Chapter 7 An Empirical Assessment of Porter's Clusters Concept Based on London's Media IndustriesGary Cook, Naresh PanditAn Empirical Assessment of Porter's Clusters Concept Based on London's Media Industries

New Technology-Based Firms in the New Millennium

ISBN: 978-0-0805-5448-8, eISBN: 978-1-84950-544-4

ISSN: 1876-0228

Publication date: 1 January 2008

Abstract

Within academic literature, there has been a burgeoning of literature in the field of economic geography which has centred on the nature of local concentrations of economic activity, with particular interest on those which are most dynamic, variously styled as clusters (Porter, 1990; Swann, Prevezer, & Stout, 1998), innovative milieux (Camagni, 1991), industrial districts (Piore & Sable, 1984), new industrial spaces (Scott, 1988) and nodes (Amin & Thrift, 1992). Such intense interest among geographers stands in contrast to the relatively more muted impact within the management, and more specifically, the strategy field (Audretsch, 2000). What makes this particularly odd are firstly, the intense interest of policy makers that has been stimulated by the seminal work of Porter (1990), and secondly the manifest claim and implication of much of the extant literature that the existence of dynamic clusters is at once both a result of corporate strategies and also a vital consideration which should inform strategic thinking. This chapter assesses the extent to which one of the UK's most successful clusters behaves in ways which are consistent with Porter's positive statements about the nature of clusters. In doing so, the chapter will consider insights which the wider literature offers on how and when concentrations of economic activity will give rise to superior performance, at least among some of the firms located there, which do not feature prominently in Porter's thinking. In particular, it will explore Martin and Sunley's (2003) critique of Porter's clusters concept and its utility as a basis for regional development policy. It will also consider recent contributions which claim that the resource-based theory (RBT) of the firm offers a superior framework for thinking about the strategic implications of clusters for corporate strategy, rather than the more industrial organization-based lens through which Porter views this issue. This chapter concludes that a synthesis is warranted rather than an attempt to claim that one view is correct and the other wrong.

Citation

Cook, G. and Pandit, N. (2008), "Chapter 7 An Empirical Assessment of Porter's Clusters Concept Based on London's Media IndustriesGary Cook, Naresh PanditAn Empirical Assessment of Porter's Clusters Concept Based on London's Media Industries", Groen, A., Van Der Sijde, P., Oakey, R. and Cook, G. (Ed.) New Technology-Based Firms in the New Millennium (New Technology Based Firms in the New Millennium, Vol. 6), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 85-102. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1876-0228(08)06007-9

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