Working paper abstract

#2009-004

Standards as a platform for innovation and learning in the global economy: a case study of Chilean salmon farming industry

Michiko Iizuka

Conventionally, standards are considered as a governance tool in the production system in a one-directional and hierarchical relationship between foreign trans-national corporations (TNCs) or global buyers on one hand and subsidiaries and producers on the other. They were considered as transmitting necessary specifications of goods – codified knowledge – to the producers. Despite the fact that this process begins with a one-way power relationship and associated flow of knowledge and standards, such one-way flows may become consolidated into two-way interlinkages when power balances themselves reverse with the development of collective capability in catching-up countries. In such a context, standards increasingly act as a catalyst for creating collective interfaces where diverse knowledge from horizontal and vertical relationships – local and global, tacit and codified, and buyer and producer – intercept and converge to promote interactions and learning for those involved. The Chilean salmon farming industry is examined to understand how standards compliance enhanced collective capability.

Key words: Standards, Capability, Governance, Catching up JEL code: L15, L 66 O 13

UNU-MERIT Working Papers ISSN 1871-9872