Chapter 10: Evolutions in industrial districts and local productive systems
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This chapter paves the way for an exploration of the evolution of local productive systems (LPSs), looking specifically at the contemporary digital transformation. Firstly, the chapter illustrates and develops a conceptual framework able to identify the main multilevel structural dimensions featuring different forms of LPS, i.e., the industrial organization, the socio-cultural and territorial structure, and the institutional and governance support. Ideal-typical models of LPS, from classical industrial districts to poles of large firms, are here classified according to the proposed dimensions. Secondly, the chapter identifies an updated typology of firms according to their association with the industrial organization of LPSs. Thirdly, this typology is applied to an exemplificative set of cases of different types of small to medium sized firms investing in Industry 4.0 technologies and localized in LPSs of different type. The cases confirm the heterogeneity of paths entered by LPSs in the absorption of such technologies.

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