The Murgia’s Upholstered Furniture District: Resilience and Social Resources for Action
This article analyses the evolution of the Murgia’s upholstered furniture district and re ects on its development prospects. Since the mid-2000, the district has gone through a severe process of downsizing, due to the competition from low labour-cost countries, the dependence from a limited number of nal markets and the incapacity of local companies to take advantage of globalization. The inevitable restructuring process has led companies to adopt an array of combined strategies aiming to achieve their product and functional upgrading: by improving products’ quality, the scope is also to gain a strategic position in the value chain by controlling the upstream and the downstream phases of the production cycle. Some district’s companies have also delocalized their production. Besides the economic restructuring, the case study reveals also the importance of restoring the social bases of the local organization of production. Despite its dynamism, the local social capital has been greatly weakened during the past decade. The agreement signed in 2013 between the national and the local governments, acknowledging the district’s growth potential, represents an important institutional backing to the self-organized and informal resources of the Murgia’s society and to their possible reorientation towards new economic opportunities.
Keywords: Murgia’s upholstered furniture district; Adaptation; Restructuring; Social capital.