Cluster Performance Reconsidered: Structure, Linkages and Paths in the German Biotechnology Industry, 1996-2003

26 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2006

See all articles by Carolin Häussler

Carolin Häussler

University of Passau

Hans-Martin Zademach

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2006

Abstract

This paper addresses the evolution of biotechnology clusters in Germany between 1996 and 2003, paying particular attention to their respective composition in terms of venture capital, basic science institutions and biotechnology firms. Drawing upon Powell et al's (2002) hypothesis of the significance of co-location of "money and ideas", the literature stressing the importance of a cluster's openness and external linkages (e.g. Bathelt et al. 2004), and the path dependency debate (e.g. DiMaggio and Powell 1983), the paper aims to analyse how certain cluster characteristics correspond with its overall performance. After identifying different cluster types (rather purely scientific respectively financially driven ones vs. those characterised by a more or less well-balanced proportion), we investigate their internal and external interconnectivity in comparative manner and draw on changes in cluster composition. Our results indicate that the structure, i.e. to which group the cluster belongs, and the openness towards external knowledge flows deliver merely unsystematic indications with regard to a cluster's overall success. Its ability to change composition towards a more balanced ratio of science and capital over time, on the other hand, turns out as a key explanatory factor. Hence, the dynamic perspective proves effective illuminating cluster growth and performance, where our explorative findings provide a promising avenue for further evolutionary research.

Keywords: Cluster evolution, dynamic perspective, basic science, venture capital, biotechnology, Germany

JEL Classification: O18, O32, L22

Suggested Citation

Haeussler, Carolin and Zademach, Hans-Martin, Cluster Performance Reconsidered: Structure, Linkages and Paths in the German Biotechnology Industry, 1996-2003 (May 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=907475 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.907475

Carolin Haeussler (Contact Author)

University of Passau ( email )

Innstrasse 27
Passau, 94032
Germany

Hans-Martin Zademach

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) ( email )

Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
Munich, DE Bavaria 80539
Germany

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