To read this content please select one of the options below:

How interconnected SMEs in business cluster survive the economic crisis

M. Simona Andreano (Economic Faculty, Universitas Mercatorum, Rome, Italy)
Roberto Benedetti (Department of Economics, University of Pescara, Pescara, Italy)
Andrea Mazzitelli (Economic Faculty, Universitas Mercatorum, Rome, Italy)
Federica Piersimoni (Istat, Directorate for Methodology and Statistical Process Design, Rome, Italy)
Davide Di Fatta (SEAAM, University of Messina, Messina, Italy)


ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 19 November 2018

Issue publication date: 13 July 2021




This paper aims to introduce a new framework that helps to get an overview of contextual factors that influence the ability of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to survive the economic crisis in a business cluster, as parts of a system.


The spatial autologistic model and the logit regression tree (RT) were applied to SME manufacturing companies localized in the business clusters of the Italian Marche region to explain interconnection among the actors of the network and their heterogeneous behavior with the environment.


The main findings of the application confirm that contextual influences are decisive in the definition of firm’s survival, explained through the presence of spatial dependence in bankruptcy analysis, validating the transmission effects of corporate bankruptcy within the business clusters in the Marche region.


The estimation of the logistic RT allowed to identify sub-systems, homogeneous with respect to crucial context variables, with different firms’ behaviors in terms of probability to survive in the system and relation to their environment. Therefore, a systemic approach is required to provide a better understanding of such kind of phenomena.



Andreano, M.S., Benedetti, R., Mazzitelli, A., Piersimoni, F. and Di Fatta, D. (2021), "How interconnected SMEs in business cluster survive the economic crisis", Kybernetes, Vol. 50 No. 7, pp. 2001-2020.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles