Governance in transnational companies and in global value chains: An approach to a theoretical concept. Global governance is a very popular expression nowadays, in political sciences as well as in the public discussion. This paper argues that governance may be fruitful for economic geography, too. As a term orientated on structures respectively on institutions, governance offers chances to be bound to approaches in policy-orientated forms of economic geography. The point of reference, the institutions, make the term more fruitful than the term ´power´, which also may include accidental, individual situations. The concept of governance should help to analyse corporate governance in transnational companies as well as global chain governance in value chains. While governance can include organisational learning in the sense that transnational companies are able to reflect their own actions, and thus can change their behaviour on purpose and gain steering competencies, global value chains do not have a “central mind”, although there are possibilities for upgrading, downgrading or different forms of change in parts of the chains. Keywords: Governance, transnational companies, global value chains, institutions, learning,international division of labour and competences.