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GLOBALISATION AND GOOD WORK: IMPIVA, A SPANISH PROJECT TO REGENERATE INDUSTRIAL DISTRICTS

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Abstract:

ABSTRACT

How can clusters of small and medium enterprises meet global competition? The point is not just to create jobs, but good work (decent conditions, autonomy, and opportunities to improve skills and build a career). Impiva, a Valencian regional government agency, has set up technological institutes for established industries, and local business innovation centres to back new projects, following the examples of Emilia Romagna (Italy), Baden-Württemberg (Germany) and Denmark, though Spain lacks the levels of trust between entrepreneurs found in those regions. The Institute for toys (AIJU) is in Ibi, a town which makes most Spanish toys but must diversify because of Chinese competition; so AIJU has become an all-purpose local development agency, like Baden-Württemberg's technology transfer centres. The Baden-Württemberg model – catering for established industries and diversification – can be adapted to local conditions. Places like Ibi can provide good work, if local firms keep some control over design, innovation and problem-solving.

Keywords: Industrial districts; Spain; globalisation; labour; social anthropology; trust

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9663.2006.00359.x

Affiliations: Formerly senior lecturer in social anthropology, University of East Anglia., Email: holmstrom99@yahoo.co.uk

Publication date: 2006-12-01

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