Globalization, Recession and the Internationalization of Industrial Districts: Experiences from the Italian Gold Jewellery Industry
Globalization and the recent recession crisis are significantly challenging Italian industrial districts (IDs), driving deep transformations in their internationalization, innovation and organization strategies. With our empirical focus on a single industry (gold jewellery) and a specific country (Italy), the evidence in this paper sheds light on the differences in how three industrial districts within the gold jewellery sector (Valenza Po, Arezzo and Vicenza) compete in the global arena. Our comparative analysis reveals striking differences among these districts with regard to their economic performance, as well as their upstream and downstream internationalization strategies, in response to two industry shocks Ð increasing global competition in the early 2000s and the world economic recession of 2008-09. In addition, we find that these districts changed their internal strategies over time in order to tackle the two crises. How these industrial districts are integrated within global value chains is an important explanatory factor to be considered, in addition to internal factors such as structural characteristics and specific business opportunities
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