Matthew Alford

Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester

Dr. Matthew AIford is a Senior Lecturer at the Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester. His research interrogates questions of development in the context of globalization, transnational trading networks and labour. More specifically, he focuses on the role of nation states in governing labour, and how public regulations interact with lead-firm driven private codes of conduct and civil society initiatives across geographical scales. Another strand of his research explores labour agency, and the evolving strategies adopted by workers in contesting their conditions in global production networks (GPNs).

Elizabeth Yi Wang, Nigel Driffield, Jeremy Clegg, Lilian Miles, Matthew Alford & Jae Kim

What does it take to build an inclusive governance of global value chains? A framework for intervention

As important actors in global value chains (GVCs), multinational enterprises exercise coordination and control over worldwide commodity, production, service, workforce and knowledge mobility. A level playing field for all GVC stakeholders remains absent. We argue for empowering subordinated stakehol...

Matthew Alford & Margareet Visser

Governance and Power across Intersecting Value Chains: The Case of South African Apples

A prevailing focus of global value chain (GVC) analysis has been on the dominance of highly consolidated Northern retailers over suppliers in the global South. The rise of regional and domestic value chains (RVCs/DVCs) within the Global South which intersect with GVCs, has been found to involve priv...

Valentina De Marchi, Matthew Alford

State policies and upgrading in global value chains: A systematic literature review

This paper examines the role of state policymaking in a context of global value chains (GVCs). While the literature acknowledges that states matter in GVCs, there is little understanding of how they matter from a policy perspective. We address this tension between theory and practice by first deline...

Matthew Alford, Margareet Visser, Stephanie Barrientos

Southern actors and the governance of labour standards in global production networks: The case of South African fruit and wine

Recent studies highlight the emergence of standards, including multi-stakeholder initiatives developed and applied within the global South where supplier firms are usually based. This trend has created a complex ethical terrain whereby transnational standards flow through global production networks ...

Giovanni Pasquali, Aarti Krishnan, Matthew Alford

Multichain strategies and economic upgrading in global value chains: Evidence from Kenyan horticulture

An extensive body of research has examined the prospects for suppliers in the global South to upgrade within global value chains (GVCs) controlled by lead firms from, and oriented towards end-markets in, the global North. However, the expansion of South-South trade has altered the geography of GVCs....

Giovanni Pasquali, Matthew Alford

Global value chains, private governance and multiple end-markets: insights from Kenyan leather

This article analyses how the private governance of global value chains (GVCs) varies across multiple end-markets. This is explored through a two-stage mixed-methods analysis of Kenya’s participation in leather value chains serving Europe, China, India and the COMESA region. We first draw on trans...

Matthew Alford, Stephanie Barrientos, Margareet Visser

Multi-scalar Labour Agency in Global Production Networks: Contestation and Crisis in the South African Fruit Sector

Integration into global production networks poses significant challenges, and also opens up opportunities, for labour agency. Governance by lead firms affects working conditions and can drive precarious employment; this interacts with and can constrain national labour legislation covering labour rig...

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