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Networks, territory and firm development. The perspective of Italian family firms

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Abstract

This work aims to understand whether the territory can still be considered a driver of firm development and competitiveness, bearing in mind that the current competitive context increasingly pushes firms towards collaborations and relationships that are on different spatial scales. In particular the paper focuses on how a firm can combine relationships that involve different physical and relational spaces referred to territory. The first part of the paper analyses the main contributions on relations and territory. The second part presents the analysis of four Italian firms that have embraced new production and market approaches based on the development of networks of relations in local and extra-local contexts. We verify that the firm and the entrepreneur influence the development and connotation of a territory, and that the territory influences the development of businesses located in it. A more competitive advantage of firm can be so reached developing a portfolio of relationships that overcomes physical distances, involving several organizations characterized by the peculiarities of territory in which they are located. At the same time, the networking generated by organization’s interconnections influence the features of the territory and its competitiveness.

ISBN: 978-9985-9824-7-1