Firm-based Training and Innovative Strategies in the Manufacturing Sector. Empirical Evidence for a local industrial System
Reflets et perspectives de la vie économique,
J24, C21, L23, L60 [Firm training, general training, labour flexibility, human resource management, firm performance, local industrial system, innovative strategies, JEL]
The paper investigates the driving factors of firm training using a survey-based dataset concerning manufacturing firms in the Emilia Romagna Region, located in Northern Italy. Data derive from a structured questionnaire administered in 2002 to the management of a representative sample of firms with more than 50 employees in a highly industrialised local production system. The applied analysis explores the linkages between firm training activities and its driving forces. The main potential factors associated to training here considered compounds firm structural characteristics, human resource management practices, workforce features, labour management, and firm’s performances. We observe that training activities emerge positively associated with high-performance practices, workforce skill level, firm size, firm productivity, and labour flexibility. The analysis suggests that a widening gap, between innovatively evolving and stagnant firms, could characterise the future dynamics of industrialised local areas. This is a key concern for the current debate on local systems development in the European and Italian environment, mainly based on small and medium size firms. The high and joint relevance of both structural variables, labour demand-related factors and HRM/innovation practices shows that regional industrial policies must support labour policies within an integrated policy effort aimed at increasing potential firm productivity.