“I want to shake your hand before …”: The role of clients, knowledge exchange and market dynamics in southern Italian software firms
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionCalignano, G(2018), “I want to shake your hand before …”: The role of clients, knowledge exchange and market dynamics in southern Italian software firms. Cogent Social Sciences. 4(1435604), pp. 1-18. 10.1080/23311886.2018.1435604
This study aims to assess the importance of clients in multi-scalar networks leading to learning competence and knowledge exchange. Furthermore, the difficulties encountered by firms located in a peripheral and marginally innovative area in signing commercial agreements with partners located in distant regions are tackled. Our findings, based on qualitative interviews, reveal that clients are considered to be the most important partners by the founders, owners and professionals of software firms located in the marginally innovative province of Lecce (southeastern Italy). Furthermore, being located in a peripheral area is not seen as a limitation from the technical–infrastructural viewpoint thanks to the opportunity offered by new technologies (e.g. the Internet) and computer-mediated communications. Conversely, the contracting of business agreements with partners located in distant markets is negatively influenced by the geographical distance from potential clients due to the need for previous acquaintance or face-to-face contact engendering trust.