Nuovi modelli di business nel capitalismo (New business models in capitalism)

  • Enzo Rullani
Keywords: digitale; transizione; modelli di business; networking; ri-personalizzazione; lavoro


Since 2000, firms have been facing a transition that is gradually weakening the entrepreneurial culture and the competitive assets inherited from two historical paradigms of the nineteenth century: the Fordism of big auto-referential organizations (1900-1970) and the flexible capitalism of industrial districts and lean production (1970-2000). The converging processes of market globalization and the digitalization of knowledge have long highlighted the existence of a new paradigm: the global capitalism of networked knowledge. Even though this paradigm is still incomplete and contradictory, it is sufficient to destabilize the status quo, urging firms to search for new balances and new relationship systems.

Because of this transition, business models are changing in all industries of all dimensions. Due to the implosion of distances, global supply chains are adopting an increasingly intense division of labor by focusing on territories able to attract specific phases and functions of the supply chain activities. At the same time, the enlargement of markets, the replication at no cost of apps, data and digital programs, and the speeding up of responses according to on-demand production are enhancing the importance of market multipliers, which make it possible to use the same knowledge and the same standards in large volumes.

In the new digital/global paradigm, disruptive innovations are destined to spread rapidly and exponentially, feeding a “boom” that prepares a subsequent downfall. Giving rise to a messy swarm of social and personal discomforts, associated with processes of exclusion and technological unemployment. Putting together the winners and the losers of this transition is not only a political challenge, but also a managerial and social challenge since it is necessary to search for innovations that are not only relevant, but also sustainable from different perspectives.

The question is: which companies and countries can gain an advantage by actively participating, before and better than others, to this evolution? In particular, what can Italian firms do to increase their ability to generate value and enhance the attractiveness of our production system, by proposing business models appropriate for the digital/global environment that is emerging in the present and will greatly affect the near future?