How to Turn Public Networks into Clubs? The Challenge of Being a Cluster Manager

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, Forthcoming

18 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2009 Last revised: 10 Oct 2010

See all articles by Carola Jungwirth

Carola Jungwirth

University of Passau

Daniel Grundgreif

University of Passau

Elisabeth Mueller

University of Passau

Date Written: November 16, 2009

Abstract

Cluster initiatives are a common means to establish and foster positive externalities in regions. In such initiatives, cluster managers provide several supportive goods and services, which can have the characteristics of public, club or private goods. Which portfolio of goods and services is provided de-pends on the cluster initiative’s intent of achieving public or private goals. The central question of this paper is in which way there is interference between the implementation of public and private goals and how this influences the provided portfolio. It analyses the case of the temporary publicly funded Bavarian Cluster Offensive, which is expected to finance itself privately within a certain time-frame. Thus the cluster initiative’s goal and therefore the portfolio provided are expected to change significantly. Based on in-depth interviews with the cluster managers of the Bavarian Cluster Offensive, we find that the planned transfor-mation from a publicly subsidised cluster initiative into a privately financed one is not expected to succeed under the prevalent circumstances. We come to the conclusion that the concept of cluster initiatives could be extensively improved if the goals of the cluster initiatives were formulated consistently regarding their role to promote private enterprises and networks or to perform public duties such as infrastructure development.

Keywords: Cluster, cluster manager, cluster initiative, cluster goals, public goods, club goods, public funding, private funding, transformation, incentives

Suggested Citation

Jungwirth, Carola and Grundgreif, Daniel and Mueller, Elisabeth, How to Turn Public Networks into Clubs? The Challenge of Being a Cluster Manager (November 16, 2009). International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1506988

Carola Jungwirth

University of Passau ( email )

Innstraße 27
Passau, 94030
Germany

Daniel Grundgreif

University of Passau ( email )

Innstraße 27
Passau, 94030
Germany

Elisabeth Mueller (Contact Author)

University of Passau ( email )

Innstraße 27
Passau, 94030
Germany

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