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Über dieses Buch

The structure of Italian industry is characterized by a predominance of small sized companies and the presence of very few large companies. For a long time a conviction was shared among scholars and practitioners that the strength and safety of Italian industry were based on its industrial districts, that is, the system of interdependent and co-localized small companies which derive their competitive force from an effective and efficient division of labour. This book stresses the idea that a new, vital and promising phenomenon for the competitiveness of Italian industry is focused on mid-sized companies, and the systems of interconnected firms that form a constituent part of their business model. These companies, which originate largely from districts and other local production systems, are a strong entrepreneurial force complementing the districts that have characterized Italy and made Italian industry famous worldwide. A quantitative and qualitative analysis of these firms is provided in this book. Business models and strategies implemented by a number of successful Italian mid-sized manufacturing companies are also explored. Consequences in terms of management and industrial policies are provided. A final look at the German Mittelstand gives a useful comparison.



1. Background and goals of the book

In medio stat virtus

: the growing interest in the mid-sized company

The research and its goals

Annalisa Tunisini, Riccardo Resciniti

2. Mid-sized companies according to Mediobanca-Unioncamere

Origins of medium-sized enterprises

The Mediobanca-Unioncamere report on medium-sized Italian industrial businesses

Distribution of Italian medium-sized enterprises

Characteristics and trends of medium-sized Italian industrial companies

Gabriele Barbaresco, Emanuela Salerno

3. A quantitative analysis of the companies under examination

Financial profile of the companies under examination

Panel companies versus Italian MSEs

Panel companies versus benchmak firms

Gabriele Barbaresco, Nadia Portioli

4. Virtuous business models for international competitiveness

The governance issues and trajecttories of growth

The vital network of inter-organizational relationships

The dynamic focus strategies

The new value chain of mid-sized Italian companies

Competing in international markets

The mid-sized company and the new global economic context

Riccardo Resciniti, Annalisa Tunisini

5. Implications for managerial and industrial policy

Medium-sized enterprises as system integrators

Industrial policy

Recipes for the future

Fulvio Coltorti, Riccardo Varaldo

Appendix 1. Strategies and policies to support the competitiveness of German Mittelstand companies

The outstanding importance of the “Mittelstand” for the German economy is frequently emphasized inside Germany and abroad. Even on an international scale, the term “Mittelstand” has become a synonym for the success of the German business model and has often entered the local vocabulary, especially in the Anglo-Saxon world. In an era of a fast changing globalised economy and of stock-market oriented multinational corporations, the enterprise owner, strongly tied to his Mittelstand company and its stakeholders, represents a firm anchor with long-term orientation but also shows the necessary flexibility to react quickly to constantly changing economic framework and market conditions.

Michael Holz

Appendix 2. Successful paths of Italian mid-sized firms

Altana was founded in 1982 in Treviso (north-east Italy) as a small company within the Benetton group. In 1992, it becomes independent thanks to Marina Salamon, 100% owner of the Alchimia holding, that controls Altana together with the Doxa and Methodos companies (both involved on the frontline of market research).

Michela Matarazzo
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