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Clusters for life or life cycles of clusters: in search of the critical factors of clusters' resilience


  • Raphael Suire
  • Jerome Vicente


This article investigates the driving forces behind the life cycles and resilience of technological clusters. It concentrates, in particular, on the combination of critical parameters which allows clusters to succeed in disconnecting their cycle from the cycle of the technologies they produce, in order to maintain stability and growth in unstable economic environments. Three propositions on location decision externalities, the life cycle of composite technologies and the structural properties of knowledge networks are developed and introduced in an inclusive study of cluster trajectories. Discussions show that resilient clusters are those that combine network and external audience effects in location decision-making and evolve towards a specific core/periphery and disassortative structure of knowledge interactions along the knowledge and market phases. Understanding these pathways could be at the heart of the renewal of cluster and regional policy in a macro-economic context characterized by high instability and new growing consumer paradigms.

Suggested Citation

  • Raphael Suire & Jerome Vicente, 2014. "Clusters for life or life cycles of clusters: in search of the critical factors of clusters' resilience," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(1-2), pages 142-164, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:entreg:v:26:y:2014:i:1-2:p:142-164
    DOI: 10.1080/08985626.2013.877985

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    Cited by:

    1. Pinkse, Jonatan & Vernay, Anne-Lorène & D’Ippolito, Beatrice, 2018. "An organisational perspective on the cluster paradox: Exploring how members of a cluster manage the tension between continuity and renewal," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 674-685.
    2. Joan Crespo & Jérôme Vicente & Frédéric Amblard, 2016. "Micro-behaviors and structural properties of knowledge networks: toward a ‘one size fits one’ cluster policy," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(6), pages 533-552, September.
    3. Frederic Gaschet & Mathieu Becue & Vanessa Bouaroudj & Marina Flamand & André Meunie & Guillaume Pouyanne & Damien Talbot, 2017. "Related variety and the dynamics of European photonic clusters," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(8), pages 1292-1315, August.
    4. Lucena-Piquero, D. & Vicente, Jérôme, 2019. "The visible hand of cluster policy makers: An analysis of Aerospace Valley (2006-2015) using a place-based network methodology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 830-842.
    5. Annarelli, Alessandro & Nonino, Fabio, 2016. "Strategic and operational management of organizational resilience: Current state of research and future directions," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 1-18.
    6. Rachel Doern & Nick Williams & Tim Vorley, 2016. "Entrepreneurship and crises: business as usual?," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(5-6), pages 471-475, May.
    7. Shi, Xin & Jiang, Haizhou & Li, Huan & Wang, Ying, 2020. "Upgrading port-originated maritime clusters: Insights from Shanghai's experience," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 19-32.
    8. Joan Crespo & Frédéric Amblard & Jérôme Vicente, 2015. "Simulating micro behaviours and structural properties of knowledge networks: toward a “one size fits one” cluster policy," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1503, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Feb 2015.
    9. Bettiol, Marco & Burlina, Chiara & Chiarvesio, Maria & Di Maria, Eleonora, 2017. "From Delocalisation to Backshoring? Evidence from Italian Industrial Districts," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 39, pages 137-154.
    10. Mete Basar Baypinar, 2016. "Evolution of ICT and software industry: Crisis, resilience and the role of emerging clusters," ERSA conference papers ersa16p232, European Regional Science Association.

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