Transformational Impact of Digital Platforms Ecosystems on Global Value Chains accelerated by COVID-19


To understand digital platforms, e.g. Metaverse, and its effect on the transformation of global competition and global value chains.

Global value chains (GVC) are facing unprecedented challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Imposed governmental responses to the pandemic limiting exports to prioritize serving national interests have led to question the current resilience of GVC (Gereffi, 2020). Restrictions to physically interact with value chain stakeholders across national boundaries have further contributed to disrupting the effectivity of GVC and may have indicated the end of globalization as we currently know it. In response to the challenges, multinational enterprises (MNEs) have demonstrated efforts in decoupling their dependence and transforming their value chain and seek new opportunities through the use of digital platforms. Since the prevailing events are challenging the current relevance of the GVC theory (Gereffi, 1999) this study seeks to explore the transformative impact of digital platforms on the Post-COVID-19 GVC. 

Digital platforms ecosystems deploy a wide spread of constantly evolving information technology, such as analytical solutions for big data, coordinated in an ecosystem of supply and demand (Hein et al., 2020). It has been investigated essentially in digital MNEs commerce (e.g., Li et al., 2019), while limited research exists on the large-scale GVC transformational impact that is likely to happen through the incorporation of metaverse. 

Metaverse is a digital concept that is different from current digital platform ecosystems since it combines several enablers: 
1. Hardware (e.g., physical technologies and devices); 2. Compute (e.g., computing power and artificial intelligence), 3. Networking (e.g., high bandwidth), 4. Virtual Platforms (e.g., three-dimensional simulations), 5. Interchange Tools & Standards (e.g., technological standards supporting compatibility), 6. Payments (e.g., digital payment processes), and 7.Metaverse Content, and Services, & Assets (e.g., new or replacement for businesses and services) (Ball, 2021).

It has the possibility to transform how the current GVC is developing in the future, given the increasing focus on digital platform ecosystems. Currently, metaverse is a project in development by some of the leading IT firms: Meta (formerly Facebook) and Microsoft that can enable MNEs to immerse in collaborative in virtual environments, to utilise artificial intelligence functions and provide new products and service offerings (e.g., Bass & Chang, 2021).  

Considering the current economic paradigm shift, the aim of this study is to investigate the transformative impact of digital platform ecosystems on GVC by exploring the resource dependency in successful integration into MNE value chain.


The project topic is in line with the UN’s SDG 9 “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation” since digital platform ecosystems are able support as technologies in developing the digital infrastructure and connect rural areas to new products and services. More specifically, the following groups will be able to benefit from this research: 

  • Researchers with international business, organizational management, innovation management, and marketing by obtaining novel perspective to GVC and transformational impact of digital platform ecosystems. 
  • Governments can improve their understanding in how to increase their labour productivity and providing more products and services online. 
  • MNEs will be able to gain a deep knowledge of digital platform ecosystems and their opportunities and challenges of moving parts of their value chain online and can put suitable strategies in place to capture this developing market.  
  • Household and business in developing economies can utilise learn about utilising new digital products and services to decrease the potential development gap to advanced economies.