Department of Management, Society and Communication

  • Centre for Business and Development Studies (CBDS)
Co-director Centre for Business and Development Studies

Room: DH.Ø.2.18
E-mail: lwh.msc@cbs.dk
Lindsay Whitfield

I am interested in understanding processes of economic development in the context of an ever changing global economy.

My research focuses on the challenges and opportunities that Sub-Saharan African countries face in industrializing in the 21st century. It analyses the emergence and evolution of manufacturing and agribusiness industries, especially how local firms build capabilities to compete in global production networks and the roles of government industrial policy, foreign direct investment and migrant capitalists. I also examine industrial relations and working conditions in local and foreign owned supplier firms producing in global value chains, and how they are affected by global buyers’ purchasing practices, firms’ labor control regimes, and workers’ actions. Lastly, I am examining how countries can pursue green industrialization and circular economy principles.

Primary research areas
  • industrialization and industrial policy in Africa
  • comparative political economy of development
  • global value chains and production networks
  • labor studies and economic development
  • green industrialization and circular economy
Curriculum Vitae
Link to this homepage

Interested in supervising in the areas of: global value chains, including economic, social and environmental upgrading; foreign direct investment, industrial policy and economic development; the political economy of industrial relations and decent work; green industrialization

Selected publications

2020  Technological Capabilities, Upgrading, and Value Capture in Global Value Chains: Local Apparel and Floriculture Firms in Sub-Saharan Africa, with Cornelia Staritz, Ayelech Tiruwha Melese, Sameer Azizi, Economic Geography 96(3): 195-218, open access.

2020  Global Value Chains, Industrial Policy and Economic Upgrading in Ethiopia’s Apparel Sector’, with Cornelia Staritz and Mike Morris, Development and Change 51(4): 1018-1043.

2021 Local supplier firms in Madagascar’s apparel export industry: Upgrading paths, transnational social relations and regional production networks’, with Cornelia Staritz, Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space 53(4): 763-784, open access.

2021 The Learning Trap in Late Industrialization: Local Firms and Capability Building in Ethiopia’s Apparel Export Industry’, Lindsay Whitfield and Cornelia Staritz, Journal of Development Studies
57(6): 980-1000.

2015 The Politics of African Industrial Policy: A comparative perspective, with Ole Therkildsen, Lars Buur and Anne Mette Kjær, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Publications List
Publications sorted by:
Lindsay Whitfield; Chema Triki / Current Capabilities and Future Potential of African Textile and Apparel Industries
: Centre for Business and Development Studies 2023, 9 p. (Centre for Business and Development Studies. Policy Brief, No. January 2023)
Report > peer review
Ayelech Tiruwha Melese; Lindsay Whitfield / Industrial Policy, Local Firm Growth Paths, and Capability Building in Low-income Countries : Lessons from Ethiopia's Floriculture Export Sector.
In: Industrial and Corporate Change, Vol. 32, No. 4, 8.2023, p. 956-974
Journal article > peer review
Lindsay Whitfield / Markets, States or Transnational Networks? : Explaining Technology Leverage by Latecomer Firms in Industrializing Countries.
In: Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 59, No. 10, 10.2023, p. 1508-1530
Journal article > peer review
Lindsay Whitfield / Rethinking Textile and Apparel as a Sunrise Industry in South Africa : Technological Innovations and Catch-up Industrialisation .
Johannesburg : University of Johannesburg 2023, 6 p. (SARChI Industrial Development Policy Brief Series, No. PB 2023-02)
Working paper
Lindsay Whitfield; Vuyiswa Mkhabela / The Business Strategies of South African Textile Firms and Global Trends in 4IR and Sustainability Technologies
Johannesburg : University of Johannesburg 2023, 39 p. (SARChI Industrial Development Working Paper Series, No. WP 2023-01)
Working paper
Kristoffer Marslev; Lindsay Whitfield / Working Conditions in Madagascar’s Apparel Industry : Comparing Export and Domestic Market Firms.
Frederiksberg : Centre for Business and Development Studies 2023, 34 p. (CBDS Working Paper, No. 2023/2)
Working paper
Lindsay Whitfield / Current Capabilities and Future Potential of African Textile & Apparel Value Chains : Focus on West Africa.
København : Centre for Business and Development Studies 2022, 71 p. (CBDS Working Paper, No. 2022/3)
Working paper
Federico Jensen; Lindsay Whitfield / Leveraging Participation in Apparel Global Supply Chains through Green Industrialization Strategies : Implications for Low-income Countries.
In: Ecological Economics, Vol. 194, 4.2022
Journal article > peer review
Nic Cheeseman; Carl Death; Lindsay Whitfield / Notes on Researching Africa
In: African Affairs, Vol. 121, No. 485, 2022, 5 p., p. E87-E91
Editorial > peer review
Lindsay Whitfield; Kristoffer Marslev; Cornelia Staritz / Can Apparel Export Industries Catalyse Industrialisation? : Combining GVC Participation and Localisation.
Pretoria : University of Johannesburg 2021, 53 p. (SARChI Industrial Development Working Paper Series)
Working paper
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Research Projects
Outside activities

Currently no outside activities