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Approaching multinationals in clusters from different perspectives: An integration of literatures

Jose-Luis Hervas-Oliver (Universitat Politècnica de València, Valencia, Spain and Universidad de la Costa, Barranquilla, Colombia)
Fiorenza Belussi (Università degli Studi di Padova, Padova, Italy)
Silvia Rita Sedita (Università degli Studi di Padova, Padova, Italy)
Annalisa Caloffi (Università degli Studi di Firenze, Firenze, Italy)
Gregorio Gonzalez-Alcaide (University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain)

Competitiveness Review

ISSN: 1059-5422

Article publication date: 6 April 2020

Issue publication date: 19 June 2020




For the specific topic of multinationals in clusters, both regional strands and international business and management literatures address the topic from different yet intertwined perspectives. This study aims to facilitate the integration of the conversations and the distinct literatures to produce a clear understanding and conceptualization of the existent knowledge on the topic, with the aim to foster an integration of those different lines of inquiry on the topic that can advance scholarly research and improve policymaking.


Mixing a robust and longitudinal bibliometric analysis (1992-2018) and a qualitative critical review, the study disentangles sub-conversations on the topic in each literature.


The study encounters commonalities that foster cross-fertilization and blind spots that prevent integration of findings from each literature.

Research limitations/implications

Both literatures need to cross-fertilize and integrate each other’s knowledge.


To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first to integrate literatures using bibliometrics, mapping the existing knowledge on two key areas of competitiveness: clusters and multinationals.



Funding: This research was funded by Ministry of Science, Innovation and University, grant number RTI2018-095739-B-100. InnoRadical4.0.


Hervas-Oliver, J.-L., Belussi, F., Sedita, S.R., Caloffi, A. and Gonzalez-Alcaide, G. (2020), "Approaching multinationals in clusters from different perspectives: An integration of literatures", Competitiveness Review, Vol. 30 No. 4, pp. 437-456.



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