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Resisting Organizational Inertia: The Evolution of Industrial Districts


  • Mark Lazerson
  • Gianni Lorenzoni


Industrial district success in Italy is often explained as a function oftraditional, homogenous communities, where close social ties and communityinstitutions supposedly create the trust necessary for collaborativeinter-firm relationships among small firms. However, such a functionalistapproach fails to explain why some districts prosper over time bydeveloping new process and product innovations, while others stagnatebecause they fail to respond to rapidly changing markets. We argue thatgreater attention to firm networks – both those internal and external to the district – and the role of key firms represents a more usefulanalytical method for understanding the evolution and formation ofindustrial districts. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Lazerson & Gianni Lorenzoni, 1999. "Resisting Organizational Inertia: The Evolution of Industrial Districts," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 3(4), pages 361-377, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jmgtgv:v:3:y:1999:i:4:p:361-377 DOI: 10.1023/A:1009965510858

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brusco, Sebastiano, 1982. "The Emilian Model: Productive Decentralisation and Social Integration," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 167-184, June.
    2. Gereffi, Gary, 1999. "International trade and industrial upgrading in the apparel commodity chain," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 37-70, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Davenport, Sally, 2005. "Exploring the role of proximity in SME knowledge-acquisition," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 683-701, June.
    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. Cirer Costa, Joan Carles, 2014. "Petróleo: peligro mortal. Unas islas alquitranadas
      [Oil: Fatal danger. The Balearic Islands tarred]
      ," MPRA Paper 58243, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Elio Iannuzzi & Massimiliano Berardi, 2012. "Italian industrial districts: crisis or evolution?," World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 8(1), pages 23-36.
    5. repec:ris:invreg:0360 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Alexander Cole, 2007. "Beyond the Knowledge-Based Theory of the Geographic Cluster," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0708, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Nov 2007.
    7. Chris Huxham & Paul Hibbert, 2008. "Manifested Attitudes: Intricacies of Inter-Partner Learning in Collaboration," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 502-529, May.
    8. repec:eee:ecolec:v:139:y:2017:i:c:p:55-67 is not listed on IDEAS

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