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Article

Marco Bettiol, Mauro Capestro, Valentina De Marchi, Eleonora Di Maria and Silvia Rita Sedita

This paper aims to explore if firms located in industrial districts (IDs) have different adoption paths concerning Industry 4.0 technologies and get different results with…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore if firms located in industrial districts (IDs) have different adoption paths concerning Industry 4.0 technologies and get different results with respect to other similar firms located outside IDs.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on a quantitative analysis related to an original data set of 206 Italian manufacturing firms specializing in made in Italy industries and adopting Industry 4.0 technologies. A case study of a district firm is also presented to explain the rationale of investment strategies and results obtained.

Findings

The analysis shows that there are differences between district and non-district firms when Industry 4.0 technology investments are concerned (higher investment rate in big data/cloud and augmented reality for district firms than non-district ones). In contrast to a breakthrough view of the fourth industrial revolution, the study suggests that 4.0 technologies emphasize the peculiarities and competitiveness factors typical of the district model in terms of customization and flexibility. There are differences in the motivations of adoption (product diversification for district firms vs productivity enhancement for non-district firms) and in the results achieved.

Originality/value

The paper is one of the first attempts to empirically explore the technological innovation paths related to Industry 4.0 within IDs, therefore, contributing to the debate on the possible evolution of the district model

Details

Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal , vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1059-5422

Keywords

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Article

Roberta Apa, Roberto Grandinetti and Silvia Rita Sedita

The purpose of this paper is to provide insights on the relational dimension of a networked business incubator (NBI), by investigating the intermediary role of incubator…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide insights on the relational dimension of a networked business incubator (NBI), by investigating the intermediary role of incubator management in fostering social and business ties linking tenants among each other, with the incubator management and external actors.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper offers a literature review on the NBIs and advances a comprehensive analytical framework of the networked incubation model. This framework is empirically illustrated through a case study research on a leading Italian private NBI, namely, H-Farm. The collection of primary data was conducted by means of face-to-face in-depth interviews and a survey. Data were processed through social network analysis (SNA) tools.

Findings

The results highlight the co-presence and interaction of social and business ties, which build up a vital environment nurturing an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Community-based relationships and the intermediation of incubator management are crucial for supporting tenants in product and business development activities.

Research limitations/implications

These results pave the way to further research, oriented to the conceptualization of a NBI as a (small) cluster. Moreover, the application of the SNA tools adopted invites further research on networked incubators, applying the same methodology in new directions.

Originality/value

This paper adds to previous literature on NBIs by providing evidence of the intermediary role of incubator management in promoting and facilitating social and business relationships occurring among tenants, between tenants and the incubator management, as well as with external advisors, clients and suppliers.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

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Article

Jose-Luis Hervas-Oliver, Fiorenza Belussi, Silvia Rita Sedita, Annalisa Caloffi and Gregorio Gonzalez-Alcaide

For the specific topic of multinationals in clusters, both regional strands and international business and management literatures address the topic from different yet…

Abstract

Purpose

For the specific topic of multinationals in clusters, both regional strands and international business and management literatures address the topic from different yet intertwined perspectives. This study aims to facilitate the integration of the conversations and the distinct literatures to produce a clear understanding and conceptualization of the existent knowledge on the topic, with the aim to foster an integration of those different lines of inquiry on the topic that can advance scholarly research and improve policymaking.

Design/methodology/approach

Mixing a robust and longitudinal bibliometric analysis (1992-2018) and a qualitative critical review, the study disentangles sub-conversations on the topic in each literature.

Findings

The study encounters commonalities that foster cross-fertilization and blind spots that prevent integration of findings from each literature.

Research limitations/implications

Both literatures need to cross-fertilize and integrate each other’s knowledge.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first to integrate literatures using bibliometrics, mapping the existing knowledge on two key areas of competitiveness: clusters and multinationals.

Details

Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal , vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1059-5422

Keywords

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Article

Silvia Rita Sedita, Valmir Emil Hoffmann, Patricia Guarnieri and Ermanno Toso Carraro

This paper aims to analyze how knowledge networks can be configured within a value chain and provide evidence of the coexistence of multiple knowledge networks in the same…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyze how knowledge networks can be configured within a value chain and provide evidence of the coexistence of multiple knowledge networks in the same value chain.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical setting is the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG wine cluster in the Veneto region of Northeast Italy. Data was collected through the administration by telephone of a semi-structured questionnaire to 37 oenologists, sales managers, production managers and owners of bottling companies in the district. The authors used social network analysis tools to map knowledge networks in the Prosecco cluster.

Findings

The results shed light on the importance of singling out knowledge networks in clusters at the value chain level to aid practitioners and researchers in this field. In fact, this research proves the existence of knowledge networks specificities related to the various phases of the production process.

Research limitations/implications

This study has certain limitations. The most relevant is connected to the choice to limit the analysis to a specific cluster. Future research might extend this type of analysis to multiple clusters in different locations.

Practical implications

The authors explain that in the cluster they studied, internationalization, as a common objective, might be made easier if firms could establish a more developed sales knowledge network.

Social implications

The relational approach to value chain enables disentangling specific roles of each actors. The social dimension of the value chain is taken in consideration.

Originality/value

The authors show that a firm operating in the wine industry can have different knowledge networks in the same value chain. This work adds to previous literature on knowledge networks in clusters by shedding light on an important, but still understudied aspect in the cluster functioning. Knowledge diffusion in clusters is not only uneven but is also value chain stage specific. By intersecting literature on knowledge networks, value chain and cluster research, the authors proposed a new perspective of analysis of the wine industry.

Details

International Journal of Wine Business Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1062

Keywords

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Book part

Fiorenza Belussi and Silvia Rita Sedita

The fragmentation of the production process is a major theme of research in international business. Trade benefits arise from the “slicing up” of the aggregate value…

Abstract

The fragmentation of the production process is a major theme of research in international business. Trade benefits arise from the “slicing up” of the aggregate value chain, as well as the entry of new countries bearing low labor costs. If, initially, multinational corporations (MNCs) relocated only standardized, low-value manufacturing activities in new emerging economies (exploitative offshoring), now they are also offshoring their knowledge-intensive activities (explorative offshoring). In the past, the literature on internationalization was mainly focused on the characterization of the MNC as a specific monolithic organization active in the international production. In the present, numerous analyses have discussed the international location of R&D activities, mainly in advanced countries. The foreign R&D subsidiaries are still tightly linked to the headquarters, maintaining a controlled position. Future research must address two orders of issues. The first is the progressive autonomy of the foreign subsidiaries, which are more and more developing new and independent lines of research. This process leads MNCs to mobilize and leverage untapped pools of knowledge scattered around the world. The second is the R&D offshoring toward emerging economies. This complex process can be characterized as a move from the smile model discussed extensively by Ram Mudambi (where emerging economies were considered as pools of low-cost labor tout court) to a new model, called here the λ (lambda) model (where emerging economies are also pools of skilled labor). This paper will explore these new trends using some illustrative cases: L'Oréal (FR), Pfizer (US), ST Microelectronics (CH), and Geox (I). The cases reveal the double orientation of MNCs toward emerging economies, where both explorative and exploitative offshoring takes place.

Details

The Past, Present and Future of International Business & Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-085-9

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Abstract

Details

The Past, Present and Future of International Business & Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-085-9

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Abstract

Details

The Past, Present and Future of International Business & Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-085-9

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Article

Eleonora Di Maria, Valentina De Marchi and Katharina Spraul

This paper aims to analyze the characteristics and performance of university–industry (U-I) collaboration for knowledge transfer in relation to environmental…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyze the characteristics and performance of university–industry (U-I) collaboration for knowledge transfer in relation to environmental sustainability, considering for both parties of the collaborations.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is explorative in nature, based on an original data set of more than 350 U-I research and consultancy contracts signed by more than 70 professors specializing in environmental sustainability-related academic disciplines at the University of Padova (Italy) for the period 2008-2012. A mixed-method approach is adopted. Social network analysis and regressions are used to explore the impact of U-I on performance considering for characteristics of the firms, the professors and the collaboration. Interviews with key informants at University of Padova is used to complement and validate the emerging evidence.

Findings

Results suggest that U-I positively impacts the performance of firms, but not of professors. Indeed, the hypothesis that professors’ performance (measures in terms of academic publications) is positively associated with academic engagement is not supported. On the contrary, firms’ financial performance is positively associated with U-I collaboration focused on knowledge transfer for environmental innovation; the higher the contracts activated the better the economic performance.

Originality/value

While most previous research has focused either on the university or the firm side of U-I, this study looks at both sides and focuses specifically on engagement in green contracts. The analysis of the geographical scope of U-I collaborations contributes to the growing body of literature by outlining geography’s role in U-I collaborations related to sustainability.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 20 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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