A study of the diffusion of agility and cluster competitiveness in the oil and gas supply chains
In the oil and gas industry, pressures persist on organisations to master and profit from the energy and allied environmental challenges facing the world. This can be achieved through enhanced operational efficiency, responsiveness, resilience and reliability characteristic of an agile organisation. These issues as well as the role of clusters as a strategy for economic exploitation of oil and gas resources are explored in this paper. Further, the paper looks at the diffusion of agility in the oil and gas industry and examines, empirically, the agility advantage, competitiveness gain and performance benefits of cluster members over non-members. Our results suggest that clusters enhance and enable higher levels of agile practices. However, whilst prior studies seem to suggest that clusters have positive impacts on competitiveness and performance, our findings indicate that there is no strong empirical basis to make a direct link between clusters and competitiveness, at least in the oil and gas industry. It follows from this that the universality of the attribution of competitiveness to clusters as espoused by the proponents of cluster theory is questionable and empirical evidence certainly does not support their position in the context of the oil and gas clusters.
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