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The Way Italian Firms Grow: A Case Study from Southern Italy


  • Isabella Martucci

    () (DSSM , University of Bari)

  • Anna Maria Costanza Rinaldi

    () (DSSM , University of Bari)


This paper traces the evolution of the Italian industrial structure from the second postwar period up to today, which is mainly characterized by small-sized firms. Over time small businesses have been organized first, polyarchically in industrial districts then, hierarchically in business groups. These two models have accounted for the only successful reactions to the crisis of the Italian industry, but the phenomena have been concerned with mainly the northern and central regions of the country, while leaving the southern regions behind. The aim of this paper is to show through a case study that even small businesses in the South of Italy can achieve successful results by implementing new organizational schemes based on national and transnational cooperation.

Suggested Citation

  • Isabella Martucci & Anna Maria Costanza Rinaldi, 2012. "The Way Italian Firms Grow: A Case Study from Southern Italy," Romanian Economic Journal, Department of International Business and Economics from the Academy of Economic Studies Bucharest, vol. 15(43), pages 115-130, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:rej:journl:v:15:y:2012:i:43:p:115-130

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Aiello Francesco & Cardamone Paola & Pupo Valeria, 2005. "Produttività e capitale tecnologico nel settore manifatturiero italiano," L'industria, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 119-146.
    2. Alessandro Arrighetti & Fabrizio Traù, 2006. "Struttura industriale e architetture organizzative: il ritorno alla gerarchia?," ECONOMIA E POLITICA INDUSTRIALE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2006(1).
    3. Antonelli, Cristiano, 2001. "The Microeconomics of Technological Systems," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199245536.
    4. Giulio Cainelli & Donato Iacobucci, 2009. "Business groups and the boundaries of the firm," Working Papers 0905, c.MET-05 - Centro Interuniversitario di Economia Applicata alle Politiche per L'industria, lo Sviluppo locale e l'Internazionalizzazione.
    5. A. Arrighetti & F. Traù, 2007. "La "questione dimensionale" come problema organizzativo," Economics Department Working Papers 2007-EP04, Department of Economics, Parma University (Italy).
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    More about this item


    industrial organization; business groups;

    JEL classification:

    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • L6 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing


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