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Perspectives on Cluster Evolution: Critical Review and Future Research Issues

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  • Michaela Trippl
  • Markus Grillitsch
  • Arne Isaksen
  • Tanja Sinozic

Abstract

The past two decades have witnessed an ever-growing scholarly interest in regional clusters. The focus of research has mainly been on exploring why clusters exist and what characteristics "functioning" clusters possess. Although the interest in more dynamic views on clusters is not new, in recent years, however, greater attention has been paid to providing better explanations of how clusters change and develop over time, giving rise to an increasing popularity of the cluster life-cycle approach. This paper discusses the key ideas and arguments put forward by the main protagonists of this approach and identifies several missing elements, such as indifference to place-specific factors, neglect of multi-scalar impacts and underappreciation of the role of human agency. Based on this critical assessment, a number of suggestions for future research are made. We argue that there is a need to study the influence of the wider regional environment on cluster evolution and to explore how cluster development paths are influenced by a multiplicity of factors and processes at various spatial scales. Finally, it is claimed that future research should pay more attention to the role of human agents and the ways they shape the long-term development of regional clusters. We outline how future studies can tackle these issues.

Suggested Citation

  • Michaela Trippl & Markus Grillitsch & Arne Isaksen & Tanja Sinozic, 2015. "Perspectives on Cluster Evolution: Critical Review and Future Research Issues," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(10), pages 2028-2044, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:eurpls:v:23:y:2015:i:10:p:2028-2044
    DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2014.999450
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    1. repec:pal:jintbs:v:49:y:2018:i:8:d:10.1057_s41267-017-0082-z is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Luciana Lazzeretti & Francesco Capone, 2017. "The transformation of the Prato industrial district: an organisational ecology analysis of the co-evolution of Italian and Chinese firms," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 58(1), pages 135-158, January.
    3. Martin, Roman & Trippl, Michaela, 2015. "Cluster Evolution, Regional Innovation Systems and Knowledge Bases. The Development and Transformation of the ICT Cluster in Southern Sweden," Papers in Innovation Studies 2015/24, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    4. Grillitsch, Markus, 2017. "Transformation Capacity of the Innovative Entrepreneur: On the interplay between social structure and agency," Papers in Innovation Studies 2017/2, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    5. repec:elg:eechap:16617_1 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Moodysson , Jerker & Sack , Lionel, 2014. "Explaining Cluster Evolution from an Institutional Point of View: Evidence from a French Beverage Cluster," Papers in Innovation Studies 2014/23, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    7. Markus Grillitsch & Bjørn T. Asheim, 2017. "Cluster policy: Renewal through the integration of institutional variety," Chapters,in: The Life Cycle of Clusters, chapter 4, pages 76-94 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Trippl , Michaela & Grillitsch , Markus & Isaksen , Arne & Sinozic , Tanja, 2015. "Understanding Cluster Evolution," Papers in Innovation Studies 2015/46, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    9. Bastien Bernela & Marie Ferru & Marc-Hubert Depret, 2017. "When genesis shapes cluster life cycle? Applying mixed method on a French cluster case study," Working Papers halshs-01616929, HAL.
    10. Daniel A. Skog, 2016. "Local game, global rules: exploring technological heterogeneity exploitation in digital creative cluster evolution," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(6), pages 531-550, August.
    11. Dirk Fornahl & Robert Hassink & Max-Peter Menzel, 2015. "Broadening Our Knowledge on Cluster Evolution," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(10), pages 1921-1931, October.
    12. repec:pal:eurjdr:v:30:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1057_s41287-017-0123-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:aae:journl:v:4:y:2018:i:4:p:17-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Bjørn T. Asheim & Arne Isaksen & Roman Martin & Michaela Trippl, 2017. "The role of clusters and public policy in new regional economic path development," Chapters,in: The Life Cycle of Clusters, chapter 1, pages 13-34 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R50 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - General
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy

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