Heterogeneity in firm performance has been investigated with different perspectives. Starting from the original contribution of Industrial Organization Economics, since the second half of ‘80s, scholars have pointed out an increasing role of firm-specific factors. Amongst them, the role of human capital and knowledge-based resources are gaining increased attention. Accordingly, this is emphasized in creative industries where the relevance of intangible and experiential factors is one of the key issues to investigate competitive landscapes.
This paper investigates key successful factors in the Italian motion picture industry, with a major focus on human and relational capital as a driver of competitive advantage. So far in the creative industries this concept assumes a particular relevance, taking into consideration that the know-how is often spread in social networks of professionals belonging to different communities of artists. Therefore, the capability of quickly reconfiguring these competences into specific projects is a critical issue (Lampel and Shamsie, 2000 and 2003). Moreover, intangible assets play an important role within these industries. Based on a research on more than one thousand movie projects produced in the Italian cluster, this paper tries to address the role of intangible factors in the motion picture industry.