Industrial districts and the fourth industrial revolution

Marco Bettiol, Mauro Capestro, Valentina De Marchi, Eleonora Di Maria, Silvia Rita Sedita

Producció científica: Article en revista indexadaArticleAvaluat per experts

22 Cites (Scopus)


Purpose: This paper aims to explore if firms located in industrial districts (IDs) have different adoption paths concerning Industry 4.0 technologies and get different results with respect to other similar firms located outside IDs. Design/methodology/approach: The study is based on a quantitative analysis related to an original data set of 206 Italian manufacturing firms specializing in made in Italy industries and adopting Industry 4.0 technologies. A case study of a district firm is also presented to explain the rationale of investment strategies and results obtained. Findings: The analysis shows that there are differences between district and non-district firms when Industry 4.0 technology investments are concerned (higher investment rate in big data/cloud and augmented reality for district firms than non-district ones). In contrast to a breakthrough view of the fourth industrial revolution, the study suggests that 4.0 technologies emphasize the peculiarities and competitiveness factors typical of the district model in terms of customization and flexibility. There are differences in the motivations of adoption (product diversification for district firms vs productivity enhancement for non-district firms) and in the results achieved. Originality/value: The paper is one of the first attempts to empirically explore the technological innovation paths related to Industry 4.0

Idioma originalAnglès
Pàgines (de-a)12-26
Nombre de pàgines15
RevistaCompetitiveness Review
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 17 de gen. 2021
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