I distretti industriali come sistemi locali di innovazione
Building on recent research that interprets industrial districts (IDs) as knowledge economies, the first part of this paper proposes a model of knowledge production within IDs. District firms use three mechanisms to transfer knowledge: the observation of artefacts aimed to imitation; inter-personal and inter-organisational relations; human resource mobility. Knowledge transfer through these processes may result in knowledge replication, if transferred knowledge is used in the firm context that has absorbed it without modifications. Alternatively, the same mechanisms may feed the creation of new knowledge. This second result depends on the possibility of the transferred knowledge being combined with other knowledge, leading to new and original syntheses The second part of the paper tackles the problem of the reproducibility of the district model in the light of the challenges brought by global competition.