Innovation and performance of Italian multinational enterprises of the “fourth capitalism”
The aim of the contribution is to focus on the innovation of Italian medium and medium -large multinationals who represent the "fourth capitalism” and also to evaluate their performance. The enterprises of “fourth capitalism " are the set of medium and medium-large enterprises who seem to be stronger on foreign markets, either through exports or through foreign direct investment. The paper uses the data set from Mediobanca Research Unit to provide a descriptive analysis of the performance of Italian multinational enterprises of the "fourth capitalism", showing the complex approach to the internationalization of these enteprises, where innovation plays a key role. Flexibility and specialization in the production are also important elements that drive the decision to invest and produce abroad for these enterprises. The commercial dimension also plays a key role for the firms of the "fourth capitalism", as it leads to the direct control of foreign markets. The study points out that one of the strategic objectives of Italian multinationals of the “fourth capitalism” is their strong customer focus and organizational effort to provide their services to the customers, which require substantial investment in immaterial assets. Finally, the work highlights some external constraints that penalize the Italian multinational enterprises of the “fourth capitalism”, as the high cost of bureaucracy, excessive and unfair taxation, lack of support to internationalization by public institutions.
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