In this paper, we present a novel manner of inter-firm networkingthat is emerging in Italy, based on the contratto di rete (business-networkcontract). This is a recently established form of business-network agreement,which allows flexible but institutionally founded inter-firm collaboration.Through a comparative study, we investigate three successful cases of thesenew-generation business networks; the analysis outlines under what conditionsthe network contract can be leveraged to improve the ability of the participatingfirms to face the new global competitive environment. Some commoninteresting success factors are identified in the three cases under study, such as:the shared belief that a new way of doing business is needed; the reciprocaltrust between firms; the commitment and personality of the entrepreneursinvolved; the balance of cooperation and competition in intra-networkrelationships; and the co-evolving perception of network success. Thepartnering firms under study are using these networks to become capable ofplaying new roles and to re-define their identity in the business environment.We propose the label ‘agility-oriented’ for this type of network and argue thatvery interesting questions for further research are raised by this emergingphenomenon.

The emerging wave of agility-oriented business networks in Italy: a new strategy for facing global competition

CANTELE, SILVIA;VERNIZZI, Silvia;RICCIARDI, Francesca
2016

Abstract

In this paper, we present a novel manner of inter-firm networkingthat is emerging in Italy, based on the contratto di rete (business-networkcontract). This is a recently established form of business-network agreement,which allows flexible but institutionally founded inter-firm collaboration.Through a comparative study, we investigate three successful cases of thesenew-generation business networks; the analysis outlines under what conditionsthe network contract can be leveraged to improve the ability of the participatingfirms to face the new global competitive environment. Some commoninteresting success factors are identified in the three cases under study, such as:the shared belief that a new way of doing business is needed; the reciprocaltrust between firms; the commitment and personality of the entrepreneursinvolved; the balance of cooperation and competition in intra-networkrelationships; and the co-evolving perception of network success. Thepartnering firms under study are using these networks to become capable ofplaying new roles and to re-define their identity in the business environment.We propose the label ‘agility-oriented’ for this type of network and argue thatvery interesting questions for further research are raised by this emergingphenomenon.
business networks; inter-firm networks; inter-organisationalrelationships; network contracts; contratti di rete; agility; Italy.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/929647
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