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The Global Challenge to Industrial Districts

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The Global Challenge to Industrial Districts

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Italy and Taiwan

9781843764878 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Paolo Guerrieri, Professor of Economics, University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’, Italy, College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium and Vicepresident, Institute for International Affairs (IAI), Simona Iammarino, Professor of Economic Geography, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK and Carlo Pietrobelli, Professor of Economics, University Roma Tre, Italy and UNU-MERIT, Maastricht, the Netherlands
Publication Date: 2003 ISBN: 978 1 84376 487 8 Extent: 224 pp
The current trend towards globalization is posing a substantial challenge to SME clusters to restructure and reach out to distant markets and knowledge sources, while at the same time exploiting the advantages of local factors and agglomeration. This book represents a first attempt to analyze these issues in detail, employing novel empirical evidence.

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The current trend towards globalization is posing a substantial challenge to SME clusters to restructure and reach out to distant markets and knowledge sources, while at the same time exploiting the advantages of local factors and agglomeration. This book represents a first attempt to analyze these issues in detail, employing novel empirical evidence.

The authors focus on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Italy and Taiwan, two countries in which these businesses characterize the national industrial structure. They find that in the current climate of globalization, there is no best practice model for organizing an industrial cluster since a diversity of successful institutional arrangements is possible. They demonstrate that over time SME clusters can evolve and that globalization can reshape their upgrading options by providing a variety of international knowledge linkages. Thus, the authors conclude that the development of local and global networks and new interactive modes of knowledge creation, which have co-evolved as a result of globalization, have provided the necessary conditions for competitive survival.

Taking a multidisciplinary approach, the authors utilize a number of analytical tools to evaluate their survey data and present an original comparison between the experiences of two countries that are facing the challenges of globalization, often with differing strategies. This book will be of great interest to industrial and international economists, policymakers, and corporate and SME managers.
Critical Acclaim
‘This book is rich in interesting ideas and new information. Its analysis of Italian and Taiwanese industrial districts in low and high technology activities is particularly rewarding, tracing different sources of dynamism and responsiveness to global challenges. The authors’ emphasis on the links between local and international networks captures precisely the elements that determine the growth of small enterprises today. The book is a “must” for anyone working on SMEs, East Asian growth, industrial districts, innovation and globalisation.’
– The late Sanjaya Lall, Oxford University (at the International Development Centre at Queen Elizabeth House), UK

‘This book integrates very well the topical themes of industrial clusters in local districts and the global links provided by multinational companies. The international comparison of Italy and Taiwan serves as a fascinating context for this discussion.’
– John Cantwell, Rutgers University, US
Contributors
Contributors: D. Ernst, P. Guerrieri, S. Iammarino, W.-J. Kuo, C. Pietrobelli, J.-C. Wang
Contents
Contents: Foreword 1. Introduction 2. Models of Industrial Clusters’ Evolution and Changes in Technological Regimes 3. The Dynamics of Italian Industrial Districts: Towards a Renewal of Competitiveness? 4. The Dynamics of Taiwan’s SMEs: The Case of Electronics 5. Small Firms Competing in Globalized High-tech Industries: The Co-evolution of Domestic and International Knowledge Linkages in Taiwan’s Computer Industry 6. New Challenges for Industrial Clusters and Districts: Global Production Networks and Knowledge Diffusion Bibliography Index
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