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Cutting Porter's last diamond: competitive and comparative (dis)advantages in the Dutch flower industry. Which lesson for Italian SMEs?

  • Ernesto Tavoletti

    (not available)

  • Robbin te Velde

    (Università di Macerata - Dialogic innovation and interaction)

The Dutch are the world's leaders in the ower business despite they seem to lack comparative advantage in the traditional sense. Comparative advantages paid a role in the history of the Dutch ower industry and they still have a role today. Based on a critic of Porter's theories, the investigation suggests that the exploitation of comparative advantages is allowed only to those rms and industries that already possess a competitive advantage, based on technology, logistics infrastructure, innovation and human skills. So that comparative advantages and competitive advantages join themselves in a sort of helix process based on social innovation and collective learning. The Italian ower industry is both less productive, less innovative, and fragmented in a number of small family businesses. The main lesson to the Italian ower industry is that some regional strategies based just on local comparative advantages is not a rewarding option, unless it is reinforced by a clear competitive advantage strategy, technology and innovation based, that is able to make value out of such comparative local advantages and is also able to exploits and take pro t out of comparative advantages wherever they are abroad.

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Paper provided by Macerata University, Department of Studies on Economic Development (DiSSE) in its series Working Papers with number 10-2007.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision: Nov 2008
Handle: RePEc:mcr:wpaper:wpaper00010
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