Governance of Industrial Districts: Bibliometric and Cluster Analyses

  •  Sara Saggese    


During the last decades, industrial districts have been at the forefront of academic and policy-making debate as important players of the economic development of small and medium sized companies in many countries. Nevertheless, a number of factors have strongly damaged these networks and questioned their competitiveness. Literature suggests that district governance is a proper solution to these issues and interprets this tool as an effective guide for development and changes of industrial districts. However, yet to date, the research on the governance of industrial districts is still sparse and very fragmentary. Furthermore, it presents a strong multidisciplinary breadth that prevents the identification of a comprehensive picture of the academic field. On the basis of these premises, this review study combines bibliometric and cluster analyses of scholarly articles published until March 2016 in order to identify research trends and describe the structure and the evolution of this research field over the last 27 years. The paper has implications for theory and practice. First, it systematizes and consolidates the literature on industrial district governance. Moreover, it highlights the evolutionary pattern of the research and identifies unexplored/underexplored issues that scholars should address. Finally, it proposes additional avenues to guide future efforts of policy makers.

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