Valeriano Balloni Donato Iacobucci

I "nuovi protagonisti" dell'industria italiana

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The paper aims to analyse the growth process of successful entrepreneurial firms ("new stars") in the Italian manufacturing industry. The "new stars" have been defined as new initiatives that having been established as new ventures after World War II have reached a turnover of at least 100 million Euros in 1999 and are still under the ownership and control of the founding entrepreneur. Using these criteria we identified 66 groups. The cases analysed followed two main growth strategies: the first is based on the internationalisation of the distribution and production activities, while remaining focused in the initial lines of business; the second is based on the differentiation of the original products, in order to cover all the relevant market segments within the same sector. On the contrary, related and unrelated diversification and vertical integration as well, played a minor role. Entrepreneurs expanded the activities under their control by setting up or acquiring new companies, rather than expanding the existing ones. The setting up of new companies is induced by the aim of giving them strategic and operative autonomy. Specifically it allows a more effective specialisation in production and marketing activities and it helps to preserve an entrepreneurial style of management, which is typical of small firms, while they are growing in size.


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