With the advance of globalization the competitive chances of industrial districts depends increasingly on their ability to connect to the cognitive circuits of the global economy. This challenge demands the presence of local actors capable of acting as cognitive interfaces between the district context and the global environment. The paper focuses on a specific category of local/global cognitive interfaces, i.e. the institutions that provide knowledge‐intensive business services (KIBS). The purpose is to explain how institutional KIBS play this role.
The paper develops a detailed analysis of the case of such an institution operating in the chair‐manufacturing district of North‐East Italy. Based on this case study, a model is proposed for interpreting the role of a local/global cognitive interface that institutional KIBS are able to perform.
The first part of the framework shows the cognitive processes hosted by this type of institution and the connection between such processes and the KIBS's stock of knowledge. The second part of the model considers the interdependent core capabilities that enable a KIBS to act effectively as a local/global cognitive interface.
The role that institutions, acting as KIBS, can play in promoting the survival of industrial districts has been discussed in some studies but no model has been proposed as yet to explain how these institutions can play such an important part. The paper aims to begin to fill this gap.
Grandinetti, R. (2011), "Local/global cognitive interfaces within industrial districts: an Italian case study", The Learning Organization, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 301-312. https://doi.org/10.1108/09696471111132513Download as .RIS
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