Local Networks to Compete in the Global Era. The Italian SMEs Experience
This study is concerned with the factors that influence the cooperation among cluster-based firms. Theorists have consistently demonstrated the role and importance of economic externalities, such as knowledge spillovers, within industrial clusters. Less attention has been paid to the investigation of social based externalities, though it has been suggested that these may also accrue from geographical agglomeration. This study explores the development of cooperation between firms operating in a single industry sector and in close proximity. The results suggest that social networking has a greater influence than geographic proximity in facilitating inter-firm co-operation. A semi-structured questionnaire has been developed and the answers were analysed with a stepwise regression model.