Sustainability and global value chains in Africa: Introduction to the Special Issue

Joerg S. Hofstetter, Anita M. McGahan, Brian S. Silverman, Baniyelme D. Zoogah
2022
DOI number
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23322373.2021.2018220
#Trade and FDI
#Sub-saharan Africa

Additional info: The challenges and opportunities facing African organizations reflect a long history of tensions, tragedies, triumphs, and accomplishments in relationships across continental boundaries. For example, Africa has long been a source of critical minerals and other raw materials that are integral to a wide range of global industries, but scholars of management have not integrated an understanding of Africa's role in global commerce fully in research on international exchange. Perhaps most importantly, scholarship in the field of management has not addressed the extensive opportunities for the development of innovative ideas, capabilities, capacities, inventions, and breakthroughs that would be made possible by international investments in human development and human capital on the continent. Resolving African problems and pursuing African opportunity requires renewed commitment by management scholars to this agenda. In this introductory article, we focus particularly on the structure of relationships across continental boundaries through global value chains (GVCs) and the role political and corporate sustainability conversations and initiatives play. We also seek to explore their implications especially for African organizations that simultaneously pursue economic growth and constructive social and environmental impact. We conclude with a framework for further study by management scholars on these important issues.

The challenges and opportunities facing African organizations reflect a long history of tensions, tragedies, triumphs, and accomplishments in relationships across continental boundaries. For example, Africa has long been a source of critical minerals and other raw materials that are integral to a wide range of global industries, but scholars of management have not integrated an understanding of Africa's role in global commerce fully in research on international exchange. Perhaps most importantly, scholarship in the field of management has not addressed the extensive opportunities for the development of innovative ideas, capabilities, capacities, inventions, and breakthroughs that would be made possible by international investments in human development and human capital on the continent. Resolving African problems and pursuing African opportunity requires renewed commitment by management scholars to this agenda. In this introductory article, we focus particularly on the structure of relationships across continental boundaries through global value chains (GVCs) and the role political and corporate sustainability conversations and initiatives play. We also seek to explore their implications especially for African organizations that simultaneously pursue economic growth and constructive social and environmental impact. We conclude with a framework for further study by management scholars on these important issues.

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