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Will industrial districts exploit B2B? A local experience and a general assessment


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  • Guido Fioretti



When production is carried out by many geographically clustered small firms specialised in particular production phases that subcontract one another, what are the prospects of B2B electronic commerce? Prato, Italy, is home to thousands of textile firms as well as the locus of an early and innovative experiment of a local electronic network in the mid-1980s. This experience suggests that, since they fear to be imitated by their geographical proximates, geographically clustered firms may lag behind in the the exploitation of information and communication technologies. An analysis of the Web sites of Pratese firms confirms this intuition. A similar investigation is carried out on Web sites of fabrics producers worldwide. Contrary to Europe, in Asian countries geographically clustered firms exhibit little fear of information leakages. Differences in the organization of production may explain this puzzle. Copyright Springer 2004

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal NETNOMICS: Economic Research and Electronic Networking.

Volume (Year): 6 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages: 221-242

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Handle: RePEc:kap:netnom:v:6:y:2004:i:3:p:221-242

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Keywords: ICT; e-commerce; B2B; textile industry; industrial clusters; industrial districts; Prato;

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  1. Guido Fioretti, 2001. "Structure and behaviour of a textile industrial district," ICER Working Papers, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research 02-2001, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  2. David Lucking-Reiley & Daniel F. Spulber, 2000. "Business-to-Business Electronic Commerce," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0016, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  3. Brusco Sebastiano & Minerva Tommaso & Poli Irene & Solinas Giovanni, 2002. "Un automa cellulare per lo studio del distretto industriale," Politica economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 147-192.
  4. John Kwoka, 2001. "Automobiles: The Old Economy Collides with the New," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 55-69, August.
  5. Srilata Zaheer & Shalini Manrakhan, 2001. "Concentration and Dispersion in Global Industries: Remote Electronic Access and the Location of Economic Activities," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 32(4), pages 667-686, December.
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