Focal Firms as Technological Gatekeepers within Industrial Districts: Evidence from the Packaging Machinery Industry

Munari, F., Sobrero, M., Malipiero A. (2012) “Focal firms as technological gatekeepers within industrial districts: knowledge creation and dissemination in the Italian packaging machinery industry”, Industrial and Corporate Change, vol.21, p. 429-462.

28 Pages Posted: 9 May 2005 Last revised: 20 Dec 2013

See all articles by Federico Munari

Federico Munari

University of Bologna - Department of Management

Alessandro Malipiero

University of Bologna - Department of Management

Maurizio Sobrero

University of Bologna - Department of Management

Date Written: January 1, 2005

Abstract

This paper examines how knowledge is created and transferred among firms within a geographical bounded industrial cluster. Using patent data from the automatic packaging machinery industrial district in the region Emilia-Romagna in Northern Italy, we first provide an empirical test of the widely diffused (and rarely measured) assumption that knowledge generated by cluster-based firms more easily flows within the cluster than outside it. Then, we advance that leading firms within the cluster assume the role of "gatekeepers" in driving the processes of new knowledge creation and diffusion. They introduce external technological novelties in the cluster and enact new useful knowledge production locally, thus enhancing international competitive capabilities of all firms in the cluster.

Keywords: Focal Firms, Spill-overs, Innovation, Industrial Districts, Diffusion

JEL Classification: O31, O32, O33, M19

Suggested Citation

Munari, Federico and Malipiero, Alessandro and Sobrero, Maurizio, Focal Firms as Technological Gatekeepers within Industrial Districts: Evidence from the Packaging Machinery Industry (January 1, 2005). Munari, F., Sobrero, M., Malipiero A. (2012) “Focal firms as technological gatekeepers within industrial districts: knowledge creation and dissemination in the Italian packaging machinery industry”, Industrial and Corporate Change, vol.21, p. 429-462.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=717702 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.717702

Federico Munari (Contact Author)

University of Bologna - Department of Management ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 1
Bologna, Bologna 40126
ITALY
051-2093954 (Phone)
051-2093949 (Fax)

Alessandro Malipiero

University of Bologna - Department of Management ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 1
Bologna, BO 40126
Italy

Maurizio Sobrero

University of Bologna - Department of Management ( email )

Via Capo di Lucca 34
40126 Bologna, Bologna 40126
Italy
+39 051 2098076 (Phone)

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