Fuori dalla crisi: la capacità competitiva delle imprese del distretto della meccatronica vicentina
Purpose of the paper: The paper aims at analyzing the post crisis competitive capacity of firms belonging to Vicenza mechatronics industry, that nowadays represents a strategic sector for pursuing Industry 4.0 objectives. The study wants also to disclosure which firms’ characteristics in the local system allow to reach a certain degree of competitive performance.
Methodology: The study is based on original data collected on a population of mechatronics firms in the first months of 2017. The analysis, integrated also with insights from some qualitative interviews conducted in loco, is mainly based on descriptive statistics and econometric analysis.
Findings: The study underlines important aspects of mechatronics industrial district’s competitive capacity, suggesting that to sustain valuable performances neither is necessary to reach a certain size nor sufficient to invest only in commercial and organizational innovation. Findings suggest that virtuous mechanisms are triggered when 1. innovation with high degree of novelty are introduced, and 2. formalized by patents activities, 3. there is a certain presence of human resources to dedicate to innovation and that can act as interface with the outside world, and 4. network relations at global level are developed.
Research limits: Assessments of firms’ performance are based on entrepreneurs or expert managers’ evaluations. Causality among variables cannot be assessed. Future research could integrate the research results with more objective statistical data related to the years following this first analysis.
Practical implications: The paper provides local entrepreneurs with a useful benchmark and new knowledge about trends in the local system. It gives also some guidelines about which factors may best sustain post crisis competitive positions.
Originality of the paper: This study is based on original data which provide new insight on firms’ trend performances within an industrial district. In particular, the research allows to relate firms’ post crisis competitive position with firms’ characteristics, firms’ innovation activities and firms’ capability to develop network relation both with locals well as international firms and organizations.
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