Fiorenza Belussi

The international resilience of Italian industrial districts/clusters (ID/C) between knowledge re-shoring and manufacturing off (near)-shoring

The literature regarding ID/C is based on seminal writings of Marshall, followed by Giacomo Becattini’s rediscovering of the concept of an «industrial district». But the concept of a «cluster» was also promoted during the 1980s by Porter, and highlighted the importance of geographically clustered and interconnected firms and institutions specialised in a particular field. Despite the model of ID/C has been often described as locally self-contained, various empirical researches and our analysis have pointed out its increasing involvement in the process of internationalization. The recent entry and exit of MNEs, and the phenomena of off-shoring did not question the model of ID/C per se, but it contributed to showing how interwoven the evolution of local economies and MNEs is. 

Keywords: industrial districts; clusters; MNEs; off-shoring; re-shoring