economies can advance their structural transformation agenda through the transfer of knowledge from foreign firms that is assumed to occur by participating in global value chains (GVCs). To investigate this proposition, I first conduct a critical literature review to construct an analytical framework that combines the technological capability, sectoral innovation system and GVC frameworks. I then discuss: 1) whether the knowledge transfer from multinational firms assumed to transpire in GVCs is sufficient to enhance the technological capabilities of their suppliers; and 2) whether and to what extent such capabilities are propagated and enhanced through linkage development. To investigate these questions empirically, a comparative case study of the tuna industries of Ghana and Thailand is undertaken based on the materials gathered during fieldwork in Ghana and secondary sources available for Thailand. This thesis consists of ten chapters. Chapter 1 introduces a background debate, the research questions and the thesis structure. Chapters 2 and 3 present a review of the theoretical and empirical literatures respectively. An overview of the global tuna industry is presented in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 outlines the methodology followed in my case study. Chapter 6 examines the tuna industries of Ghana and Thailand, providing a background for my subsequent empirical analysis. Chapter 7 evaluates how Ghanaian and Thai tuna firms acquire technological capabilities to undergo upgrading whilst Chapter 8 assesses the extent of linkage development in the two countries. Chapter 9 broadens the analyses from the micro study of the tuna industry to meso and macro levels, followed by discussions on constraints facing Ghana in advancing its structural transformation agenda. In Chapter 10, I conclude my study by discussing my main arguments as well as some policy issues and areas requiring further study.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses
Supervisors Name: Machiko Nissanke
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2022 15:56

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