Written communication: Write clearly, accurately, and professionally, incorporating sources appropriately.

Written communication: Write clearly, accurately, and professionally, incorporating sources appropriately.

The project charter provides an overview of the proposed project and is a working plan for how it will be executed. It contains key information including the whowhatwhen, and where of the project and how it will be conducted. For this assignment, you will use information from the interview you conducted and the template linked in Resources to develop the first part of the project charter for your project.

Written communication: Write clearly, accurately, and professionally, incorporating sources appropriately.


Drawing from the gap, need, or opportunity for improvement identified in the leadership interview, begin to develop a project charter for the topic. Although this project should address a relevant gap, data or contextual evidence may not be available. In that case, you may use fictitious information for this assignment or obtain data from the general literature (make sure to cite the source).

Using the Project Charter Template provided, complete Part 1 for this assignment. Write in the narrative where indicated. Be succinct but be sure to include all required information. Use citations as needed and include the reference list on the last page.

The following instructions correspond to the criteria in the assignment scoring guide, so be sure to address each point:

  • Create an acronym to identify the project name.
    • Get creative! A good acronym is memorable and distinct.
  • Justify the selection of departmental and executive sponsors.
    • Describe briefly why you chose these sponsors (fiscal, political, other support?).
  • Describe the overarching aim of the project, including the impact on a process or systems change.
    • Include a specific goal you hope to achieve by the end of the project.
  • Summarize the specific project strategy or intervention that will be used to accomplish the goal or aim.
  • Identify and provide a brief description of project team members and reasons for your choices.
  • Describe the impact the project will have on stakeholders, including patient safety and quality.
    • Be sure to note how you will include the voice of the patient or consumer.
  • Convey purpose, in an appropriate tone and style, incorporating supporting evidence and adhering to organizational, professional, and scholarly writing standards.

Example assignment: You may use the assignment example, linked in the Resources, to give you an idea of what a Proficient or higher rating on the scoring guide would look like.

Additional Requirements

  • Written communication: Write clearly, accurately, and professionally, incorporating sources appropriately.
  • Length of paper: Complete all fields of Project Charter Template Part 1.
  • Resources: Include sources where appropriate within the template, reference list last page.
  • APA format: Cite your sources using current APA format.
  • Font and font size: Times Roman, 12 points.

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Does the global factory theory accurately reflect the current nature of the clothing industry?

Does the global factory theory accurately reflect the current nature of the clothing industry?.

Length: 3,000 words


The world of international business is complex and contested. It is also changing rapidly. These changes apply to international business as a whole, the frameworks and structures of businesses themselves, and the way we understand them.

The task of this assignment is to select one of the four international business theories that we have looked at in weeks 6 and 7 of this course – global value chains, global production networks, the global factory, or the platform economy – and apply it to a specific industry of your choosing. Once you have chosen your theory and industry, the essay should be written in response to the following question:

“Does the [your selected theory] theory accurately reflect the current nature of the [your selected industry] industry?”

Some examples:

  • Does the global factory theory accurately reflect the current nature of the clothing industry?
  • Does the global value chain theory accurately reflect the current nature of the consumer electronics industry?
  • Does the platform economy theory accurately reflect the current nature of the transport industry?
  • Does the global production network theory accurately reflect the current nature of the food industry?

This full question should be written at the opening of your essay. 

 Further Guidance

In order to successfully complete this assignment, your final essay should include the following (note that this is NOT a suggested essay structure):

  • A firm understanding of your chosen theory, including:
    • Its scholarly origins
    • The problems that it tries to address.
    • How it differs from theories that came before it
    • Its contemporary critics and alternatives
  • A firm understanding of your chosen industry, including:
    • Key firms
    • Industry structure
    • Ownership and financing
    • The influence of government or civil society institutions in firm behaviour
    • Changes to the above over time, and the reasons for these changes.
  • A thorough application of theory to industry, including:
    • The strengths of the theory in understanding the current nature of the industry
    • The limitations of the theory in understanding the current nature of the industry
  • A consistent argument in response to the question: does this theory accurately reflect the current nature of your chosen industry?

See also the rubric below for guidance on what we are looking for.


You are free to use whatever essay structure you feel best conveys this analysis (some structures may be better suited to some theory/industry combinations). However the following suggested structure is recommended:

  1. Introduction
  2. Overview of your theory
  3. History of your industry
  4. Application of theory to industry
  5. Critiques/limitations of this theory’s application to your industry
  6. Conclusion

Other tips for this assignment

  • Take the time to read extensively on your theory – do not base your understanding on a single text or our summary below.
  • The essay should blend historical analysis with critical theoretical analysis – avoid simply describing things without relating them back to theory.
  • Exercise critical thinking – take a stance on the essay question tell us what you think about the theory in question, not just what others think.
  • Make sure that you focus on an industry, not an individual firm.


The following is a primer of the four theories available to you to aide your selection. For further information see the lectures for weeks 5 and 6 and the reading list for each theory below.  

  1.  Global Factory/Factory-less Production

As the number and scale of multinational enterprises (MNEs) grew in the 1980s and 1990s, there was increasing recognition that international businesses were no longer an exception, but now becoming the standard. One institutional form that theorists of international business examined is the “global factory”. The global factory can be viewed as an organisational network, where the firm deals with intangible public goods, such as knowledge (Buckley. 2014). The boundaries of the firm are said to be porous and attention is placed on strategic decisions about arrangements within and between firms. A version of the global factory is the factory-less factory, especially evident in electrical machinery and equipment, machine and mechanical appliances and computers, pharmaceuticals, and apparel.

  1. Global Value Chains (GVC)

As the growth of international production and exchange extended further, we started seeing the unbundling of the MNC as a single coherent and discrete entity with clear boundaries. The global value chain (GVC) literature developed a concept of value chains that was first floated by Michael Porter in his competitive advantage work.

The GVC approach was developed around a question about whether an unequal relationship existed between where value was being created and where it was captured. In value chains there may be places where exchange is unequal where, for instance, a grower of coffee may get less than the value created when selling to a merchant, or paying debts from a finance company.

Given that GVC began with a special focus on industries in developing countries, it is perhaps no surprise that the approach is associated with the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at Sussex University, and has been picked up by international policy institutions like the International Labour Organisation.

GVC decentres the analysis of IB on companies and what companies do themselves. GVC is instead interested in relations of power and control up and down industries. These relations are recast not in terms of ownership but in terms of governance, and there are several forms of governance developed here.

GVC also offers policy action and especially through notions of economic and social upgrading.

  1. Global Production Networks (GPN)

The other main network/chain approach is global production networks, developed by economic geographers, notably out of the University of Manchester. Just like the GVC approach the conceptual focus of GPN is on the spatial and institutional relationships between production, exchange, distribution and consumption. It recognises that the way global production is being organised and reorganised is extending across all sorts of countries, producing lots of small components and organised in complex ways.

It is also based on an explicit recognition of the fluidity and changeability of those relationships. As Coe, Dicken and Hess note:

“Production networks are inherently dynamic; they are always, by definition, in a process of flux—in the process of becoming—both organizationally and geographically. The spatio-temporality of production networks, therefore, is highly variable and contingent. As Hudson (2004, p. 462) points out, ‘[…] economic processes must be conceptualized in terms of a complex circuitry with a multiplicity of linkages and feedback loops rather than just “simple” circuits or, even worse, linear flows’. Some networks are long-lived, others are more ephemeral; some are geographically extensive, others are more geographically localized. None remain completely unchanged for very long.” (‘GPN – realising the potential’, Journal of Economic Geography, p 271, 2008)

The claim for GPN then is that like GVC it recognises the increasing fluidity and extended nature of global production. It also claims it is more expansive and comprehensive than GVC, because it opens up non-linear, multi-level relations and transactions.

  1. The Platform Economy

The final and most recent approach to IB is the Platform Economy concept. It is probably too early to identify a theoretical discourse built around the concept (it’s still a concept in search of a theory). That’s not to say that there is not theoretical development occurring, and in the second instalment of the lectures on international production we noted work in sociology and social theory – Castells, Beck, Hardt and Negri and others.

But within IB, there is recognition that platforms represent a frontier form of business, and that this form is disrupting earlier forms. For instance, a recent Harvard Business Review article has framed the increasing presence of platforms as a frontier business model this way:

“Products produce a single revenue stream, while platforms—which we define as intermediaries that connect two or more distinct groups of users and enable their direct interaction—can generate many. Indeed, a large number of the world’s most valuable companies by market capitalization in 2015 were platform companies, including five of the top 10 (Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Facebook). Although some of those companies started with platforms, many started with products: Amazon launched as a retailer in 1994 and six years later introduced Amazon Marketplace; Google began with a search engine in the mid-1990s and then introduced search advertising in 2000; and Apple created the iPod in 2001 but didn’t move toward a platform until it developed the iTunes Store in 2003 and the App Store in 2008.” Zhu and Furr ‘Products to Platforms: Making the Leap’ HBR 2016)

So, we have many of the leading global firms, especially those that produce intangible products or services either based on or transitioning to more platform type business models. The question here is whether this is generalizable to lots of other businesses or specific to a few spectacularly successful firms? But as an expression of intangible capital and the frontiers of IB this is an exciting and important development; one worth thinking about and taking seriously.

Does the global factory theory accurately reflect the current nature of the clothing industry?

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