Student guide Faculty of Economics A.Y. 2008/09

Economics of "Made in Italy" Firms
Aim of the course
The course examines in depth the phenomenon of "Made in Italy" firms, illustrating the rich diversity of Italy's production clusters through an analysis of the most outstanding and representative industry sectors and companies. Students will explore Italy's history, geography, culture, society and economy, with a view to understanding the deep roots of the competitiveness of the Italian economic system. The peculiar traits of Italy's economic system are analysed by looking at the managerial, organisational and strategic strengths of Italian companies and their brands within the sectors of textiles, apparel and fashion, furniture and design, food and wine, and culture and tourism. Particular emphasis is given to the competitive levers connected with the system of industrial clusters, the role of family-run enterprises, and creativity and design. Finally, the course describes the present-day competitive scenario in which "Made in Italy" firms are operating, focusing on possible routes for overcoming the crisis. The teaching method includes the discussion of case studies, as well as the showing of films and documentaries, and presentations given by entrepreneurs and managers from "Made in Italy" firms.     
Italian industry and origins of "Made in Italy":
-          Introduction to the Italian economic system.
-          Social, cultural and historical roots of the Italian economic system.
-         Sectors of specialisation of the Italian economy: "Made in Italy" products.
-          Industrial clusters and local production systems: origins of the phenomenon
-         Disappearance of the large-scale company in Italy.
-         Emergence of a new class of medium-sized Italian enterprises.
-          The roots of Italian competitiveness.
-          The Italian system against the international backdrop.
-         China and the challenge posed by low labour cost countries.
-         Company and collective branding strategies, and the problem of counterfeiting.
-          Strengths and weaknesses of "Made in Italy" companies.
-         Unresolved strategic problems.
-    Evolution of the Italian system of clusters: delocalisation, repositioning and exit strategies.
-          Beyond the traditional model: the emergence of leader companies.
Enterprises and sectors most representative of "Made in Italy":
-          Textiles.
-          The fashion system.
-          Footwear and leather goods sector.
-         Furniture-design industry.
-          Food industry.
-           Tourism-culture sector.
-          Luxury goods and jewellery industry.
-          Motorcycle and automobile industry.
-          Niche sector excellence
Students will be graded on the basis of their active participation in class discussions, as well as through a final written exam.
Reading list
A reading list will be supplied at the start of the course and made available on the course website.