Informations and abstract
Keywords: Market Innovation; Internationalization; Made in Italy.
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the interrelated role of innovation strategies and internationalization, particularly in small and medium-sized firms in the traditional made in Italy industries. The core hypothesis is that internationalization strategies may represent a possible solution to the maturity of the domestic market, while innovation - above all market innovation - allows to strengthen the linkage with the consumers and to differentiate from the competitors on international scale. The research questions are: 1. what is the role of innovation strategies for the international competitiveness of made in Italy small and medium sized enterprises? Is the belonging to a traditional industries a barrier to innovativeness? 2. what is the role of internationalization in stimulating the innovation processes of made in Italy small and medium sized enterprises? The methodology is based on the qualitative approach of the single case study, with explorative goals relating to internationalization and innovation in the traditional industry of pasta. Results of the case study «La Fabbrica della Pasta di Gragnano» indicate that revitalization of the pasta brands, especially for small local enterprises, require two pillars: the union of tradition and innovation, and the international growth. In «La Fabbrica della Pasta» the relation innovation/internationalization is related to trans-national focus strategies: product, process and marketing innovations form the basis of internationalization, and internationalization proves to be fundamental for the feasibility of high quality niche strategies.