Business Networks in Clusters and Industrial Districts: The Governance of the Global Value Chain, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Business Networks in Clusters and Industrial Districts

The Governance of the Global Value Chain, 1st Edition

Edited by Fiorenza Belussi, Alessia Sammarra


448 pages | 22 B/W Illus.

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During the 1980s the Marshallian concept of industrial district (ID) became widely popular due to the resurgence of interest in the reasons that make the agglomeration of specialised industries a territorial phenomenon worth being analysed. The analysis of clusters and IDs has often been limited, considering only the local dimension of the created business networks. The external links of these systems have been systematically under-evaluated.

This book offers a deep insight into the evolution of these systems and the internal-external mechanism of knowledge circulation and learning. This means that the access to external knowledge (information or R&D cooperative research) or to productive networks (global supply chains) is studied in order to describe how external knowledge is absorbed and how local clusters or districts become global systems. It provides a unified approach; showing that existing capabilities expand when locally embedded knowledge is combined with accessible external knowledge. In this view, external knowledge linkages reduce the danger of cognitive ‘lock-in’ and ‘over-embeddedness’, which may become important obstacles to local learning and innovation when technological trajectories and global economic conditions change. A selection of international experts


My conclusion is that the book as a whole represents a valuable contribution to current debates concerning the role of clusters and geographical proximity in the globalised economy. I find this book both relevant to scholars and policy makers

  • Grete Rusten, University of Bergen, Norway

Table of Contents

Part 1: The business model of industrial districts and clusters in the knowledge-based view and in the social network analysis perspective 1. The international fragmentation of the industrial districts value chain between relocation and global integration Fiorenza Belussi and Alessia Sammarra 2. Situated business networks facing globalisation: a critical assessment Fiorenza Belussi and Silvia Sedita 3. Boundary spanning strategies of industrial districts: the impact of absorptive capacity Tine Aage Part 2: Industrial districts and clusters in the global value chains. A taxonomical exercise on the path-dependent avenue of Marshallian/Satellite/Evolutionary/Science districts 4. Industrial districts and clusters in the global value chain: the cases of Saonara, Pistoia and Boskoop Fiorenza Belussi and Silvia Rita Sedita 6. The evolution of the Montebelluna sportswear district through knowledge creation, ICT adoption, and international commercial nets Fiorenza Belussi 7. A "low road" to competitiveness in the global apparel industry: the case of the Vibrata Valley district Alessia Sammarra 8. From proximity advantages to organisational advantages through the global extension of an industrial district: the case of the footwear district of Verona Fiorenza Belussi 9. Facing globalisation through inward and outward investments and international research collaboration: evidence from the biomedical district of Mirandola Fiorenza Belussi and Alessia Sammarra 10. Moving immigrants into western industrial districts: the "inverse" delocalisation of the leather tanning district of Arzignano Fiorenza Belussi and Silvia Rita Sedita 11. The clustering R&D through the institutional mechanisms in the Paris Region Najoua Boufaden, Sofiène Lourimi and André Torre 12. Transferring entrepreneurialship: the making of the cluster of Timisoara Fiorenza Belussi 13. How deeply embedded is the "footwear agglomeration" in Timisoara? Simona Montagnana 14. The Evolution of External Linkages and Relational Density in the Tuscan Leather Industry Lorenzo Bacci and Mauro Lombardi and Sandrine Labory 15. Local development and innovation policies in China: the experience of Guangdong specialised towns Annalisa Caloffi 16. Industrial Clusters in the Brazilian Ceramic Tile Industry and the New Challenges of the Competition in the Global Value Chain Renato Garcia and Gabriela Scur 17. The localisation of multinationals in Italian clusters between Marshallian and urban externalities Nicoletta Tessieri

About the Editors

Fiorenza Belussi is Associate Professor of Strategic Management and Organization at the University of Padua, Italy.

Alessia Sammarra is Assistant Professor of Strategic Management and Organization at the Faculty of Economics, University of L’Aquila, Italy.

About the Series

Regions and Cities

In today’s globalised, knowledge-driven and networked world, regions and cities have assumed heightened significance as the interconnected nodes of economic, social and cultural production, and as sites of new modes of economic governance and policy experimentation. This book series brings together incisive and critically engaged international and interdisciplinary research on this resurgence of regions and cities, and should be of interest to geographers, economists, sociologists, political scientists and cultural scholars, as well as to policy-makers involved in regional and urban development.

If you would like to discuss a potential new book for the series, please contact:

Joan Fitzgerald – [email protected] – Series Editor-in-Chief, or

Natalie Tomlinson – [email protected] – Routledge Commissioning Editor

For more information on the Regional Studies Association, visit


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Urban & Regional
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Economic Policy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Regional Planning