Learning from Innovation in the Health Industry
Edited by Marco R. Di Tommaso and Stuart O. Schweitzer
Chapter 11: Multinational Enterprises and High-Tech Clusters in the Health Industry: Some Preliminary Results in Italy
11. Multinational enterprises and high-tech clusters in the health industry: some preliminary results in Italy Marco Bellandi and Nicoletta Tessieri 1 INTRODUCTION1 The success of modern industrial districts, in Italy and elsewhere, represents a clear manifestation of the forces of local development. The industrial districts are prototypical examples of localities (the territorial level is that of daily urban systems) characterized by the economic and social prominence of an industrial cluster of specialized small to medium-sized ﬁrms. Within an industrial district, the principal industrial cluster corresponds, in statistical terms, to the aggregation of the most important manufacturing sector of the area and of complementary and auxiliary sectors. Generally the relations between large ﬁrms and the development of industrial districts are various, positive or negative, sometimes relevant. Of course their nature depends also on socioeconomic and institutional factors at regional, national and international levels. As regards the large ﬁrms, and speciﬁcally multinational companies, there are three diﬀerent strategies. The ﬁrst is a strategy of vertical integration in the constitution of human capital, marketing channels, R&D facilities, taking basic resources from the outside and transforming them into speciﬁc assets. The second is a networking strategy, in which the internal processes are complemented by the relation with external processes, both in other large ﬁrms (joint ventures and so on) and in industrial districts. The last is a predatory strategy, by which external processes are exploited for incorporating valuable external resources and destroying the economic bases of independent districts. In the...
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