This paper empirically aims to examine the relationship between collaboration initiatives of cluster organizations (COs) and improved innovation and financial performance among cluster firms. Moreover, the paper proposes a method for the development of cluster initiatives and evaluating their performance.
COs in North Mid Sweden have been studied between 2005 and 2014, where 12 COs have focused on collaboration, ranging from process industries, such as forestry, paper and steel, to tourism and information and computer technology (ICT). A survey method was used to collect data for some 1,000 firms engaging in cluster activities. A new method of analysis, which associates initiatives of COs with cluster members’ innovation and financial performance, has been developed and used in the paper.
The paper finds that cluster initiatives (enhancing collaboration across different types of actors in clusters) improve innovation and financial performance among involved cluster firms. But the effect of the cluster initiatives depends, to a large degree, on the policy of the CO. Results show large differences in performance among cluster initiatives, leaving room for the benchmarking and cross-cluster learning.
The new method proposed in this paper can help to formulate and implement cluster initiatives. Evaluation of COs can be improved through the new method.
The major contribution of this work is the association of CO initiatives with the performance of cluster member firms. Additionally, this work provides a new statistical instrument for assessing the impact of cluster initiatives on cluster members’ performance.
Morgulis-Yakushev, S. and Sölvell, Ö. (2017), "Enhancing dynamism in clusters: A model for evaluating cluster organizations’ bridge-building activities across cluster gaps", Competitiveness Review, Vol. 27 No. 2, pp. 98-112. https://doi.org/10.1108/CR-02-2016-0015Download as .RIS
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