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Are Industrial Clusters Going International the Case of Italian SMEs in Romania

Are Industrial Clusters Going International the Case of Italian SMEs in Romania

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Published by nedivanova
The paper analyses the process of internationalisation realized by Italian SMEs coming from
industrial districts and locating in the northwestern part of Romania. The case studies show
how small firms tend to replicate, on an international scale, the relationships developed in
the source districts, thus developing international networks that overcome the classical
hurdles to growth that mainly affect small firms.
The paper analyses the process of internationalisation realized by Italian SMEs coming from
industrial districts and locating in the northwestern part of Romania. The case studies show
how small firms tend to replicate, on an international scale, the relationships developed in
the source districts, thus developing international networks that overcome the classical
hurdles to growth that mainly affect small firms.

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Published by: nedivanova on Mar 03, 2010
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UNIVERSIT
À
 
DELL'INSUBRIAFACOLT
À
 
DI ECONOMIA
http://eco.uninsubria.it 
 
Antonio Majocchi
Are industrial clusters goinginternational? The case of ItalianSMEs in Romania
2000/12
 
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In questi quaderni vengono pubblicati i lavori dei docenti dellaFacoltà di Economia dell’Università dell’Insubria. La pubblicazionedi contributi di altri studiosi, che abbiano un rapporto didattico oscientifico stabile con la Facoltà, può essere proposta da unprofessore della Facoltà, dopo che il contributo sia stato discussopubblicamente. Il nome del proponente è riportato in notaall'articolo. I punti di vista espressi nei quaderni della Facoltà diEconomia riflettono unicamente le opinioni degli autori, e nonrispecchiano necessariamente quelli della Facoltà di Economiadell'Università dell'Insubria.These Working papers collect the work of the Faculty of Economicsof the University of Insubria. The publication of work by otherAuthors can be proposed by a member of the Faculty, provided thatthe paper has been presented in public. The name of the proposer isreported in a footnote. The views expressed in the Working papersreflect the opinions of the Authors only, and not necessarily the onesof the Economics Faculty of the University of Insubria.© Copyright Antonio MajocchiPrinted in Italy in July 2000Università degli Studi dell'InsubriaVia Ravasi 2, 21100 Varese, ItalyAll rights reserved. No part of this paper may be reproduced in anyform without permission of the Author.
 
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ARE INDUSTRIAL CLUSTERS GOING INTERNATIONAL? THE CASE OFITALIAN SMEs IN ROMANIA
Κ
 
Antonio Majocchi
*
 July 2000
The paper analyses the process of internationalisation realized by Italian SMEs coming fromindustrial districts and locating in the northwestern part of Romania. The case studies showhow small firms tend to replicate, on an international scale, the relationships developed inthe source districts, thus developing international networks that overcome the classicalhurdles to growth that mainly affect small firms.
Introduction
During the Nineties a growing number of studies have shown how internationalisation strategieshave been significantly pursued not only by large firms but also by an increasing number of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Consequently, a large number of studies havebeen devoted to analyzing this phenomenon (Fujita 1995a; Fujita 1995b, Kohn and Gomes–Casseres 1997, Khon 1997). Data show that this process of international growth issignificantly taking place in Italy, where local SMEs have expanded their presence not onlythrough the traditional means of exports but also through the establishment of foreign directinvestments (Mutinelli and Piscitello 1998). The analysis of the strategies of internationalisationrealised by the SMEs is extremely important for an economy such as the Italian one, where theindustrial structure is mainly based on small firms. However, the average small size of firms isnot the only feature of Italian firms, which show a high level of geographical concentration inareas generally defined as “industrial districts”. Economic literature on the industrial districtsdates back to the work of Marshall, but it is with special regard to the Italian experience that alarge of number of works have been devoted (Porter 1990, 1998, Lorenzoni and Lazerson1999, Baccarani and Golinelli 1993). This widespread interest on this aspect is mainly due tothe capacity that firms, operating within the industrial districts, have demonstrated in enteringinternational markets and in the role they have in developing employment. The importance of districts within the Italian economy can be inferred by an analysis of some synthetic indicators:the Istat's (Italian Central Statistics Institute) 1991 census singled out some 200 industrialdistricts in which over 2 million workers are employed, a figure equivalent to 42.5% of overallfactory employment in Italy. Export data, regarding these local systems, are even moresignificant. Recent data on 60 major Italian districts, has emphasised that, in 1996, 30.5% of 
Κ
Paper presented at the Asac-Ifsam joint conference, 8-11 July, 2000, Montreal, Canada
*
Università degli Studi dell’Insubria, Facoltà di Economia, via Ravasi, 2 – 21100 Varese; E-mail:amajocchi@mail.eco.uninsubria.it

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