In times of increasing overlaps in local and global pressures towards sustainability, nature and quality of data are fundamental for sharing strategies and resources among neighbouring SMEs. While local and global challenges call for systemic approaches and networking strategies, multiple layers of geographical, organizational and technical information seem to determine the real measure of the proximity that enables fruitful inter-organizational collaborations. Grounding on the evidences gathered during five years of observation on latent clusters of agro-food SMEs in Central Italy, this exploratory study provides an insight on theoretical and practical barriers to the identification and removal of the distances that prevent neighbouring firms from sharing strategies towards regional data exchange, health, safety and productivity. The contribution to the scientific debate is twofold. First, a poor in-field understanding of non-spatial proximity seems to emerge as a factor that concurs at creating false expectations for a natural convergence on local inter-organizational collaborations. Second, difficulties in handling the risks associated with the reduction of non-spatial distances between local SMEs seem to emerge as a major cause that disable public and private investments on the development of local networks. Following the examination of parallels and contrasts with concepts previously developed in the literature, an in-deep discussion with local stakeholders on how to operationalize and implement the assessment and facilitation of local networking opportunities is presented along with policy suggestions and directions for further research.

Proximity of data and data on proximity: an insight on the remoteness of neighbouring SMEs

RIZZI, Francesco;BATTAGLIA, MASSIMO
2013

Abstract

In times of increasing overlaps in local and global pressures towards sustainability, nature and quality of data are fundamental for sharing strategies and resources among neighbouring SMEs. While local and global challenges call for systemic approaches and networking strategies, multiple layers of geographical, organizational and technical information seem to determine the real measure of the proximity that enables fruitful inter-organizational collaborations. Grounding on the evidences gathered during five years of observation on latent clusters of agro-food SMEs in Central Italy, this exploratory study provides an insight on theoretical and practical barriers to the identification and removal of the distances that prevent neighbouring firms from sharing strategies towards regional data exchange, health, safety and productivity. The contribution to the scientific debate is twofold. First, a poor in-field understanding of non-spatial proximity seems to emerge as a factor that concurs at creating false expectations for a natural convergence on local inter-organizational collaborations. Second, difficulties in handling the risks associated with the reduction of non-spatial distances between local SMEs seem to emerge as a major cause that disable public and private investments on the development of local networks. Following the examination of parallels and contrasts with concepts previously developed in the literature, an in-deep discussion with local stakeholders on how to operationalize and implement the assessment and facilitation of local networking opportunities is presented along with policy suggestions and directions for further research.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11382/403849
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
social impact