Firms located in industrial districts are acknowledged to benefit from externalities of geographic colocation, like access to specialized inputs and labour skills, better infrastructure and so on. Nevertheless, there is no clear empirical evidence that their performance is, on average, better than that of ‘isolated’ firms. I argue that a contingent approach is required to better explore the relationship between clustering and performance and suggest that access to external, more codified and ‘scientific’ knowledge, that complement informal and tacit knowledge developed within an industrial district, is of increasing importance as a source of competitiveness both for a district as a whole and for individual district firms. After illustrating main features of ‘public’ and ‘private’ cross-locality networks as possible ways to facilitate access to external knowledge for an industrial district, I propose a theoretical framework that, with the aid of some Italian cases, explores conditions of access, complementary roles and impact of cross-locality networks on performance both of an industrial district as a whole and of individual firms located in it.

"Public" and "private" cross-locality networks: conditions for access, complementary roles and impact on industrial district competitiveness

MINOJA, Mario
2011

Abstract

Firms located in industrial districts are acknowledged to benefit from externalities of geographic colocation, like access to specialized inputs and labour skills, better infrastructure and so on. Nevertheless, there is no clear empirical evidence that their performance is, on average, better than that of ‘isolated’ firms. I argue that a contingent approach is required to better explore the relationship between clustering and performance and suggest that access to external, more codified and ‘scientific’ knowledge, that complement informal and tacit knowledge developed within an industrial district, is of increasing importance as a source of competitiveness both for a district as a whole and for individual district firms. After illustrating main features of ‘public’ and ‘private’ cross-locality networks as possible ways to facilitate access to external knowledge for an industrial district, I propose a theoretical framework that, with the aid of some Italian cases, explores conditions of access, complementary roles and impact of cross-locality networks on performance both of an industrial district as a whole and of individual firms located in it.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11390/1103251
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