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The Development of International Industry Clusters: A Complexity Theory Approach


  • Valerie Lindsay



Recent research on networks and clusters as distributive systems of knowledge is drawing on complexity theory as a way of explaining the knowledge processes involved in these organizational forms. It appears that complexity theory and its component concepts, such as coevolution and self-organization, can offer some meaningful insights into, and possible explanations for, knowledge phenomena associated with networks and clusters. Using a case study approach, this paper explores the development of a New Zealand based industry cluster from early formation to international expansion, with a particular focus on the creation and dissemination of knowledge within the cluster. The observations are reported and discussed in the context of complexity theory, drawing particularly on coevolutionary principles. It is suggested that these approaches provide a useful way of understanding the process of industry cluster development and the dynamics associated with international expansion. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Valerie Lindsay, 2005. "The Development of International Industry Clusters: A Complexity Theory Approach," Journal of International Entrepreneurship, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 71-97, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jinten:v:3:y:2005:i:1:p:71-97 DOI: 10.1007/s10843-005-0307-2

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Maskell, Peter & Malmberg, Anders, 1999. "Localised Learning and Industrial Competitiveness," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(2), pages 167-185, March.
    2. Edward Feser & Edward Bergman, 2000. "National Industry Cluster Templates: A Framework for Applied Regional Cluster Analysis," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(1), pages 1-19.
    3. Julian Birkinshaw & Neil Hood, 2000. "Characteristics of Foreign Subsidiaries in Industry Clusters," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 31(1), pages 141-154, March.
    4. Schmitz, Hubert, 1999. "From ascribed to earned trust in exporting clusters," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 139-150, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2010. "Complexity Thinking and Evolutionary Economic Geography," Chapters,in: The Handbook of Evolutionary Economic Geography, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Udo Staber, 2010. "A Social-Evolutionary Perspective on Regional Clusters," Chapters,in: The Handbook of Evolutionary Economic Geography, chapter 10 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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    clusters; evolution; complexity theory; knowledge;


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