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District leaders as open networks: emerging business strategies in Italian industrial districts

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Author Info

  • Eleonora Di Maria

    ()
    (University of Padova)

  • Stefano Micelli

    ()
    (University of Venice)

Abstract

Italian industrial districts are no longer self-contained systems of small firms, where firms' competitiveness is the result of physical proximity and links with global economy are limited to export sales. A new generation of firms is taking the lead, reshaping the form of districts through their innovative strategies focused on R&D, design and ICT. Most of these firms are leaders within their markets and organize their value chains by coupling district knowledge and competencies with opportunities offered by globalization processes. The rise of these open networks contributes to the transformation of industrial districts and the real drivers of the district firm's competitiveness. Based on a survey of 650 Italian SMEs from 41 Italian districts, the paper describes the characteristics of this new firm model, compared to the traditional district one. The paper also discusses implications for districts in terms of innovation dynamics and governance.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno" in its series "Marco Fanno" Working Papers with number 0038.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pad:wpaper:0038

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Related research

Keywords: district firms; open networks; global value chain; innovation; governance;

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References

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  1. Ordanini, Andrea & Micelli, Stefano & Di Maria, Eleonora, 2004. "Failure and Success of B-to-B Exchange Business Models:: A Contingent Analysis of Their Performance," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 281-289, June.
  2. Crouch, Colin & Gales, Patrick Le & Trigilia, Carlo & Voelzkow, Helmut, 2001. "Local Production Systems in Europe: Rise or Demise?," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199242511, September.
  3. F. Xavier Molina-Morales & M. Teresa Mart�Nez-Ferna�Ndez, 2003. "The Impact of Industrial District Affiliation on Firm Value Creation," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 155-170, March.
  4. Zucchella, Antonella, 2006. "Local cluster dynamics: trajectories of mature industrial districts between decline and multiple embeddedness," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(01), pages 21-44, April.
  5. Ashish Arora & Alfonso Gambardella & Enzo Rullani, 1997. "Division of Labour and the Locus of Inventive Activity," Journal of Management and Governance, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 123-140, March.
  6. Anders Malmberg & Peter Maskell, 2006. "Localized Learning Revisited," Growth and Change, Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky, vol. 37(1), pages 1-18.
  7. Enzo Rullani & Roberto Grandinetti, 1994. "Sunk internationalisation : small firms and global knowledge," Revue d'Économie Industrielle, Programme National Persée, vol. 67(1), pages 238-254.
  8. Morosini, Piero, 2004. "Industrial Clusters, Knowledge Integration and Performance," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 305-326, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Guido Fioretti, 2005. "Individual Contacts, Collective Patterns. Prato 1975-97, a story of interactions," Urban/Regional 0504010, EconWPA.
  2. Fioretti, Guido, 2010. "Trajectories in Physical Space out of Communications in Acquaintance Space: An Agent-Based Model of a Textile Industrial District," MPRA Paper 24902, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Fabrizio Cafaggi & Paola Iamiceli, 2010. "Inter-firm Networks in the European Wine Industry," EUI-LAW Working Papers 19, European University Institute (EUI), Department of Law.

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