TCI Network
16 December 2013

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

Previous selection of articles:

Acedemic articles on clusters - 1

Academic articles on clusters - 2

Academic articles on clusters - 3

Academic articles on clusters - 4

Academic articles on clusters - 5


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, Issue 4, Pages 325-337, 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]


Guidelines for Applying Porter's Five Forces Framework: A Set of Industry Analysis Templates.

By :Michael E. Dobbs. Competitiveness Review, Volume 24, Issue 1, 2013.

Abstract : «Based on experiences with practicing managers, small business owners, industry analysts, academics, and students, a set of industry analysis templates that systematically guides an analyst through a comprehensive assessment of the five forces is presented with the following: copies of the templates themselves, descriptions of their structure and use, an example of a completed template (spectator sports industry), and a discussion of possible modifications and extensions. The industry analysis templates described in this paper retain the comprehensiveness of Porter's framework but in a format much more student/manager-oriented using graphics, visual cues, a uniform structure, and straightforward descriptions of concepts. Template users show evidence of deeper strategic insights and have a sophisticated tool for future analysis. Managers, analysts, students, and others wanting robust industry analysis are provided with a comprehensive, structured, and practical set of templates to use in assessing an industry using the five forces framework. Leading strategic management texts and other sources provide no comprehensive, systematic, and robust format for conducting a five forces analysis of an industry. The set of industry analysis templates described in this paper provide a visually compelling, user-friendly format that can assist those analyzing industries gain important strategic insights not only into industry drivers, but important competitive advantages for individual firms.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Spatial Agglomeration of Manufacturing in Greece: Sectoral Patterns and Determinants.

By : Klimis Vogiatzoglou and Theodore Tsekeris. European Planning Studies, Volume 21, Issue 12, Pages 1853-1872, Decemberr 2013.

Abstract: « This article aims to demonstrate how the industry characteristics of manufacturing sectors affect the patterns of their spatial agglomeration. It also addresses several intricate issues concerning the measurement of localization economies and estimation of their main determinants in manufacturing industries. The original empirical analysis employs annual industrial data from the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) during the period 1993–2006 in Greece at the prefecture level, i.e. for 51 prefectures. The data processing reveals three important findings. The first is the temporal persistence of localization economies in the Greek manufacturing. The second refers to the high level of agglomeration associated with the high-technology industries as well as the resource- and scale-intensive industries. Lastly, there are significant effects of industry characteristics related to knowledge externalities, labour skills and productivity, scale economies and own-transport expenditure on spatial agglomeration, as resulted from the use of alternative geographic concentration indices and panel data models. Results obtained have implications for policy-makers, who can enhance the regional manufacturing activity by affecting these industry-specific factors. Amongst others, planning measures and policies which aim at promoting the local development and regional convergence should focus on reducing transport costs for firms or sectors, by improving the infrastructure capacity, interconnectivity and quality of services.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Combined Innovation Policy: Linking Scientific and Practical Knowledge in Innovation Systems.

By : Arne Isaksen and Magnus Nilsson. European Planning Studies, Volume 21, Issue 12, Pages 1919-1936, December 2013.

Abstract: « New research indicates that firms combining the science-based STI (Science, Technology, Innovation) and the experience-based DUI (Doing, Using, Interacting) modes of innovation are more efficient when it comes to improving innovation capacity and competitiveness. With regard to innovation policy, the STI mode calls for a supply-driven policy, typically aimed to commercialize research results. The DUI mode suggests a demand-driven policy approach, such as supporting the development of new products or services to specific markets. This article analyses how the two types of innovation policies and the two innovation modes can be combined in regional innovation systems (RISs). The analysis builds on studies of the food industry and related knowledge organizations in two counties, Rogaland County (Norway) and Skåne County (Sweden), and two policy initiatives (NCE Culinology and Skåne Food Innovation Network) aimed at strengthening the innovative capability of the RISs. The analysis indicates that policies aimed to link science- and user-driven innovation activity should focus on building absorptive capacity of DUI firms (e.g. through increased scientific competence) and implementation capacity of STI firms (e.g. through increased market and process competence).» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Innovative Capacity, Educational Attainment and Economic Development in the European Union: Causal Relations and Geographical Variations.

By : Teemu Makkonen and Tommi Inkinen. European Planning Studies, Volume 21, Issue 12, Pages 1958-1976, December 2013.

Abstract: « This article sets out to examine the innovative capacity of the European Union (EU) countries and regions vis-à-vis educational attainment and economic development, as it is frequently stated that innovation and the availability of human capital, specifically education, are the key drivers of economic growth. In addition to the aggregate level, the countries and NUTS-2 regions of the EU, and traditional indicators of the studied dimensions, were used as observation units. Granger causality tests identified education as a driving force behind innovative capacity and economic development, whereas the relationship between innovative capacity and economic development is bidirectional. The study results also confirm the existence of innovation paradoxes in form of rising research and development expenditures but modest rate of gross domestic product growth. The implications of the results concern the recognition of spatial generalizations and national variations, identification and creation of development strategies and the horizontal and vertical collaborations between the public and private sectors.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Entrepreneurship in a Hub-and-Spoke Industrial District: Firm Survey Evidence from Seattle's Technology Industry.

By : Heike Mayer. Regional Studies, Volume 47, Issue 10, Pages 1715-1733, 2013.

Abstract : « The paper investigates entrepreneurial dynamics in a hub-and-spoke industrial district. Using data on the genealogy of high-technology firms in Seattle, Washington State, the study examines the ways in which entrepreneurial firms relate to their parent firms and the role of agglomeration economies. The results illustrate that entrepreneurship is an important vehicle for the diversification of such a district. When compared, hub-related spinoffs such as those founded by former Microsoft employees do not differ much from other start-ups. The differences between Microsoft spinoffs and start-ups are very limited; both diversify the regional economy by entering new markets when compared with their parents.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Places, Spaces and the Dynamics of Creativity: The Video Game Industry in Montreal.

By : David Grandadam, Patrick Cohendet and Laurent Simon. Regional Studies, Volume 47, Issue 10, Pages 1701-1714, 2013.

Abstract : «The aim of this paper is to understand better the dynamics of situated creativity by reconsidering the formation of externalities in cities. What is suggested is that these externalities are not due to the proximity between institutions of the ‘upperground’ or between individuals of the ‘underground’, but rather they emerge from the articulation between places and spaces, which both contribute to fertilize a so-called ‘middleground’. The case of the video game cluster in Montreal in Quebec, Canada, is analysed in order to illustrate this view.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Research Networks and Inventors' Mobility as Drivers of Innovation: Evidence from Europe.

By : Ernest Miguélez and Rosina Moreno. Regional Studies, Volume 47, Issue 10, Pages 1668-1685, 2013.

Abstract : «This paper investigates the importance of the labour mobility of inventors, as well as the scale, extent and density of their collaborative research networks, for regional innovation outcomes. To do so, a knowledge production function framework at the regional level is used. The empirical approach presented takes full account of spatial interactions by estimating a spatial lag model, together, where necessary, with a spatial error model. In addition, standard errors are calculated using spatial heteroskedasticity and autocorrelation consistent (SHAC) techniques. The results suggest the existence of a robust positive correlation between intra-regional labour mobility and regional innovation, whilst the relationship with networks is less clear..» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Crises, the spatial distribution of economic activity, and the geography of banking.

By : Richard A. Werner. Environment and Planning A, Volume 45, Issue 12, 2789 – 2796, December 2013.

Abstract: « This research is likely to help us better understand the causes of banking crises and the ingredients for stable, noninflationary, and sustainable growth. It should include the geographical aspects of bank credit creation, disaggregated by type (for consumption, productive investment, or financial speculation), and its impact on the spatial distribution of economic activity and other variables following from it (such as the spatial distribution of dwellings, traffic, employment, income and wealth, and human activity in general). For the geography of banking is linked to the ingredients of a stable banking system that delivers sustainable growth: a decentralised banking structure consisting of many small, independent banks that restrict their activity to their immediate geographic location and lend primarily to SMEs is likely to prove superior to a centralised banking system dominated by a few large banks that have no geographic restrictions on their activities and lend mainly to financial speculators. Thus further research on these issues is likely to result in better informed banking policy that has a better chance to bring us closer to the promised land of stable, equitable, sustainable, and crisis-free economic growth—a goal that has remained elusive following the Basel approach to bank regulation that favours large banks and hence furthers concentration in banking. The research is also likely to show that, instead of focusing resources on an ever smaller number of ever larger banks, it should be cheaper and more effective to capitalise new networks of geographically restricted small local banks.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


The role of clusters in smart specialisation strategies.

By : DG Research of the European Commission. Publications Office of the European Union, 2013.

Abstract: « This report investigates the potential contribution of clusters and cluster policies in the design and implementation of Smart Specialisation Strategies. Both cluster policies and Smart Specialisation Strategies are policy approaches with a place-based dimension, aiming at exploiting advantages of proximity to promote economic growth and competitiveness.

With regions across Europe currently working on their Smart Specialisation Strategies, the question whether and how clusters and cluster policies can be used in this endeavour is highly relevant. Smart Specialisation Strategies are difficult to design and implement because they are based on a new and complex academic framework that now has to be translated into policy practice.

The contention of this report is that lessons learnt from the rich history of cluster policies can provide concrete inputs into the development of Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3).» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Handbook of Industry Studies and Economic Geography.

Edited by : Frank Giarratani, Geoffrey J.D. Hewings and Philip McCann. Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, Cheltenham, UK, 2014.

Abstract: « This unique Handbook examines the impacts on, and responses to, economic geography explicitly from the perspective of the behaviour, mechanics, systems and experiences of different firms in various types of industries. The industry studies approach allows the authors to explain why the economic geography of these different industries exhibits such particular and diverse characteristics. The sectors and industries covered include:

• traditional heavy industry and engineering

• creative and cultural industries

• knowledge sectors

• natural resource-based and environmental sectors

• knowledge, networks and communications issues.

The Handbook of Industry Studies and Economic Geography will strongly appeal to students, scholars and researchers interested in all aspects of industrial location and economic geography.» [ABSTRACT FROM EDITOR]


Clusters And Economic Growth In Asia.

Edited by : Sören Eriksson. Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, Cheltenham, UK, 2013.

Abstract: « This detailed book explores and provides insights into the development and transformation of various clusters, economies and industrial sectors in East and Southeast Asia. The authors study a number of important issues including the role of information and communication technology in economic growth, an emerging biomedical cluster in South Korea, an industrial agglomeration of Taiwanese electronics firms in China, and different sectorial and regional growth models in China. They also investigate the increasing relevance of cluster policies and the need to understand them in the context of the institutional and structural transition of newly industrializing East Asian economies. The book moves on to study the technology intensity of FDI in Vietnam and the implications for economic growth and emerging clusters, as well as the origin and characteristics of foreign technology transfer in a Chinese aircraft industry cluster. Clusters and Economic Growth in Asia will greatly appeal to academics, researchers, politicians, policy planners and industrial specialists, as well as those with a specific interest in clusters and economic growth in Asian economies.» [ABSTRACT FROM EDITOR]