Keywords: Internationalisation, Made in Italy, Strategy
Recent changes in the international scenario have fostered an intense competitive pressure from emerging countries, which are gaining large market shares in almost all sectors, including those usually referred to as "Made in Italy". In this paper we argue that the reaction by Italian companies to this increasing competition has forced them to develop a strategic approach more focused on the firm's internal capabilities than on districtual advantages. Empirical evidence, emerging from survey information and balance sheet data, confirms the presence of significant dissimilarity in the firm's strategic reaction to competition, even in a rather homogeneous sector as the Marche footwear sector. The differences observed in company behaviour depend primarily on the company's characteristics, its entrepreneurial and managerial orientation and its perception of the future competitive scenario.