Dr Anna Spadavecchia

Senior Visiting Fellow

Dr Anna Spadavecchia

Dr Anna Spadavecchia

Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour


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. 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'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.

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. Anna is the Undergraduate External Examiner in the Department of Economic History at the London School of Economics. She convened and contributed to several modules at Henley Business School, including Managing Small Enterprises (second year BA); Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management (MSc); Business Clusters (MSc) and Evolution of Enterprise and Society (MSc).


Under Review: 'A prosperous co-existence: independent and corporate innovation in the British regions, 1918-1932' with John Cantwell.

Forthcoming: 'Building industrial districts: do subsidies help? Evidence from post-war Italy', Business History Review.

2019: The banking-industry relationship in Italy: large national banks and small local banks compared, 1913-1936’, with Alberto Rinaldi, Business History, published online 17 April 2019.

2019: 'Fundamental patents, national intellectual property regimes, and the development of new industries in Britain and America during the second industrial revolution', with Peter Scott, Economic History Yearbook, 60/1.

2017 'The political economy of financing local production in Italy, 1950-1990', with Alberto Rinaldi, in: P. Di Martino, A. Popp and P. Scott (eds.), Economic History as if People Mattered. Essays in Honour of Francesca Carnevali, Boydell & Brewer, pp. 55-74.

2015 'Corporate innovation and the technological advantage of British regions in the interwar period', with John Cantwell, Social Science Research Network Working Paper

2013 'Innovation and foreign technology in Italy, 1861-2011', with Federico Barbiellini Amidei and John Cantwell in: G. Toniolo (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Italian Economy, Oxford University Press, pp. 378-416.

2011 'Did the 1919 working hours' reduction damage Britain’s industrial competitiveness?' with Peter Scott, Economic History Review, 64/4, pp. 1266-1288.

2007 'What made southwest German firms innovative around 1900? Assessing the importance of intra- and inter-industry externalities', with Jörg Baten, Shuxi Yin and Jochen Streb, Oxford Economic Papers, special issue New Perspectives in Economic History, 59/Supplement 1, pp. 105-126.

2007 'Regional and national industrial policies in Italy, 1950-1993. Where did the subsidies flow?' Henley Business School Discussion Papers, n. 48.

2005 'State subsidies and the sources of company finance in Italian industrial districts, 1951-1991', Enterprise and Society, 6/4, pp. 571-580.

2005 'Financing industrial districts in Italy, 1971-1991. A private venture?' Business History, 47/4, pp. 569-593.

Work in Progress

'Externalities, R&D spillovers and innovation in the UK, 2002-2014' with Maksim Belitski (University of Reading).

'Patents, market control and the growth of the U.S. corporation' with Peter Scott (University of Reading), paper accepted for the European Business History Association Conference (University of Rotterdam, 29-31 August 2019).

'Something old, something new: localized knowledge search and re-discovery by MNE subsidiary' with John Cantwell (Rutgers University) and Elsen Ho (National Chung Hsing University), paper accepted for the British Academy of Management Conference (Aston University, 3-5 September 2019).