TCI Network
29 August 2017

This monthly selection of articles has been carried out by Philippe Gugler and Damiano Lepori, the Center for Competitiveness, University of Fribourg.

The entire selection, carried out since 2013, can be consulted on the academic articles page of our web.


Current thinking on cluster theory and its translation in economic geography and strategic and operations management: Is a reconciliation possible?

By: R. Belickas Manzini, L. C. Di Serio. Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal, Vol. 27 Iss. 4, pp.366-389, 2017.

Abstract: “This paper offers an approach for outlining the main dimensions surrounding clusters in three areas of knowledge: economic geography, strategic management and operations management, the first being considered its natural field of knowledge. The work was developed using the citation analysis technique as applied to a database of 627 articles and 22,980 citations, taken from 15 important journals in the areas selected. The results proved that the theoretical and conceptual bases are unique to each of the areas studied and that they have few topics in common between them. They are complementary, however, and this facilitates their reconciliation. The sample base, despite considering fairly influential periodicals in the areas of knowledge selected, can be considered to be a limitation. Common themes and different areas of knowledge surrounding the cluster concept were identified; despite being considered “common”, a more detailed examination of their content reveals very different, but certainly complementary emphases, which makes it possible to reconcile the areas of knowledge.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


The effect of industrial competition on employment: A Porter’s approach to the study of industrial clusters in Mexico

By: A. Mendoza-Valazquez. Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal, Vol. 27 Iss. 4, pp.410-432, 2017.

Abstract: “This study investigates the existence of Marshall, Jacob and Porter’s type of externalities in Mexico. We measure the impact of industrial specialization, competition and diversity on employment growth for the period 2004 to 2008. The analysis is based on data from 41 highly dynamic industrial clusters originally obtained by applying Porter’s (1998) methodology. We use a cross-section specification estimated via instrumental variables and two-stage least square estimation (2SLS) to control for endogeneity. On average, we find that industrial specialization exerts a negative impact on employment growth within states and within clusters, indicating that traded industries in Mexico carry very little innovation, operate in early stages of the life cycle, face high costs of employment reassignation or exhibit low adaptability. A negative impact of specialization on employment conforms with Jacobs (1969) type of externalities and confirms what other studies have found in France (Combes, 2000), Korea (Lee et al., 2005) and the USA (Delgado et al., 2014). The authors also find that competition generates more employment. Industrial data at the sub-branch level were obtained from the Economic Census (EC) of the National Institute of Geography and Statistics (INEGI). The EC information for 2004 was still not fully compatible with the North America Industry Classification System (NAICS), with 262 of the 309 data at the fourth-digit level aligned to the USA. In addition, industrial information from the EC is recorded every four years, which prevents this study to use panel data techniques and it makes it impossible to use time series methods. Policymakers can clearly identify competition forces having a significant impact on employment growth. This can orient policymakers to implement measures to encourage the development of some of these clusters, as well as to identify some of the sources that drive specialization, competition and diversity. This paper contributes to the debate on the existence of Marshallian (MAR), Jacobian and Porter externalities. This is the first study using the definition of traded clusters in Mexico, which allows the authors to identify how specialization, competition and diversity forces drive the dynamics of regional employment growth.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Modelling competitive advantage of nation: a literature review

By: M. Hanafi, D. Wibisono, K. Mangkusubroto, M. Siallagan, M. J. Khatun Badriyah. Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal, Vol. 27 Iss. 4, pp. 335-365, 2017.

Abstract: “This paper aims to create a mapping of competitive advantage of nations (CAN) from research using some previous studies and recommend future research. This paper applies a systematic literature review on the most recent studies of CAN. The research gap is analysed based on several categories: implication (strategy and policy, portrait); general characteristics (fundamental issues, indicators and patterns); solution methodology and strategic level (nation and industry). Then, the state-of-the-art analysis is used to develop future research. Findings – The results of this study recommend future research of CAN based on the following CAN categories: implication (strategy and policy, portrait); general characteristics (fundamental issues, indicators and patterns); solution methodology and strategic level (nation and industry). This literature review has important implications and gives direction for research and teaching, as well as for further investigation of CAN. The limitation lies in the classification of patterns, which requires further study to avoid the ambiguity of grouping. Originality/value – This is the first literature review about CAN using categories. It is of value in building future research of CAN in different industries and nations.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Exploring the role of leadership in territorial strategies for competitiveness

By: J. L. Larrea, M. Jose Aranguren, J. M. Valdaliso. Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal, Vol. 27 Iss. 4, pp.390-409, 2017.

Abstract: “The purpose of this paper is to focus on the role of leadership in the design and implementation of territorial strategies for competitiveness. It attempts to address two research questions: first, how leadership is influenced by theory and the other way around, how theory is transformed through leadership; and second, what characteristics of leadership are most important to successfully implement territorial strategies. The paper is based on a case study of the life experience of an individual who has worked in positions of high responsibility in the government, the private sector and at the university. It is based on first-person action research combined with the contrast of two other co-authors. Three findings may be highlighted from this case study. First, the importance of having leaders learning from their own process of leadership and co-evolving with the need for transformation which requires territorial strategies at every moment. Second, the necessity of having leaders whose objectives are aligned with those of the territory. Third, that individual leadership must have three characteristics to implement successfully territorial strategies: a balance between the individual and the collective objectives, a systemic vision and a consciousness of one’s own role in the system and a multi-level dimension. Although territorial strategies are becoming increasingly popular both in the academia and in the policy arena, one of their critical elements, the role of individuals and that of leadership in general have not been addressed neither by scholars nor by practitioners. This paper attempts to explore the role of leadership through a case study based on the life experience of an outstanding individual in one of the regions with the longest tradition on territorial strategies for competitiveness.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Location of the Software & Videogames Industry: an insight into the case of Barcelona using microgeographic data

By: C. Médenz Ortega, J. M. Arauzo Carod. CREIP Working Paper N. 03-2017, 2017.

Abstract: “This paper analyses location patterns of Software and Videogames industries in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona using microgeographic data. These industries benefit from agglomeration economies, skilled labour and, generally speaking, spillover effects, and tend to cluster in larger metropolitan areas, but less is known about their detailed location patterns inside these areas. We contribute to the empirical literature by identifying how Software and Videogames industries firms are concentrated in some core areas of the metropolitan area. Our empirical application includes using the Nearest Neighbour Index (NNI) and M-functions, as well as local spatial autocorrelation indicators. JEL Codes: R12, C60, L86 Keywords: Software Industry, Videogames Industry, microgeographic data, spatial location patterns, Barcelona.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


The Agglomeration of American Research and development Labs

By: K. Buzard, G. A. Carlino, R. M. Hunt, J. K. Carr, T. E. Smith. Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Working Paper N. 17-18, 2017.

Abstract: “We employ a unique data set to examine the spatial clustering of about 1,700 private research and development (R&D) labs in California and across the Northeast corridor of the United States. Using these data, which contain the R&D labs’ complete addresses, we are able to more precisely locate innovative activity than with patent data, which only contain zip codes for inventors’ residential addresses. We avoid the problems of scale and borders associated with using fixed spatial boundaries, such as zip codes, by developing a new point pattern procedure. Our multiscale core-cluster approach identifies the location and size of significant R&D clusters at various scales, such as a half mile, one mile, five miles, and more. Our analysis identifies four major clusters in the Northeast corridor (one each in Boston, New York–Northern New Jersey, Philadelphia–Wilmington, and Washington, D.C.) and three major clusters in California (one each in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and San Diego).” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Are clusters resilient? Evidence from Canadian textile industries

By: K. Behrens, B. Boualam, J. Martin. Centre for Economic Policy Research, 2017.

Abstract: “We investigate whether plants inside and outside geographic clusters differ in their resilience to adverse economic shocks. To this end, we develop a bottom-up procedure to delimit clusters using Canadian geocoded plant-level data. Focussing on the textile and clothing industries and exploiting the dramatic changes faced by that sector between 2001 and 2013, we find no evidence that plants in clusters are more resilient than plants outside clusters: they are neither less likely to die nor more likely to adapt by switching their main line of business. However, conditional on switching, plants in urbanized clusters are more likely to transition to services.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]

Science, technology and innovation for economic competitiveness: the role of smart specialization in less-developed countries

By: S. M. S. Krammer. MPRA Paper N. 80203, 2017.

Abstract: “Smart specialization (SS) is a policy concept that has gained significant momentum in Europe despite a frail theoretical background and implementation difficulties. These challenges become critical in the case of less-developed economies that often lack regional autonomy, a strong STI base, and local capabilities to identify and sustain such SS strategies. Combining elements from evolutionary economics and the export-led literature, I propose a framework that anchors the role of SS in the national innovation policy of such laggards, as a complementary avenue for improving competitiveness and growth. Moreover, to assist policy makers in lagging regions or countries, I advance a diagnostic tool to identify potential areas for SS, and also address the systemic and the regional-sectoral bottlenecks in these domains. I exemplify the use of this tool in the case of Bulgaria by using a large battery of quantitative and qualitative indicators from publicly available data. This type of investigation may be useful for other less-developed economies to kick-start this process and identify prima facie SS candidates.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Dynamics of Smart Specialisation Agri-food Trans-regional Cooperation

By: K. Ciampi Stancova, A. Cavicchi. JRC Technical Reports, JRC107257. doi:10.2760/020864, 2017.

Abstract: “The objective of this paper is to inform the community of researchers, policymakers and practitioners about the dynamics of setting up the Thematic Smart Specialisation Platform on Agri-food, and to provide information about its functioning and governance. This work outlines the milestones of the process and the main achievements. The paper proposes the steps to be followed by policymakers and regional officers who are motivated to lead, support and actively contribute to a thematic platform within the Thematic Smart Specialisation Platform on Agri-food. At the same time, it discusses specific cases of such partnerships and describes the motivations and objectives of the regions that decided to embark on the journey towards establishment of specific thematic partnerships through this Platform.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


The Growth of U.S. Science and Technology Parks: Does Proximity to a University Matter?

By: K. G. Hobbs, A. N. Link, J. T. Scott. The University of North Carolina, Working Paper N. 17-08, 2017.

Abstract: “In this paper, we present a generalized model of U.S. university science and technology parks, and we identify covariates that might serve as target variables not only to perpetuate the growth of existing parks but also to provide information for those nations, regions, and universities starting new parks. Relevant covariates are the distance between the park and the university and if the park was founded during the information and communications technology (ICT) revolution (post-2000).” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]