TCI Network
24 October 2013

The monthly selection of articles is carried out by Philippe Gugler and Michael Keller, the Center for Competitiveness, University of Fribourg, in collaboration with the following TCI members: Emily Wise, VINNOVA, Sweden; Katarzyna Kowalska, Consultant, Poland; Tatyana Mirolyubova, Perm State National Research University, Russia; Jaime del Castillo and Jonatan Paton, Infyde-Informacion y Desarrollo, SL, Spain; David Ireland, CSIRO - Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia.

Previous selection of articles:

Acedemic articles on clusters - 1

Academic articles on clusters - 2

Academic articles on clusters - 3


Firm Building and Entrepreneurship in Second-Tier High-Tech Regions.

By : Heike Mayer. European Planning Studies, Volume 21, Issue 9, Pages 1392-1417, September 2013.

Abstract: « This paper examines how a second-tier high-technology region leveraged corporate assets—mostly from transnational firms—in building a knowledge-based economy. The paper reviews how firm building and entrepreneurship influence the evolution of a peripheral regional economy. Using a case study of Boise, Idaho (the US), the research highlights several important sources of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurial firm formation is closely linked with a region's ability to grow incubator organizations, particularly innovative firms. These innovative firms provide the training ground for entrepreneurs. Firms, however, differ and the ways in which firm building activities influence regional entrepreneurship depend on firm strategy and organization. Thus, second-tier high-tech regions in the US are taking a different path than their well-known counterparts such as Silicon Valley or Route 128 around Boston.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


The Geography and Structure of Global Innovation Networks: A Knowledge Base Perspective.

By: Ju Liu, Cristina Chaminade and Bjorn Asheim. European Planning Studies, Volume 21, Issue 9, Pages 1456-1473, September 2013.

Abstract: « This paper explores the geography and structure of global innovation networks (GINs) of two multinational companies belonging to industries with different knowledge bases. It contributes to the existing literature on knowledge bases, by studying both intra-firm and inter-firm GINs. By means of social network analysis based on primary data, we identify two different forms of GINs, namely the globally organized model and the locally organized model. The paper finds that, in addition to influencing the geographic spread of a GIN, the knowledge base also influences the way that a GIN is organized.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Social and Spatial Structures of Innovation in the Irish Animation Industry.

By : Chris van Egeraat, Sean O'Riain and Aphra Kerr. European Planning Studies, Volume 21, Issue 9, Pages 1437-1455, September 2013.

Abstract: « This paper assesses the relevance of the knowledge base conceptualization and the relationship between the symbolic knowledge base and the spatiality of knowledge flow in the context of the animation industry in Ireland. The paper draws on findings from a study of four innovation case studies. In broad terms, the findings provide further support for the applicability of the knowledge base approach and the association of the animation industry with the symbolic knowledge base. However, in relation to the spatiality of knowledge flows, the findings contradict the theoretically deduced postulations. Nearly all of the knowledge sources are located overseas. In addition, the study finds little support for the role of local buzz in knowledge flow. The local animation community “buzzes globally” at international events.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Path Dependence Research in Regional Economic Development: Cacophony or Knowledge Accumulation?

By : Martin Henning, Erik Stam & Rik Wenting. Regional Studies, Volume 47, Issue 8, Pages 1348-1362, September 2013.

Abstract : « Path dependence research in regional economic development: cacophony or knowledge accumulation, Regional Studies. The concept of path dependence has gained momentum in the social sciences, particularly in economic geography. This paper explores the empirical literature on path dependence and path creation in regional economic development. It offers a critical reflection on these studies and outlines commonalities and problems in research designs and empirical testing. The review suggests that the popularity of the path dependence concept in regional studies has led to a cacophony of studies rather than to a purposeful accumulation of knowledge around the concept. Gaps are identified and guidelines are suggested for future research on path creation and path dependence in regional development.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Clustering and firm performance in project-based industries: the case of the global video game industry, 1972–2007.

By : Mathijs De Vaan, Ron Boschma and Koen Frenken. J Econ Geogr, Volume 13, Issue 6, pages 965-991, November 2013.

Abstract : « Explanations of spatial clustering based on localization externalities are being questioned by recent empirical evidence showing that firms in clusters do not outperform firms outside clusters. We propose that these findings may be driven by the particularities of the industrial settings chosen in these studies. We argue that in project-based industries, negative localization externalities associated with competition grow proportionally with cluster size, while positive localization externalities increase more than proportionally with cluster size. By studying the survival patterns of 4607 firms and 1229 subsidiaries in the global video game industry, we find that the net effect of clustering becomes positive after a cluster reaches a critical size. We further unravel the subtleties of the video game industry by differentiating between exits by failure and exit by acquisition and conclude that being acquired is best considered as a sign of success rather than as a business failure.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Organising deliberate innovation in knowledge clusters: from accidental brokering to purposeful brokering processes.

By : Philippe Lefebvre. Int. J. of Technology Management, Volume 63, Number 3/4, pages 212 – 243, 2013.

Abstract : « This article focuses on how to boost innovation by stimulating the emergence of joint R&D projects within cluster initiatives. Based on empirical studies on R&D-oriented cluster initiatives, it sheds light on cluster R&D management, a key but hardly ever studied issue, and explains how cluster managers attempt to stimulate and to intermediate innovation by applying three central tactics, possibly enriched by other ex ante and ex post peripheral tactics. Drawing on these empirical results, tested on 15 cluster managers, the article then illustrates that the encompassing model of upstream innovation intermediation process proposed by Sieg et al. (2010) addresses in fact only one among the several possible forms of such processes. Then, splitting Noteboom's notion of 'optimal cognitive distance' into two different dimensions, it shows that this refined notion of cognitive proximity/distance between actors helps understand such a diversity of innovation intermediation processes and their varied efficiencies.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Complex innovation policy systems: Towards an evaluation mix.

By : Edurne Magro and James R. Wilson. Research Policy, Volume 42, Issue 9, Pages 1647–1656, November 2013.

Abstract : « The mix of contemporary innovation policies impacting on a given territory are typically characterised by quite different underlying rationales and instruments. Complexity is further increased by multi-level considerations. Thus policies with different characteristics and from different administrative levels are continually interacting with one another in complex policy systems. These interactions significantly complicate the evaluation of individual policies, and raise a series of difficult questions around how their respective evaluation processes should interact to facilitate learning around the performance of policy systems. This paper contributes with a simplified definition of an innovation policy system as the conjuncture of policy mix and multi-level dimensions, from which a series of steps are proposed for arriving at an evaluation mix relevant for the specific characteristics of a given policy space. These ideas are explored with respect to the case of the Basque Country region of Spain and signal an agenda for further applied policy research.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Network dynamics in regional clusters: Evidence from Chile.

By : Elisa Giuliani. Research Policy, Volume 42, Issue 8, Pages 1406–1419, September 2013.

Abstract : « A wealth of empirical literature shows that one of elements of success for regional clusters is that they facilitate the formation of local inter-organizational networks, which act as conduits of knowledge and innovation. While several studies analyse the benefits and characteristics of regional cluster networks, very little is known about how such networks evolve over time and the extent to which their dynamics can affect development processes. Using longitudinal data on a wine cluster in Chile and Stochastic Actor-Oriented Models (SAOM) to measure network dynamics, this paper examines the microdynamics underpinning the formation of new knowledge ties among wineries. It finds that the coexistence of cohesion effects (reciprocity and transitivity) with the weak knowledge bases of some firms in the cluster contribute to a stable informal hierarchical network structure over time. The empirical results have implications for theories on network dynamics in regional clusters and cluster policies.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


The Extent of Cluster-Based Policies and the Political/Institutional Context : A Collective Case Study.

By : Roberto Gallardo and Bethany Stich. Economic Development Quarterly, Volume 27, No. 4, pages 325-337, November 2013.

Abstract : « Regional economic development strategies are becoming increasingly popular with policy makers. Yet the role of government in cluster development and sustainability is not clearly understood. This research attempts to fill the gap between cluster theory and public administration by testing a political/institutional context model. A total of 24 in-depth interviews focusing on the shipbuilding cluster in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi were completed. Results indicate that the political culture of the region is a major limiting factor for the development of governance structures suitable for cluster-based economic development and upgrading. However, public administration’s network governance theory provides an ideal framework to build governance structures more suitable for cluster-based economic development and upgrading.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Clusters and Economic Growth in Asia

By : Sören Eriksson (editor). Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, Cheltenham, UK, 2013

Abstract: This book provides a rich mix of perspectives that reflect the wide conceptual, empirical and theoretical interest in clusters and economic development with the focus on East and Southeast Asia. It is a valuable contribution to the cluster debate, able to offer insights to both academic researchers and economic development bodies. The authors study a number of interesting cases, industries and issues from countries such as China, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam. [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]