Mario Robiony is Assistant Professor of Economic History at Department of Economics and Statistics (DIES) of the University of Udine. His research interests are mainly oriented to the study of economic history in the contemporary age, with special attention to the business history of industrial companies, banks and cooperative firms.
Most of his works are based on archival documents and on the prevailing literature in the attempt to identify and explain the factors that contribute to the success or lead to the failure of a firm and the relationship between these factors and the more general economic, social and institutional framework. In this context, special attention is given to the role of the family firms and the people involved in the local economic growth, as well as to the evolution of the structure and the governance of the enterprises.
As for the industrial sector, he has reconstructed the entrepreneurial story of the Danieli, the family who set up at the beginning of the XX century a small electric steelworks, which later became a leader in the design and construction of steelplants, especially in the field of the minimills. It is well known that Danieli is a worldwide leader in supplying rolling mills for long products thanks to its swedish subsidiary Morgardshammar (bought in the late 1980s), but few know that the process of technogical innovation of Danieli began in the early fifties, when Luigi Danieli (the enterpreneur) visited, among the others, the historic swedish company. The research, conducted basing on the vast wealth of unexplored sources, focuses on the role of the entrepreneur and his family, that can be considerated the real “incubator” of the company.
Following up the activity of research in the field of entrepreneurship history, one of his last works of business history studies the case of Solari Udine, the company that after the Wolrd War II revolutionized the world market of industrial clocks and remote information systems. It examines the main technological innovations and the business decisions of the Solari family, including the problem of succession, outlines the developments up to transition to the Pirelli group and considers the organizational changes and the effects of business results. The Solari case shows that the lasting business success is not exclusively linked to the managerial structures.
In the case studies of two historical regional banks (a Savings Bank and a Cooperative Bank) the research has been focused not only on the internal documents in order to verify the business model, analysing the balance sheet data and the governance rules, but also to investigate their role in the economic development of the country, i.e. the financial support both to the public sector for the construction of infrastructure and to the local industrial system.
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Economic History, Business History, Financial History, History of Economic Thought