Coop is the largest retail chain in Italy, with its supermarkets and “hypermarkets” claiming close to 20 percent of market share, and the whole enterprise is owned by its 7.4 million consumer members across the country. How did it get so big? The answer is, as it turns out, crowdfunding.
Typically, a manufacturing network will come together to fill a contract secured by one of the local firms. This “anchor firm” will then sub-contract segments of the production process to individual firms which specialize in one aspect of the production cycle. And, although the anchor firm may change from one contract to the next, all members of the manufacturing network are known to each other, have long standing economic and social relationships, and see themselves as part of an organic, informal, economic system. As one can realize since outsourcing is the way to carry out their projects, the resource dependency in the network is high among the actors meaning that actors need each other’s resources to achieve their goals.
For instance, Ducati makes motorcycles, but 90% of the motorcycle is made outside of Ducati by its network of sub-suppliers. So there is a lot of value being produced before the motorcycle gets assembled by Ducati. The local enterprises have strong international relationships with foreign companies mainly in form of exchange of know-how, services and information. A good example is the list of the partners/suppliers of Ducati indicating that all of them are placed in the region as it is stated in their official website.
As a regional resource, the network produces knowledge and exchanges know-how among the actors as well as creating and diffusing values externally to the local communities. Emilian Model as a regional resource network would be characterized as social network based on trust, no legal contracts taking place, contracts here are made with a “handshake”. What is remarkable in these networks therefore, is the application of attitudes and principles which closely resemble the operations of civil society. Key among these is the principle of reciprocity, which sets these operations apart from the commodity exchanges of the commercial economy. One firm will outsource to other firms on the expectation that those firms will reciprocate to them later. The success of one firm is intimately bound up with the success of the others.