The purpose of this paper is to compare supply network strategies of district firms (from now on ID) and non‐district (non‐ID) firms with the aim of outlining emerging strategies as well as identifying similarities and differences between business models.
The analysis is based on a quantitative approach: the TeDIS survey focuses on 45 leading Italian districts and SMEs located outside districts (Made in Italy sectors). Results refer to 630 Italian firms.
There are more similarities than differences between the approach of ID and non‐ID companies to supply networks. ID firms rely more on local systems in terms of supply networks, while non‐ID firms have also invested at national level (subcontracting networks). The global geographical extension of supply networks stresses the ID companies' search for efficiency in addition to value‐added competences. Non‐ID firms have a more hierarchical approach to internationalization than ID firms, but differences decrease as the size of the companies increases.
The study is still preliminary. Future research should explore the relationships between the strategic approach to supply networks of district firms and non‐ID firms in terms of characteristics of the relationship management and aims of relationships, also with a focus on the size of these firms.
Within the existing literature, the original contribution of the paper lies in its comparison of supply network strategies in ID and non‐ID firms based on a significant quantitative analysis.
Chiarvesio, M. and Di Maria, E. (2009), "Internationalization of supply networks inside and outside clusters", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 29 No. 11, pp. 1186-1207. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443570911000186Download as .RIS
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