Close Encounters: Evidence of the potential benefits of proximity to local industrial clusters
Local clusters of high technology small businesses are of increasing interest to politician and academics. This papers draws on a study of 237 high tech small businesses located throughout the UK. Combining information on activity and location, firms were grouped according to their potential degree of embeddedness in local industrial clusters. Businesses with differing levels of cluster involvement were then examined in terms of market structure, supportiveness of local cluster and their performance. The findings lend support to the role of untraded rather than traded interdependencies in the dynamics of localised high tech clusters. Research indicating compensating behaviour by high tech businesses disadvantaged by location is also supported, emphasising the need to consider not only the location and activity but also entrepreneurial objectives.
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