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Dr Anna Spadavecchia

Senior Visiting Fellow

Fellow, UK HEA

Anna Spadavecchia005 75efw65xq


  • SMEs, 
  • Clusters, 
  • Italy

Anna Spadavecchia is a Senior Visiting Fellow of the Henley Business School at the University of Reading and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Anna's research interests are in the fields of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management and Innovation from a regional perspective. She has worked on various historical and contemporary facets of these topics. One facet concerns the role of national and regional policies in promoting the development of small businesses (SMEs) and clusters in Italy from 1951 to 1991. An additional angle is the impact of external economies on the innovation activity of independent inventors, SMEs and large corporations. A further perspective concerns the use of patents by independent inventors and corporations in their attempts to control markets in the early 20th century.

Previously she was Associate Professor in the Department of Leadership, Organisation and Behaviour of the Henley Business School at the University of Reading. She holds a PhD in Economic History from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her dissertation was awarded the European Business History Association Prize (2004) and the Krooss Prize (2005).

Anna held visiting fellowships at the Centre for Business History, Copenhagen Business School (March-April 2017); Department of Political Economy and Statistics, Università di Siena (January-February 2017); Rutgers Business School, Newark, USA (October, 2009); Department of Economics, University of Tübingen (August, 2003). She is a member of the British Academy of Management, the Business History Conference and the European Business History Association.

Reference: Rinaldi, A. and Spadavecchia, A. (2021) The banking-industry relationship in Italy: large national banks and small local banks compared (1913-1936). Business History, 63 (6). pp. 988-1006. ISSN 1743-7938 doi:
Reference: Spadavecchia, A. (2020) Building industrial districts: do subsidies help? Evidence from post-war Italy. Business History Review, 94 (2). pp. 399-423. ISSN 2044-768X doi:
Reference: Scott, P. and Spadavecchia, A. (2019) Fundamental patents, national intellectual property regimes, and the development of new industries in Britain and America during the second industrial revolution. Economic History Yearbook, 60 (1). pp. 181-208. ISSN 0075-2800 doi:
Reference: Spadavecchia, A. and Rinaldi , A. (2017) The political economy of financing Italian small businesses, 1950-1990s. In: Di Martino, P. , Popp, A. and Scott , P. (eds.) People, Places and Business Cultures: Essays in Honour of Francesca Carnevali. People, Markets, Goods: Economies and Societies in History. Boydell & Brewer Ltd, Martlesham, UK. ISBN 9781783272129
Reference: Spadavecchia, A. (2005) State subsidies and the sources of company finance in Italian industrial districts, 1951–1991. Enterprise and Society, 6 (4). pp. 571-580. ISSN 1467-2235 doi: < >
Reference: Spadavecchia, A. (2005) Financing industrial districts in Italy, 1971-1991: a private venture? Business History, 47 (4). pp. 569-593. ISSN 1743-7938 doi:
Reference: Spadavecchia, A. , Barbiellini Amidei, F. and Cantwell, J. (2013) Innovation and foreign technology in Italy, 1861-2011. In: Tonioli, G. (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of the Italian Economy. Oxford University Press, pp. 378-416. ISBN 9780199936694
Reference: Scott, P. and Spadavecchia, A. (2011) Did the 48-hour week damage Britain's industrial competitiveness? Economic History Review, 64 (4). pp. 1266-1288. ISSN 1468-0289 doi:
Reference: Spadavecchia, A. , Baten , J. and Streb, J. (2010) Was machte südwestdeutsche Unternehmen innovativ? Intra- und interindustrielle Externalitäten um 1900. In: Kollmer von Oheimb-Loup, G. and Streb, J. (eds.) Finanzierung von Innovationen. Stuttgarter Historische Studien zur Landes- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte (15). Thorbecke Verlag, Ostfildern. ISBN 9783799555654
Reference: Baten, J., Spadavecchia, A. , Streb, J. and Yin, S. (2007) What made southwest German firms innovative around 1900? Assessing the importance of intra- and inter-industry externalities. Oxford Economic Papers, 59 (Supplement). pp. 105-126. ISSN 1464-3812 doi: