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Scientists as Midwives to Cluster Emergence: An Institutional Work Framework

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  • Tiina Ritvala
  • Birgit Kleymann

Abstract

The question of how embedded actors can create institutions that support cluster emergence remains unsolved in the cluster and national innovation systems literature. The present paper extends the recent literature on institutional entrepreneurship and institutional work to solve this paradox of embedded agency in the context of science-based clusters. Building on a longitudinal single case study of a functional foods cluster in Finland, we present an institutional work framework for cluster formation. We argue that, in addition to ideational, material and bridging work, authentic leadership work is critical for cluster emergence. The results of the study highlight the opportunities that scientists have to act as midwives to cluster formation, but they also show that well-functioning clusters need a broader support base.

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  • Tiina Ritvala & Birgit Kleymann, 2012. "Scientists as Midwives to Cluster Emergence: An Institutional Work Framework," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(6), pages 477-497, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:19:y:2012:i:6:p:477-497
    DOI: 10.1080/13662716.2012.718875
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/13662716.2012.718875
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    Cited by:

    1. Welter, Friederike & Smallbone, David, 2015. "Creative forces for entrepreneurship: The role of institutional change agents," Working Papers 01/15, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn.
    2. 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.
    3. Sotarauta, Markku, 2015. "The Challenge of Combinatorial Knowledge Dynamics to Study of Institutions, Towards an Actor-centric Bottom-up View of Institutions," Papers in Innovation Studies 2015/5, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.

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