Which governance structures drive economic, environmental, and social upgrading?

The concept of upgrading has been used extensively for the last twenty years, to capture the possibility for firms, regions, countries to learn, grow and move toward higher value-added activities thanks to being embedded into Global Value Chains. One of the key finding emerging from this literature is that the extent of such upgrading depends on the nature of relationships with the lead firms (governance). Whereas the literature to date has explored these issues via qualitative approaches, this paper explores the effect that different forms of governance with suppliers and customers have on economic (product, process, functional), environmental and social upgrading based on an analysis of the International Manufacturing Strategy Survey (IMSS) data. The results show that participating to GVCs supports only some forms of upgrading and only under specific governance structures.

For more info: Golini, R., De Marchi, V., Boffelli, A., & Kalchschmidt, M. (2018). Which governance structures drive economic, environmental, and social upgrading? A quantitative analysis in the assembly industries. International Journal of Production Economics, 203, 13-23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpe.2018.05.021

Do Global Value Chains Offer Developing Countries Learning and Innovation Opportunities?

The role of developing countries in the global economy via embeddedness in Global Value Chains (GVCs) is increasing, but their ability to become innovation leaders is less certain. Together with Roberta Rabellotti and Elisa Giuliani we published an article in which we analysed the extant literature identifying three dominant types of innovators within the GVC – who display various levels of innovativeness and use different learning mechanisms and investigate the opportunities for local development in developing countries.

More info at: De Marchi V., Giuliani E., Rabellotti R. (2017) ‘Do Global Value Chains Offer Developing Countries Learning and Innovation Opportunities?’, The European Journal of Development Research. https://lnkd.in/dJU-inX

Here the link at the post on the LSE Global Investments & Local Development blog: https://goo.gl/1Je4tE

New book: local clusters in Global Value Chains

Drawing on detailed studies of different industries and countries, the book Local Clusters in Global Value Chains. Linking Actors and Territories Through Manufacturing and Innovation, co-edited with Eleonora Di Maria and Gary Gereffi for Routledge discusses how clusters are evolving differently in GVCs, given the international fragmentation of economic activities and the increasing competitive pressure to small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) agglomerated in economic clusters because of the consolidation of GVCs ruled by global lead firms.

The book explores the tension between place-based variables and global drivers of change, and the possibility for territories containing such clusters to prosper in the new global scenario considering for the role of key – local and global – actors active in the industrial districts and the innovation and manufacturing capabilities characterising it, being of potential interest for both scholars and policy makers.

Below the Table of content and attached the flyer of presentation of the book with the dedicated discount code! 😉

More info at: https://goo.gl/4o5VgC


Edited by Valentina De Marchi, Eleonora Di Maria, Gary Gereffi in Routledge Studies in Global Competition (2018)


Chapter 1. Industrial Districts, Clusters and Global Value Chains: Toward an Integrated Framework,  by Valentina De Marchi, Eleonora Di Maria, and Gary Gereffi

Part I –Co-evolution of clusters and GVC

Chapter 2. Italian Industrial Districts Today: Between Decline and Openness to Global Value Chains, by Elisa Giuliani and Roberta Rabellotti

Chapter 3. Evolutionary Trajectories of Industrial Districts in Global Value Chains, by Valentina De Marchi, Gary Gereffi and Roberto Grandinetti

Chapter 4. Clusters, Industrial Districts and the Impact of Their Growing Intersection with Global Value Chains, by Mario Davide Parrilli and Jiří Blažek

Part II –The role of lead firms in GVCs and clusters

Chapter 5. MNEs and clusters: the creation of place-anchored value chains, by Fiorenza Belussi, Annalisa Caloffi and Silvia Rita Sedita

Chapter 6. The Global Value Chain and the Role of MNEs in Local Production Systems, by Mariachiara Barzotto, Giancarlo Corò and Mario Volpe

Chapter 7. Knowledge, systemic contribution and brokerage in industrial clusters, by Francesc Xavier Molina-Morales, Luis Martínez-Cháfer and José A. Belso-Martínez

Chapter 8. Local liabilities between immigrant and native entrepreneurship in clusters and global value chains, by Simone Guercini

Part III –Value chain activities: rethinking the role of manufacturing and innovation

Chapter 9. Manufacturing where art thou? Value chain organization and cluster-firms strategies between local and global, by Marco Bettiol, Maria Chiarvesio, Eleonora Di Maria and Stefano Micelli

Chapter 10. Networks of clusters within GVC: the case of the European ceramic tile districts in Spain and Italy, by Jose Luis Hervas-Oliver and Mario Davide Parrilli

Chapter 11. The role of manufacturing within industrial districts: proposing and testing an innovative methodology, by Ruggero Golini and Albachiara Boffelli

Chapter 12. New frontiers for competitiveness and growth in clusters and chains research, byValentina De Marchi, Eleonora Di Maria and Gary Gereffi

When the lead firm driving sustainability is from a developing country

Online the book chapter “Social Entrepreneurship and Upgrading in Emerging Economies: The Indian Case of Industree and Its Brand Mother Earth”

If we have been used to think to sustainability as leaded by developed countries’ firms, with this case we aim at keeping the discussion going on the increasing role of developing countries firms – rising powers – not just from an economic standpoint but also from a sustainability one. Indeed, we describe how the company successfully managed to implement a socially (and to a lesser extent environmentally) sustainable supply chain, supporting the upgrading of their local suppliers, mostly poor artisans living in the countryside.

More info at: Bettiol M., De Marchi V., Di Maria E. (2018) Social Entrepreneurship and Upgrading in Emerging Economies: The Indian Case of Industree and Its Brand Mother Earth. In: Leal-Millan A., Peris-Ortiz M., Leal-Rodríguez A. (eds) Sustainability in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Innovation, Technology, and Knowledge Management. Springer, Cham

Nuovi processi sostenibili concia: che impatti economici e sociali?

Nel distretto di Arzignano (VI) della pelle sono stati sviluppate innovazioni di processo per ridurre utilizzo di acqua e prodotti chimici del 20% rispetto a processo conciario tradizionale, che è altamente inquinante.

Quali saranno gli impatti economici e sociali di tali nuovi processi, sviluppati all’interno del progetto europeo GreenLIFE se fossero implementati a pieno regime? Insieme ad Eleonora di Maria abbiamo svolto un’analisi degli impatti. Qui le slide dell’estratto di tale rapporto presentato a Montorso Vicentino martedì 9/5/17: (https://www.slideshare.net/greenLIFEproject/greenleather2017-valentina-de-marchi-universit-di-padova)

Quanto si innova in Veneto?

I dati europei raccontano di un Veneto solo moderatamente innovatore. Eppure conosciamo molte imprese nel territorio riconosciute a livello internazionale per la loro capacità di introdurre nuovi prodotti o processi spesso radicali.

Come spiegare questo paradosso? Ce lo siamo chiesti insieme a Roberta Apa, Silvia Sedita e Roberto Grandinetti, svolgendo un’analisi che ci ha portato a descrivere una ‘Via Veneto’ all’innovazione, con meno ricerca e sviluppo formalizzata, ma più diffusa e aperta alle collaborazioni con università e altri soggetti esterni.

Qui l’infografica che descrive i principali risultati, presentati anche al Galileo Festival dell’Innovazione.

Per maggiori info: Apa R., De marchi V., Grandinetti R., Sedita S.R. (2016), Oltre la visione tecnocratica dell’innovazione: i risultati di una ricerca sulle piccolo-medie imprese, Economia e Società Regionale, 3 DOI: 10.3280/ES2016-003007

Infografica su innovazione PMI Veneto – ricerca 2016 – de marchi

Environmental policy vs. environmental strategies: the impact on offshoring decision

The effectiveness of policy pressure in engendering firms’ better environmental performance is a hot issue on the current policy agenda, but the chance for firms to relocate their activities where environmental regulations are less stringent may undermine the effectiveness of the policy instruments designed to reduce polluting emissions. By investigating policy-related and strategy-related elements on Italian manufacturing firms, in the paper ‘Governing offshoring in a stringent environmental policy setting: Evidence from Italian manufacturing firms. Journal of Cleaner Production we suggest that offshoring decisions relate more to a firm’s self-imposed pressure to reduce its environmental impact by means of an appropriate environmental sustainability strategy and on its overall market and ICT strategy rather then by policy stringency. This is especially true when it comes to FDI (as respect to international outsourcing). Furthermore, such a conclusion holds when considering offshoring decision in developing countries as well, even if in here policy stringency plays a slightly larger role.

Evolving clusters at the I Workshop d’economia Valenciana

On November 4th, 2016, I got the pleasure to present my research in progress on the evolutionary trajectories of Italian industrial districts in Global Value Chains during a Keynote at the I workshop d’economia Valencia (www.econval.org). You can find the presentation in slideshare by clicking here.



How innovative are (Italian) regions?

Today the paper “Regional Innovation Systems or Innovative regions? Evidence from Italy“, which I co-authored with Roberto Grandinetti has been released by Tijdschrift.

In this article we delve into the discussion of what drives the innovativeness of regions, studying the performance of all Italian regions via the perspective of the RIS (regional innovation systems) literature.

The analysis on 2008 CIS data, reveals a new geography of innovation in the country as compared to results emerging from studies on the 1990s, suggesting a high dynamism in innovation capabilities of Italian regions. Four clusters of regions are identified, but none of them can be described as a true RIS: the most innovative ones (Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Lombardia, Piemonte) lack ‘systemicness’ and those that come closest to the RIS model (Friuli Venezia Giulia, Marche, Trentino Alto Adige, Basilicata) have not the best innovative performance.

Wine industrial districts in glocal value chains

Why are some districts well on the road to decline, while others have succeeded in evolving and reproducing the district form? In this paper, we seek an answer to this question by studying Italian wine clusters, supporting that the global value analysis perspective is useful in order to see where Italian industrial districts are heading and suggesting the powerful role of “communications machines” played by non-manufacturing intermediaries within what could be named glocal value chains.