Recently several Italian Industrial Districts (IDs) have been characterized by a profound change. The affirmation of leader firms and the restructuring of inter-firm networks can be considered as the principal phenomena of the process of change in IDs. The main aim of this paper is to analyse the change in the IDs, focusing on the networking process among firms, which has been stressed as one of the most important distinctive characteristics of this production model. With this aim, a theoretical interpretative model is proposed to explain the formation of new models of inter-firm network within IDs. The model, based on the analysis of several empirical studies on Italian IDs presented in the literature, suggests a correlation between the formation of a more structured network and the leader firm's strategies of growth. Furthermore, the proposed model has been supported by the results of an empirical investigation. The empirical investigation, adopting a multiple-case approach, involves eight in-depth case studies on the leader firms operating in four Italian IDs. Through the analysis of the leader firms, a contribution to the identification of the main trajectories of change in inter-firm relationships within IDs has been given. In particular, it has been verified that the strategies of growth adopted by the leader firms have as a main dominant result the formation of 'structured inter-firm networks'.

New models of inter-firm networks within industrial districts

Carbonara, Nunzia
2002

Abstract

Recently several Italian Industrial Districts (IDs) have been characterized by a profound change. The affirmation of leader firms and the restructuring of inter-firm networks can be considered as the principal phenomena of the process of change in IDs. The main aim of this paper is to analyse the change in the IDs, focusing on the networking process among firms, which has been stressed as one of the most important distinctive characteristics of this production model. With this aim, a theoretical interpretative model is proposed to explain the formation of new models of inter-firm network within IDs. The model, based on the analysis of several empirical studies on Italian IDs presented in the literature, suggests a correlation between the formation of a more structured network and the leader firm's strategies of growth. Furthermore, the proposed model has been supported by the results of an empirical investigation. The empirical investigation, adopting a multiple-case approach, involves eight in-depth case studies on the leader firms operating in four Italian IDs. Through the analysis of the leader firms, a contribution to the identification of the main trajectories of change in inter-firm relationships within IDs has been given. In particular, it has been verified that the strategies of growth adopted by the leader firms have as a main dominant result the formation of 'structured inter-firm networks'.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11589/5739
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