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CfP "Competing in international markets. From the world economy to globalization", Università Bocconi, Milan, 11-12 December 2019

28-09-2019 18:29

The processes that lead companies to compete in international markets are many and varied. In every historical context, both industrial and pre-industrial, foreign markets have always been an essential context to define companies’ growth strategies and their organizational structures.

While in the modern age the "long range" markets were, following the Braudel approach, the horizon of a merchant class specialized in the management of a limited number of high risk and high remuneration transactions, in the industrial economy the foreign market becomes a structural element of the start-up phase of the industrialization itself. In Adam Smith's vision, in fact, foreign markets provided opportunities for productions that would have been difficult to establish in local markets, confirming the thesis of international specialization as a result of commercial opening. The ability to compete successfully in foreign markets and to gain market shares is never obviously a result to be considered as achieved. As positions have been achieved, so they can be lost, with a succession on the scene of protagonists with competitive capacity represented sometimes by individual companies, sometimes by groups of companies of different nationalities.

Following another analytical approach, naturally intertwined with the perspective of the competition in the international market, the gaze can turn to the world of multinational companies, whose presence, according to other approaches, is instead attributable to a subsequent phase in the growth of the company. In the Chandler framework, for example, companies are only launching into foreign markets after conquering the domestic market. The very modalities of these foreign expansion strategies can be divided into transnational, multidomestic or global. This view can only partially include the cases of those "born global" companies, which is established without having a reference domestic market.

However, the problem of competition cannot be analysed only from the point of view of the company, of its strategies and of its structures. The institutional context within which companies choose international competition is decisive in the implementation of these strategies, defining the rules of the game to which economic stakeholders must necessarily adjust.

For example, the role of both modern and contemporary states is a decisive factor. From the letters of privilege of commercial companies of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, to the policies of the Japanese MITI in the second post-war period, through colonial empires and export credits, states have drawn on a vast set of tools and policies to help domestic companies to compete in foreign markets. Transnational policies, aimed both at exacerbating global competition and reducing it (through cartels and agreements), offer a further starting point for reflection on the process of internationalization of companies.

Different phases of globalization and market integration, with their infrastructural, political and financial implications, offer different opportunities to explore the methods of internationalization of companies and their competitiveness, from the world economy to today's globalization.

The annual ASSI meeting intends to collect proposals that want to explore the methods of competition of companies, both in the modern and contemporary age. Approaches that include heterogeneous visions of this issue are welcome, from the analysis of foreign expansion strategies and international competition of companies to the reconstruction of public policies and institutional factors regarding the international competitiveness of companies.

Possible communications (this list is not exhaustive) may relate to cases of multinational Italian companies, to entrepreneurs, merchants and commercial companies of the modern age, to investment strategies in Italy, to national and supranational incentive or restraint policies for the processes of internationalization and international competition or to international cartelization phenomena.

The event will be held in Italian and in English.

Speech proposals (an abstract of 2,000-3,000 characters and the CV) must be sent by October 15th, 2019 to the following address:

The decisions of the Scientific Committee will be announced by October 30th, 2019.

The speakers of the accepted papers must send a paper of 40,000-50,000 characters or a long abstract of 10,000 characters by November 20th, 2019. The participation in the conference is free for ASSI members who paid the membership fee, while it implies a registration fee of 50 euros for participants not registered with the Association.

Organizing Committee: Marco Bertilorenzi, Veronica Binda, Mario Perugini

Scientific Committee: Marco Bertilorenzi, Veronica Binda, Andrea Colli, Marco Doria, Giovanni, Favero, Giovanni Luigi Fontana, Mario Perugini, Luciano Segreto


Η Δράση Αναβάθμιση και Ανανέωση του ιστοχώρου της Ελληνικής Εταιρείας Οικονομικής Ιστορίας χρηματοδοτείται από το Κοινωφελές Ίδρυμα Ιωάννη Σ. Λάτση, στο πλαίσιο του Προγράμματος Ενίσχυσης Επιστημονικών Εταιρειών 2016