Corporate Strategy and Territory: Modalities of Territorial Embeddedness in the Volkswagen's Gpn in Brazil

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 15:45
Oral Presentation
Rodrigo SANTOS, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil
Cristiano MONTEIRO, Fluminense Federal University, Brazil
Raphael LIMA, Fluminense Federal University, Brazil
João DULCI, State University of Minas Gerais, Brazil
The paper is aimed at discussing the territorial embeddedness of the operation of a German- origin transnational corporation (TNC) in two Brazilian localities. Based on Global Production Networks (GPN) and Varieties of Capitalim (VoC) approaches, it analyzes the social and political conditions for Volkswagen's corporate strategy, which combines elements of its original institutional setting of a Coordinated Market Economy to the organizational and institutional variations in the TNC coordination capacity under greenfield (Sul Fluminense) and brownfield (ABC paulista) conditions, within a Hierarchical Market Economy (EMH), Brazil. We analyze the interactions between the GPN key economic actor, Volkswagen, and the economic and non-economic actors performing on a regional scale between 1996 and 2014. We typify these relationships based on the effects of the exercise of corporate, institutional, and collective modalities of power. Partial results support an interpretation of non-economic social action as economically relevant, with levels of influence and roles of collective actors significantly divergent as regards the establishment of Volkswagen's corporate strategy and the GPN architecture. Notwithstanding, multi-scalar, state and trade union actors are recognized as key drivers in framing both dimensions. In the article, we employ the comparative method, and mobilize primary and secondary data on the corporation and on both regions, focusing on semi-structured interviews with managers, public officials and trade unionists, as well as public statistics and official documents.