Received 25 Oct 2019, Accepted 24 Jan 2020, Published online: 07 Feb 2020
Drawing on interviews with ten Hungarian digital automotive technology providers, this paper investigates how digital transformation can assist factory economy digital entrepreneurs in their integration in the highly concentrated automotive global value chains (GVCs). We identified four mechanisms by which digital transformation can, in principle, produce opportunities for factory economies in progressing towards economy actors’ entrepreneurial integration in automotive GVCs, as follows. (1) New entrepreneurial opportunities in the digital realm; (2) Fine-slicing innovation and globalisation of R&D; (3) Ecosystem-type innovation collaboration; (4) Interaction-intensity of custom-tailored digital services provision. However, to realise the potential of these opportunities, a critical mass of capable digital entrepreneurs needs to be achieved: a long way to go for factory economies.
KEYWORDS: Digitalisation, digital entrepreneurship, integration in global value chains, automotive industry, high-road development, upgrading