Networks of Clusters: A Governance Perspective

Industry & Innovation, Vol. 20, No. 4, pp. 617-647, 2013

33 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2013  

Elke Schüßler

Johannes Kepler University Linz

Carolin Decker

WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management

Frank Lerch

University of the German Federal Armed Forces - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 26, 2013

Abstract

This paper aims to further our emerging knowledge on the external linkages of regional clusters. We adopt a network governance perspective and study connected clusters as goal-directed, multilevel whole networks that we denote as “cluster networks.” Based on an analysis of four empirical cases varying in regional scope, age and industry context, we identify two governance forms: internally governed cluster networks are formed to establish ties among cluster representative organizations to share knowledge and pool resources on selected activities; externally governed cluster networks are formed to systematically develop cross-cluster ties and competences on and across levels and are brokered by a central intercluster administrative organization as well as several decentralized lead organizations. Our findings show that Cluster connectivity can go beyond organization-based pipelines and personal relationships to include clusters as governed entities, albeit with different intensities regarding the brokerage of ties on lower levels.

Keywords: regional clusters, cluster connectivity, global pipelines, governance, whole networks, regional development

JEL Classification: O18, D85, L14

Suggested Citation

Schüßler, Elke and Decker, Carolin and Lerch, Frank, Networks of Clusters: A Governance Perspective (August 26, 2013). Industry & Innovation, Vol. 20, No. 4, pp. 617-647, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2316055

Elke Schüßler (Contact Author)

Johannes Kepler University Linz ( email )

Altenberger Straße 69
Linz, 4040
Austria

Carolin Decker

WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management ( email )

Burgplatz 2
Vallendar, 56179
Germany

Frank Lerch

University of the German Federal Armed Forces - Department of Economics ( email )

Holstenhofweg 85
Hamburg, 22043
Germany

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