Journal of Business and Management

Journal of Business and Management

ISSN: 2291-1995 (Print)    ISSN: 2291-2002 (Online)

Volume 4 (2015), No. 2, Pages 45-61

DOI: 10.12735/jbm.v4i2p45

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Italian Network Contracts: A New Instrument for Successful Cooperation

Riccardo Tiscini1  Laura Martiniello1 

1Universitas Mercatorum, Rome, Italy


To Cite this Article     Article Views: 937     Downloads: 481  Since deposited on 2015-06-24


The study focuses on SMEs which decide to develope inter-firm cooperation through”network contracts”, the purpose is to evaluate the usefulness of this new legal instrument provided by Italian law in 2010. In particular the paper aims to verify the ability of a “contract” to formalize an inter-firm relationship allowing a successful cooperation between SMEs. Moreover it identifies and analyzes the characteristics of networks based on this flexible contract, looking for the reasons why it should ensure, to the involved firms, an increased performance.

   After a preliminary secondary data review, conducted on 3300 firms (which signed network contracts between 2010 and 2012) aimed at identify the sectorial, territorial and dimensional peculiarity of this networks; the phenomenon is investigated through 5 case studies looking for field evidence, on the advantages perceived by firms signing network contract, by identifying the elements of the contract able to support successful networks.

   Moreover, a first attempt to measure the effect of contract networks on performance is realized through a descriptive statistical analysis of the Return on Investment (ROI) on a sample of 122 network firms.

   The study main findings are the identifications of the reasons of effectiveness of network contracts and the advantages potentially achieved by network firms because of the contract. The study allows the identification of recommendation about industrial policy regarding SMEs, mainly suggesting Governments to incentive the participation of SMEs to networks by introducing network contracts.

JEL Classifications: L1, L11, L2, L22

Keywords: business network, network contracts, SMEs, inter-firm cooperation

To Cite this Article: Tiscini, R., & Martiniello, L. (2015). Italian network contracts: A new instrument for successful cooperation. Journal of Business and Management, 4(2), 45-61.

Copyright © Riccardo Tiscini & Laura Martiniello

Creative Commons License
This article is published under license to Science and Education Centre of North America. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Italian Network Contracts: A New Instrument for Successful Cooperation