The research interest on business groups (BGs) derives from the idea that they may represent an efficient mechanism of resource allocation, which allow affiliated firms to foster their economic and innovative performance.
BGs are defined as sets of companies that are legally distinct, but which are owned and controlled by the same person(s). This may be an individual, members of one family or a coalition of people, who are referred to as the “ultimate owner”, “vertex” or “controlling owner” of the group.
This organizational form between firms is normally adopted by European firms to manage diversified activities.
Italy is an interesting case of analysis given the importance of small and medium-sized BGs. Italian groups show a dichotomous structure: there are few groups of large size with a significant economic weight and many small and medium-sized groups. During the last decade, the number of business groups is increased and also their relevance within the Italian economy (ISTAT, 2015).
Specifically, our research activities on this organizational form is focused on two main topics: