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Clusters vs. Networks – a literature based approach towards an integrated concept


  • Bode, Alexander
  • Talmon l'Armee, Tobias
  • Alig, Simon


The cluster concept has steadily increased its importance during the past years – both from practitioners’ and researchers’ perspective. Simultaneously many corporate networks have been established. Researchers from different areas (business management, economics, social and geographical science) are trying to explain both phenomena. As a result of different disciplines’ varying research objects many definitions of clusters exist. Furthermore, the terms cluster and network are often not clearly distinguished. Some authors even merge the terms. Based on a profound literature review, our paper structures the manifold definitions, differentiating between clusters and networks, and provides first practical insights at the case of the Hessenmetall Cluster-Initiative how to integrate the two concepts.

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  • Bode, Alexander & Talmon l'Armee, Tobias & Alig, Simon, 2010. "Clusters vs. Networks – a literature based approach towards an integrated concept," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 42559, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
  • Handle: RePEc:dar:wpaper:42559
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    Cited by:

    1. Anthony Pagano & Grace Wang & Onésimo Sánchez & Ricardo Ungo & Eddie Tapiero, 2016. "The impact of the Panama Canal expansion on Panama’s maritime cluster," Maritime Policy & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(2), pages 164-178, February.
    2. Cappenberg, Christina, 2013. "Staatliche Förderung regionaler Unternehmensnetzwerke: Legitimation nationaler Clusterpolitik," Arbeitspapiere 140, University of Münster, Institute for Cooperatives.
    3. Alexander Bode & Ingo Däberitz & Juri Fionik, 2011. "Messung von Kooperationserfolg in Clustern," Schmalenbach Journal of Business Research, Springer, vol. 63(7), pages 662-688, November.
    4. Lilia A. Valitova & Elena R. Sharko & Marina Yu. Sheresheva, 2021. "Identifying industrial clusters based on the analysis of business ties: A case of the textile industry," Upravlenets, Ural State University of Economics, vol. 12(4), pages 59-74, September.
    5. Russell, Martha G. & Smorodinskaya, Nataliya V., 2018. "Leveraging complexity for ecosystemic innovation," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 114-131.

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