The idea that “in the global commodity chain approach, that manufacturing represents a rather ‘lower order’ or ‘dead end’ factor in competitiveness for the supplier, which remains subordinated to agents that control ‘higher-order’ factors like proprietary technology, product differentiation, brand reputation…” (Merk 84) may be interpreted in a variety of ways. The examples of such companies like Nike and Yue Yuen help to realize that the process of introducing commodities to consumers is complex indeed, and it is wrong to identify some steps as more important. It may happen that even such a serious aspect like manufacturing can be of minor importance in comparison to other stages of the same stage.
The decision to use such combination of words is based on the nature of Nike and Yue Yuen’s work and the results they achieved. They are unexpected, unusual, and global. This is why the chosen phrase is a proof that the success of transnational corporations such as Nike or Yue Yuen depends on how a number of factors like differentiation, reputation, or upgrading are elaborated by the agents on a global level and turn out to be influential for the individuals, who are going to use a particular production.
The sentence under consideration may be explained as a possibility of the companies to demonstrate their profits by means of a control of various consumer markets including technological processes, branding ideas, or marketing details. Different experts introduce their own understanding of the Nike’s success: offshore outsourcing is defined as one of the ideas used by the company “where labor-intensive production and assembly processes actually produce the final Nike product” (Cyper & Dietz 456), and export garment assembly is used as the industry “in which developing countries can offer comparative advantage in manufacturing, particularly through labor costs” (Hurley and Miller 17).
The opinions of these authors help to realize that the level of work influence not only the quality of the production but also the order of its manufacturing. The experts have to identify ‘low order’ and ‘high order’ factors and imply them accordingly.
The global commodity chain approach focuses on the evaluation of the relations that take place between production of a good and its trade and the identification of the activities that have to be performed by a number of actors. This is why the role of managers or other representatives of the companies remains to be crucial regardless the current technological progress and the possibilities to replace people by technologies.
In general, the chosen extract may be used not only as a description of Nike or Yue Yuen’s achievements. It is a good example of how huge companies may and have to be developed following unusual ideas that cannot be theoretically supported. The readings by Cypher, Dietz, Hurley, and Miller help to comprehend the meanings of each word and compare them to the examples offered. It is not dangerous but rewarding to depart from the usual conditions of production, use an integrated package of services for people from different parts of the world, save costs for a further development, become able to introduce high-quality products and compete with the companies that have a world brand. This approach was chosen by Yue Yuen and improved by the individual abilities of the companies’ employees in respect to the success demonstrated earlier by the representatives of Nike.
Cypher, James, M. and Dietz, James, L. The Process of Economic Development, New York, NY: Routledge, 2008. Print.
Hurley, Jennifer and Miller, Doug. “Changing Face of the Global Garment Industry.” Threads of Labor: Garment Industry Supply Chains from the Workers’ Perspective. Eds. Angela Hale and Jane Wills. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2011. 16-39. Print.
Merk, Jeroen. “Restructuring and conflict in the global athletic footwear industry: Nike, Yue Yuen and labor codes of conduct.” Global Economy Contested: Power and Conflict Across the International Division of Labor. Ed. Marcus Taylor. New York: Routledge, 2008. 79-97. Print.