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Networks for growth

A piece of research carried out by INAPP sets out and explains the conditions needed for the creation of business networks

Joining forces to deal better with events. It may not be a new idea, but it is undoubtedly still a valid one. Even if  – especially if – we are talking about the economy and production. It is not an easy endeavour, mind you, to ‘get together’ to do more and do it better. It requires careful scrutiny, especially in terms of how to utilise human resources. Which is what the research group headed by INAPP has provided, with an analysis of the links between the need to create networks between companies, existing human resources and the need for training. “Reti d’imprese come sistemi dinamici. Uno studio sul modello organizzativo delle competenze” (Business networks as dynamic systems. A study of the organisational model of skills) is the report – edited by Anna Vaiasicca –  which emerges from this set of investigations.

The basis for the study is the constant need to confront globalisation with robust and competitive business networks. A need which Italian companies appear to have met with positive results so far, but which could still be improved even further. Starting with training and the development of relevant skills.

The report is laid out in four successive parts. The first contains a summary of the general topic of “business networks as the integration of knowledge”, followed by an in-depth look at the Italian experience, with a particular focus on network contracts. Next there is a closer look at the setting up and activity of “business network systems”, examining their internal dynamics and the role of human resources. It is in this section that we can find recommendations related to skills to develop. The study then concludes with an in-depth analysis of several case studies (though they are almost all anonymous). The case studies include “a first group of networks of both small and medium-sized manufacturing companies which operate in the mechanical and mechatronic sectors,” and “a network made of companies in the Varese province and a second group of companies operating in the tourist industry.”

The description of the networks found in the final part of the document is exhaustive and comprehensive. “The network system, therefore, is based on the integration of knowledge, which is also industry-specific, where every part makes a contribution in order to realise general objectives, carrying out activities which are continually redefined by the interactions of the people which participate in the execution of tasks necessitated on an occasional basis. Knowledge circulates in multiple directions. Vertically, putting management and owners in contact with suppliers, clients and production cycles, and horizontally, from individual ventures across the working team and from there, further enriched, once again towards the production units. In this shared knowledge, the rule of complex systems prevails, where it is no longer possible to distinguish between the contribution of the individuals and individual ventures, which determines a dynamic equilibrium between a shared heritage and the inside of each individual company.”

Reti d’imprese come sistemi dinamici. Uno studio sul modello organizzativo delle competenze (Business networks as dynamic systems. A study of the organisational model of skills)

Anna Vaiasicca (INAPP)