Dr Anna Spadavecchia

Associate Professor

Dr Anna Spadavecchia

Dr Anna Spadavecchia

Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
By area: Sources of finance of SMEs, Knowledge spillovers within Industrial Districts / Clusters, Government policies and the development of Industrial Districts / Clusters, Foreign technology and indigenous innovation and economic growth, Regional and national systems of innovation
By geography: Italy, Britain, European countries (selected)
Whiteknights campus, Room 238
+44 (0) 118 378 4042


Anna is Associate Professor in International Business History. She completed her PhD in the Department of Economic History at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2002-3, and received two international prizes for the “Best PhD Dissertation”: the Krooss Prize (2005) awarded by the US-based Business History Conference; and the European Business History Association Prize (2004).

At the University of Reading Anna has designed and convened various modules in Marketing and Entrepreneurship. She was also Post-graduate Examinations Officer for her Department, 2005-2011.

Anna’s research focuses on the sources of finance of small businesses, and knowledge spillovers within industrial districts/ clusters; the importance of government policies for the development of clusters; the impact of foreign technology transfer on innovation and economic performance in Italy; the link between national and regional systems of innovation and international competitiveness in interwar Britain.

Anna is an Elected Trustee, Business History Conference, Wilmington, DE, USA.


Marketing Management (MM255) Brand in Practice (MM275) Entrepreneurship and SME management (MMM042) 



'Innovation and Foreign Technology in Italy, 1861-2011' with Federico BarbielliniAmidei and John Cantwell, Bancad'ItaliaEconomic History Working Paper, 2011, n. 7.

'Did the introduction of the 48-hour week damage Britain's relative competitiveness?', with Peter Scott, Henley Business School Discussion Papers, 2008.

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

'Surviving under the Shelter of Government Subsidies or 'Avoiding Disaster'? New Evidence from Italian Industrial Districts, 1971-1991', Henley Business School Discussion Papers, 2006.

'Clusters, Externalities and Innovation: New Evidence from German Firms, 1890s to 1912', with Joerg Baten, Shuxi Yin and Jochen Streb, University of Tübingen Working Papers, 2005.


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

'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, 2007, 59/Supplement 1, pp. 105-126.

'State Subsidies and the Sources of Company Finance in Italian Industrial Districts, 1951-1991', Enterprise and Society, 2005, 6/4,pp. 571-580.

'Financing Industrial Districts in Italy, 1971-1991. A Private Venture?',Business History, 2005, 47/4, pp. 569-593


'Innovation and Foreign Technology in Italy, 1861-2011' with Federico BarbielliniAmidei and John Cantwell in: G. Toniolo (ed.), Italy and the World Economy, 1861-2011, Oxford University Press, 2012.

'Was machtesüdwestdeutscheUnternehmeninnovativ? Intra- und interindustrielleExternalitäten um 1900', with Jörg Baten and Jochen Streb in: G. Kollmer-von-Oheimb-Loup and J. Streb (eds), Finanzierung von Innovationen, ThorbeckeVerlag, Ostfildern, 2010.


University of Mannheim, Department of Economics, Mannheim, 7 December 2011

'Italy and the World Economy, 1861-2011', Bancad'Italia, Rome, 12-15 October 2011

Economic History Association Annual Conference, Boston MA, 9-11 September 2011

Association of Business Historians Annual Conference, University of Reading, Reading, 1-2 July 2011

Erasmus Business School, ERIM Research Seminar, Rotterdam, 10 January 2011

European Business History Association, 14th Annual Conference, Glasgow, 26-28 August 2010

6th Beta-Workshop in Historical Economics 'Cliometrics of Creativity: Ideas, Innovation, Patents, R&D', Strasbourg, 14-15 May 2010

XVth World Economic History Congress, Utrecht, 3-7 August 2009

Research collaboration:

'Innovation and Foreign Technology in Italy, 1861-2011' with Federico BarbielliniAmidei(Bancad'Italia) and John Cantwell (Rutgers University).This is a research project led by the Bank of Italy on the long-run development of the Italian economy since the country's unification in 1861. Anna's collaborative research focuses on the importance of international technology transfer and assesses its impact on innovation and TFP growth in Italy.

'Innovation and British Regions in the Interwar Period', withJohn Cantwell (Rutgers University). This research identifies the technological advantages of British regions and investigates the links between regional and national systems of innovation and the British international technological competitivenessin the interwar years.

Research supervision:

Mr Talal Almeshal, dissertation topic: Marketing Networks and SMEs in the Biotechnology Industry