Title: Inter-firm cooperation as strategic element to get a sustainable competitive advantage in rural tourism: network contract 'green-road'

Authors: Nicolaia Iaffaldano

Addresses: Ionian Department in Law, Economics and Environment, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Taranto Italy

Abstract: The paper aims at analysing the strategic validity of Italian contractual network in order to define a new business model for contemporary companies belonging to the tourist, agri-food and crafts sectors. The qualitative methodology is used with a one-case study in depth. The data are collected through semi-structured interviews in depth, observations. The present research is the first step of an extended study on territorial regional, national and international levels. Limitations are due to the restricted data used in the present phase of the research. The paper aims at integrating existing literature for academic community and decision makers. The research represents essential characteristics of Italian contractual network, by emphasising its framework and validity, in order to recognise an innovative business model in increasing the tourist, agri-food and crafts companies' competition on the global market.

Keywords: aggregation; inter-firm cooperation; network perspective; rural tourism; sustainable competitive advantage; cognitive multiplier; made in Italy; SMEs; small and medium-sized enterprises; contracts; contractual networks; questionnaire; business models; agrifood industry; craft industry; agribusiness.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGSB.2015.072688

International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business, 2015 Vol.7 No.3/4, pp.266 - 283

Received: 27 Mar 2015
Accepted: 01 Jul 2015

Published online: 24 Oct 2015 *

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