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Il quarto capitalismo


  • Andrea Colli


Due to profound changes in the international markets, during the Eighties medium-sized corporations, characterized by a high level of internationalization and an ability to dominate the typical "Made in Italy" sectors in world markets, began to emerge in the Eighties. The origins of these medium-sized corporations can often be found in the traditional production organization of the districts based upon networks and subcontracting. The districts also have other important roles to play, acting as the most important markets and providing an essential leg-up during the first phase of a company's growth, while in other cases, some medium-sized internationally famous companies started off as specialized producers that began to grow and develop after they began to sell their products abroad when internal markets became saturated. Closely linked by many ties to the world of the districts, these pocket multinational enterprises show a considerable degree of similarity and continuity with the diffused model of small entrepreneurship. The transition from small workshop to a "real" enterprise means enlarging a firm's boundaries, adopting a relatively complex organizational structure and to some degree delegating responsibilities to management. However, as in the past, the family still remains in command, as in the past, influencing strategies and controlling the succession. This situation is also due to the fact that the generally good performance of these firms in terms of sales, ROI and ROE means that adequate internal funds are available to sustain expansion, thereby providing continuity in the symbiotic relationship between ownership and control.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Colli, 2005. "Il quarto capitalismo," L'industria, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 219-236.
  • Handle: RePEc:mul:j0hje1:doi:10.1430/20138:y:2005:i:2:p:219-236

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    Cited by:

    1. Schilirò, Daniele, 2011. "Innovation and performance of Italian multinational enterprises of the “fourth capitalism”," MPRA Paper 34916, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Schilirò, Daniele, 2011. "Performance e profili delle imprese multinazionali del quarto capitalismo
      [Performance and profiles of the multinational firms of fourth capitalism]
      ," MPRA Paper 30894, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Daniele SCHILIRO, 2011. "Innovation And Performance Of Italian Multinational Enterprises Of The "Fourth Capitalism"," Journal of Advanced Research in Management, ASERS Publishing, vol. 0(2), pages 89-103, December.
    4. Roberta Rabellotti & Anna Carabelli & Giovanna Hirsch, 2007. "Italian SMEs and industrial districts on the move: Where are they going?," Working Papers 115, SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont.

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