Being Excellent Entrepreneurs in Highly Marginal Areas: The Case of the Agri-Food Sector in the Province of Reggio Calabria

Open access

Abstract

The paper presents and discusses the findings of a field research study undertaken in a rural area in the province of Reggio Calabria, in Southern Italy, focused on firms belonging to the agri-food sector, in particular, on the excellent firms. Its objective is to point out how, even in rural and extremely marginal areas, and in unfavourable socio-economic and institutional contexts, it is possible that excellent firms were born and grew, and that they became competitive at the national and global scale. The paper therefore analyses these entrepreneurial case studies in-depth, using a methodologically mixed approach: on the one hand, focusing on their economic performance (quantitative analysis), and, on the other hand, investigating their strategy by means of direct open interviews. The paper concludes by providing “lessons” useful to understand how firms can not only survive, but also can be competitive and expand their business, even if they are located in extremely unfavourable peripheral contexts. This can be achieved by exploiting the strengths of these territories, which, even if few, they do not lack.

Academic references

  • [1] Annoni, P. & Dijkstra, L. (2013). EU Regional Competitiveness Index RCI 2013. Luxembourg: Publication Office of the European Union.

  • [2] Barbarito, L. (1999). L’analisi di settore. Metodologie e applicazioni. Milano: Franco Angeli.

  • [3] Becattini, G. (2002) Industrial sectors and industrial districts: tools for industrial analysis, European Planning Studies, 10, 483–493.

  • [4] Birch, D. L. (1979). The Job Generation Process. MIT Program on Neighborhood and Regional Change. Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  • [5] Birch, D. L. & Medoff, J. (1994). Gazelles. In Solmon, L. C. & Levenson, A. R., eds, Labor Markets, Employment Policy and Job Creation (pp. 159–167). Boulder, CO and London, UK: Westview Press.

  • [6] Braun, V. & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology 3 (2), 77–101.

  • [7] Campo dall’Orto, S. (2009). Imprese eccellenti. Le aziende milanesi che non temono la crisi. Milano: Franco Angeli.

  • [8] Cannari, L. & Franco, D. (2011). Il Mezzogiorno: ritardi, qualità dei servizi pubblici, politiche. Stato e mercato, 91(1), 3–40.

  • [9] Carè, V., Calabrò, T. & Marcianò, C. (2013). I Progetti Integrati per le Aree Rurali in Calabria. In Marcianò, C., ed., Governance rurali in Calabria (pp. 239–258). Reggio Calabria: Università degli Studi Mediterranea.

  • [10] Coad, A., Daunfeldt, S-O., Hölzl, W., Johansson, D. & Nightingale, P. (2014). High-growth firms: introduction to the special section. Industrial and Corporate Change, 23(1), 91–112. DOI: 10.1093/icc/dtt052.

  • [11] Coltorti, F. (2009). Le medie imprese nel Mezzogiorno. Scenari Economici, 5 (pp.146–159). Centro Studi Confindustria, Roma.

  • [12] Cozzupoli, F., Fortugno, D., Romeo, G. & Marcianò, C. (2013). La pianificazione integrata nell’Approccio Leader: un percorso di sviluppo nel Basso Tirreno Reggino. In Marcianò, C., ed., Governance rurali in Calabria (pp. 403–430). Reggio Calabria: Università degli Studi Mediterranea.

  • [13] Delmar, F., McKelvie, A. & Wennberg, K. (2013). Untangling the relationships among growth, profitability and survival in new firms. Technovation 33(8–9), 276–291. DOI: 10.1016/j.technovation.2013.02.003.

  • [14] Demattè, C. & Corbetta, G. (1993). I processi di transizione delle imprese familiari. [Working Paper]. Milano: Università Commerciale L. Bocconi.

  • [15] Ellis, S. J. & Kitzinger, C. (2002). Denying equality: An analysis of arguments against lowering the age of consent for sex between men. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology 12(3), 167–180. DOI: 10.1002/casp.670.

  • [16] Fortis, M. & Quadro Curzio, A., eds. (2014). L’economia reale nel Mezzogiorno. Bologna: Il Mulino.

  • [17] Giordano, R. & Tommasino, P. (2013). Public Sector Efficiency and Political Culture. FinanzArchiv, 69(3), 256–288. DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.1829965.

  • [18] Henrekson, M. & Johansson, D. (2010). Gazelles as job creators: a survey and interpretation of the evidence. Small Business Economics 35(2), 227–244.

  • [19] Kitzinger, C. & Willmott, J. (2002). The thief of womanhood: women’s experience of polycystic ovarian syndrome. Social Science & Medicine 54(3), 349–361. DOI: 10.1016/S0277-9536(01)00034-X.

  • [20] Kolar, J. (2014). Policies to support High Growth Innovative Enterprises. [Research report]. Brussels: European Commission.

  • [21] Lizzeri, G., ed. (1983). Mezzogiorno possibile: dati per un altro sviluppo, Milano: Franco Angeli.

  • [22] Marcianò, C. (2013). Introduzione. In Marcianò, C., ed., Governance rurali in Calabria (pp. 9–35). Reggio Calabria: Università degli Studi Mediterranea.

  • [23] Marcianò, C. & Palladino, M. (2013). La pianificazione integrata in un’area calabrese nell’ottica di una rete di affiliazione. Analisi delle strutture dei partenariati locali e del loro sviluppo. In Marcianò, C., ed., Governance rurali in Calabria (pp. 337–402). Reggio Calabria: Università degli Studi Mediterranea.

  • [24] Marcianò, C. & Romeo, G. (2016). Integrated Local Development in Coastal Areas: the Case of the “Stretto” Coast FLAG in Southern Italy. ProcediaSocial and Behaviorial Sciences 223, 379–385. DOI: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2016.05.251.

  • [25] Martin, R. L. (2006). A Study on the Factors of Regional Competitiveness. [Draft final report]. Cambridge Econometrics, Amsterdam: Ecorys-Nei.

  • [26] Moreno, F. & Coad, A. (2015). High-Growth Firms: Stylized Facts and Conflicting Results [Working paper]. Colchester: University of Essex.

  • [27] Musolino, D. & Senn, L. (2011). La filiera ferroviaria italiana nella competizione globale [Research report]. The National Federation of Italian Electrotechnical, Electronics and ICT Companies.

  • [28] Pirro, F. & Guarini, A., eds. (2008). Grande Industria e Mezzogiorno 19962007. Gruppi, settori e filiere trainanti fra declino dei sistemi produttivi locali e rilancio dei poli di sviluppo Bari: Cacucci Editore.

  • [29] Pontarollo, E. (1982). Tendenze della nuova imprenditoria nel Mezzogiorno degli anni ’70, Milano: Franco Angeli.

  • [30] Preti, P. (2011). Il meglio del piccolo, Milano: Egea.

  • [31] Resmini, L. (2011). Introduzione. In Resmini, L. & Torre, A., eds., Competitività Territoriale: Determinanti e Politiche (pp. 7–30). Milano: Franco Angeli.

  • [32] Rungi, A. (2009). Un’analisi dei dati di bilancio. In Bramanti A., ed., Il settore grafico lombardo (pp. 71–85). Milano: Franco Angeli.

  • [33] Viesti, G. (2000) (ed.), Mezzogiorno dei distretti, Donzelli, Roma.

Other sources

  • [32] Eurostat-OECD (2007). Eurostat-OECD Manual on Business Demography Statistics. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.

  • [33] Fondazione Nord Est (ed.) (2005). Passaggio a Nordest. I nuovi imprenditori tra giovinezza e maturità, Unindustria Treviso.

  • [34] ISTAT (National Institute for Statistics), 6th Agricultural Census (http://censimentoagricoltura.istat.it/).

  • [35] OECD (2002). High-Growth SMEs and Employment.

  • [36] S&W Spiekermann & Wegener, Urban and Regional Research (2014). ESPON MATRICES Final Report, www.espon.eu, 20/05/2014.

  • [37] SRM (2013). Un Sud che innova e produce. Vol. 2. La filiera agroalimentare, Giannini Editore, Napoli.

  • [38] Transcrime (2013). Progetto PON Sicurezza 20072013. Gli investimenti delle mafie. http://www.transcrime.it/en/pubblicazioni/progetto-pon-sicurezza-2007-2013/

European Countryside

The Journal of Mendel University in Brno

Journal Information


CiteScore 2016: 0.69

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.190
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.896

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 31 31 31
PDF Downloads 9 9 9