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Intelligent assignment in clusters to enhance collaboration and innovation

Caglar Ucler (Faculty of Aviation and Aeronautical Science, Ozyegin Universitesi, Istanbul, Turkey)

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management

ISSN: 1741-038X

Article publication date: 5 June 2017




Small organizations within profit maximization supply chains form industrial clusters to share resources. They mainly deliver products and services in a reactive manner, where the cluster is only facilitating. However, the cluster management can lead business development and assign work packages intelligently to appropriate cluster members by respecting collaboration and innovation. This upgrade of the cluster management requires a systematic approach. Therefore, the intelligent Cluster Assignment Tool concept is developed and an illustrative example is given. The paper aims to discuss these issues.


Interviews and workshops were used to isolate the hierarchy of the assignment model, supported by a literature research. Fuzzy analytic hierarchy process method was applied to determine weights, consolidating data delivered by members of a Turkish aviation and defence cluster. The approach was discussed at the IEEE 2016 ICE Conference in Norway with experts to assess regional restrictions.


Cluster members are actively looking for possibilities to enhance innovation potential that they are ready to participate in systematic approaches. Cluster organizations can differ by leading their members actively, when respecting all isolated dimensions of assignment. This can lead towards a cooperation base enhancing the potential for innovation and new product development (NPD).

Research limitations/implications

The illustrative example indicates a good fit to clusters without a dominant anchor firm. The generic framework was deliberated on cross-sectional perspective as satisfactory to be applied to different sectors in developing economies.

Practical implications

This paper helps clusters and small organizations to upgrade for innovation. Furthermore, it delivers a strategic tool supporting organizational transformation, preventing the price trap as well.


This approach is focussing on multi-criteria assignment across cluster members, upgrading it to a united organization. It delivers a strategic framework for cluster management, building a collaboration environment leading to innovation and NPD.



Ucler, C. (2017), "Intelligent assignment in clusters to enhance collaboration and innovation", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 28 No. 5, pp. 554-576.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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