The Global Wood Furniture Value Chain: What Prospects for Upgrading by Developing Countries

UNIDO Sectoral Studies Series Working Paper

44 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2003

See all articles by Raphael Kaplinsky

Raphael Kaplinsky

University of Sussex - Institute of Development Studies

Olga Memedovic

United Nations Industrial Development Organisation - Strategic Research and Economics

Mike Morris

University of KwaZulu-Natal - School of Development Studies

Jeff Readman

University of Brighton - Centre for Research in Innovation Management (CENTRIM)

Date Written: 2003

Abstract

Because of its resource and labour intensity, the wood furniture sector presents an opportunity for developing countries and their firms to participate effectively in the global economy. This paper begins with a brief description of the global wood furniture industry and highlights the importance of exports wood furniture products for developing countries and emerging and transitional economies. The paper then maps the wood furniture value chain and opens-up the nature of the buying function, since this function represents the key form of control over global production networks inthis sector (that is, the wood furniture chain is what is increasingly referred to as a "buyer-driven chain"). The paper then asks what producers need to do in order to upgrade their activities, particularly in developing countries. In order to address these issues the authors describe the evolution of an initiative designed to promote the upgrading of one segment of the wood furniture industry in a middle-income country, South Africa. This expeience is then used to generate a series of generic policy challenges, which might be transferred to other coutnries and to other sectors.

Keywords: Global wood furniture industries, transitional economies, production networks, buyer-driven, exports wood furniture products, developing countries

JEL Classification: D2, D23, F2, F23, L1, L6, L16, L68, L73, L22, O14

Suggested Citation

Kaplinsky, Raphael and Memedovic, Olga and Morris, Michael Leon and Readman, Jeff, The Global Wood Furniture Value Chain: What Prospects for Upgrading by Developing Countries (2003). UNIDO Sectoral Studies Series Working Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=420080 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.420080

Raphael Kaplinsky

University of Sussex - Institute of Development Studies ( email )

Brighton
Falmer, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 9RE
United Kingdom

Olga Memedovic (Contact Author)

United Nations Industrial Development Organisation - Strategic Research and Economics ( email )

Vienna International Centre, P.O. Box 400
Vienna, A-1440
Austria
+(43)1 26026 4676 (Phone)
+(43)1 26026 6859 (Fax)

Michael Leon Morris

University of KwaZulu-Natal - School of Development Studies ( email )

Durban
South Africa
+2731 260 22 85 (Phone)
+2731 260 2359 (Fax)

Jeff Readman

University of Brighton - Centre for Research in Innovation Management (CENTRIM) ( email )

F102 Friston House
Village Way
Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9PH, E. Sussex BN 1 9PH
United Kingdom
+44 1273 642 190 (Phone)
+44 1273 685 896 (Fax)

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