Globalisation, E-Business and SMEs: Evidence from the Italian District of Prato
The paper explores how SMEs located in industrial districts explore e-business as a means to face the challenges posed by globalisation. By resorting to case studies conducted in the textile district of Prato, the research evidences the positive attitude of the interviewed entrepreneurs towards e-business. However, the characteristics of the considered products (textiles) and the district structure strongly affect the path followed to explore the scenarios opened by e-business. The collected evidence suggests that only few firms in the district are actively pursuing the full range of opportunities provided by e-business, and that isolated actions are not enough to foster collective learning and growth processes involving the whole district.
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