, Volume 58, Issue 4, pp 521–527 | Cite as

Rethinking Economies of Scale Towards Network Economies

  • Gerardo Patacconi
  • Fabio Russo
Thematic Section


The authors reflect on the growth opportunities for small-sized companies from models and practices that are based on spatial and business interaction, cooperation and competitiveness between firms as well as on integration with local systems and international supply chains. The article argues that enterprises realize significant economies of scale when they are co-localized and linked together-through networks, cooperatives, consortia or clusters. This has a positive impact on their ability to access markets and resources, to integrate into local and global value chains as well as to generate innovation. Clusters and networks of enterprises become an effective model to foster inclusive and sustainable industrial development.


networks clusters consortia sustainability inclusiveness 



The authors would like to thank their colleagues Adnan Seric, Sayaphol Sackda (Coco) and Manuela Eyvazo for their precious inputs and comments.


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Copyright information

© Society for International Development 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agri-Business DevelopmentUnited Nations Industrial Development OrganizationViennaAustria
  2. 2.Department of Trade, Investment and InnovationUnited Nations Industrial Development OrganizationViennaAustria

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