Transformation of Production Worlds



  Research Group 4, "Transformation of Production Worlds” (coordinators  Pierre Triboulet, Danièle Galliano, Jean-Marc Olivier, Jean-Marc Zuliani, Jérôme Vicente, and Olivier Brossard), aims to better understand business clusters and networks. Studies have focused specifically on innovative companies (start-ups), agribusinesses, competitiveness clusters, and the historical changes in aviation industry networks. As for the start-ups project, this study began before the Labex, but has now been able to make significant progress thanks to the Labex. We now have over a hundred detailed histories to be able to accurately analyze embedding effects (the dependency of start-ups on the personal networks of their founders) and their changes over time. In the early stages, start-ups are highly dependent on the personal relationships of their founders. In later stages, they are only able to partially free themselves from this dependency, in particular by relying on ‘downstream’ connections (clients). Furthermore, start-ups’ development often goes through phases of crisis and reorientation that we have now documented. A book in the final stages of completion summarizes the findings.

Research on business clusters has been enriched by the study on start-ups (some of which start-ups participated in the clusters examined) and by discussions with representatives from the aerospace industry in the SMS Think Tank Laboratoire Des Idées (see below). We have thus identified changes in the main industrial cluster of Greater Toulouse including a likely decline in its design work, which threatens the cohesion of the cluster.

For the agri-food industry, SMS research has provided insight into what kinds of resources companies mobilize in order to innovate, based on studies analyzing multiple kinds of interactions among actors (such as innovative projects in competitivity clusters and in regional organizations, spatial externalities of specialization and diversification). These studies are based on econometric quantitative approaches and on qualitative approaches to interviews, using the quantified narrations method. These approaches have enabled researchers to bring to light the specificities of companies in the agri-food sector, for whom rootedness in a given territory and the organization of sectors are important issues (link with Group 7 "Rural Worlds").