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Once upon a time: looking back at the relationship between service and manufacturing


  • Guido M. Rey

    () (Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Italy)


Little attention had been paid to the service sector, if we define services as those intangible activities necessary for the fruition of a good. The Italian tertiary sector accounts for 60% of GDP, which is in line with what is happening in other developed nations. Still services provided by the network are not diffused – and this is particularly true for SMEs. The advancement of knowledge and network has led to vertical disintegration and delocalization of many productive processes (outsourcing, e-business), new and larger potential markets (e-commerce), change of governance and management of enterprises. Innovation has not only to do with technology but also with marketing, logistics, human resource, and organization. Innovation requires both technical competences and models to read and understand an entire value chain such a SSME. Industrial policies do not only need to focus on diffusion and financing of technologies. Policies need to support application and performance of technologies as the goal here is to bring to scale the production of services to accompany the rise of the service economy and Italian firms’ competitiveness. One of the reference frameworks of policies should be new web-based platforms, where web-based services can be developed and delivered to establish demand and supply dynamics, and relationships on all sides of the platform. Hence it is necessary to pick technological and organizational solutions which are reliable and could act as ignition elements to lead SMEs to get on the web and become sophisticated users of the services available on the web.

Suggested Citation

  • Guido M. Rey, 2010. "Once upon a time: looking back at the relationship between service and manufacturing," Working Papers 201003, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna of Pisa, Istituto di Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:sse:wpaper:201003

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