Innovation processes in the automotive suppliers’ network: internal resources and inter-firm relationships

Author/s Anna Moretti, Francesco Zirpoli
Publishing Year 2017 Issue 2017/147 Language Italian
Pages 22 P. 128-149 File size 159 KB
DOI 10.3280/SL2017-147007
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From an initial enthusiasm towards benefits of inter-organizational relationships aimed at co-engineering components and systems, the literature started highlighting that the choice of basing innovation processes on external sources, in order to be successful in the long term, needs to be associated with the development of internal competences and sophisticated inter-organizational practices. The study presented in this article analyzes the development of vertical relationships in the Italian automotive industry. In line with international practices, the Italian supplychain has developed following a hierarchical and multi-level logic. Nevertheless, it seems to lack the ability to exploit all advantages of distributed innovation. The study identifies two main reasons, connected to each other: 1) the scarce qualification of human resources, which makes difficult to improve internal innovation activities; 2) the limited reliance on external sources of innovation, with the consequent impossibility to exploit synergies offered by client-supplier relationships.

Dopo un iniziale entusiasmo verso i benefici dell’esternalizzazione dell’innovazione attraverso lo sviluppo di relazioni inter-organizzative finalizzate a co-progettare componenti e sistemi, la letteratura ha iniziato a osservare che la scelta di basare i propri processi innovativi su fonti esterne, per avere successo nel tempo, deve associarsi allo sviluppo di risorse e competenze interne e a sofisticate pratiche inter-organizzative. Lo studio presentato in questo articolo ha ad oggetto lo sviluppo delle relazioni verticali nel settore automotive italiano. In linea con le pratiche internazionali, la filiera italiana si è configurata secondo una logica gerarchica e multi livello. Essa, tuttavia, non sembra essere ancora nelle condizioni di sfruttare a pieno i vantaggi dell’innovazione distribuita. Lo studio individua due ragioni principali, tra di loro collegate: (1) la scarsa qualificazione della forza lavoro che rende difficile un miglioramento nelle attività di innovazione svolte all’interno dell’impresa; (2) il basso ricorso a fonti esterne di innovazione e la conseguente impossibilità di sfruttare le sinergie normalmente rese possibili dalle relazioni di fornitura.

Keywords: Inter-firm relationships, networks, innovation, automotive

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Anna Moretti, Francesco Zirpoli, L’innovazione delle imprese della componentistica automotive: risorse interne e relazioni tra imprese in "SOCIOLOGIA DEL LAVORO " 147/2017, pp 128-149, DOI: 10.3280/SL2017-147007