The internationalisation of production systems: embeddedness, openness and governance

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The paper explores the process of production internationalisation of local production systems with a special concern for the tension between embeddedness and openness, and with the governance structure of international networking. Local production systems are prompted to look beyond their local borders by the need to access knowledge, competences, as well as goods and services. Beyond a concern with territory, the possibility of multinational networks has been conceptualised as a mesh of local production systems cemented by production and socioeconomic relations. Drawing on the conceptual hypothesis of multinational networks, the paper proceeds to analyse the process of international outsourcing of Italian industrial districts as an application. The opening up of districts has taken place at the same time as a process of internal hierarchisation due to the emergence of leading groups. The paper reflects on how industrial districts have tended to generate abroad similar forms of agglomerations replicating the industrial district model, as well as presenting some preliminary considerations on the link between the governance of the local production system and the governance of its external networks.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-515
Number of pages23
JournalEntrepreneurship & Regional Development
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2008