Beyond the Knowledge-Based Theory of the Geographic Cluster
The knowledge-based theory of the geographic cluster represents a major attempt to re-conceptualize clusters, in essence arguing that the localization of firms in similar and related industries stimulates learning and innovation, giving a competitive advantage to clustered firms. This paper critically examines the knowledge-based theory the cluster, arguing that it has greatly overstated the advantages of co-location to firms and misidentified the mechanisms through which learning occurs in clusters. In particular, the theory is criticized on three points: the flexible, under-specified way that it defines its object of study; the focus on firms as an explanatory variable instead of more fundamental processes of resource accumulation; and the functionalist mode of theory that employs as an explanation. Ways to address of each of these issues are discussed. In a final section I suggest that the rather static notions of learning put forward in the knowledge-based theory of the cluster be replaced by a developmental theory of regional dynamics that focuses on both learning and structural transformation.
|Date of creation:||Nov 2007|
|Date of revision:||Nov 2007|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Secretariaat kamer 635, P.O.Box 80.115, 3508 TC Utrecht|
Web page: http://econ.geo.uu.nl
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Anders Malmberg & Peter Maskell, 2002. "The elusive concept of localization economies: towards a knowledge-based theory of spatial clustering," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 34(3), pages 429-449, March.
- Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2002.
"Deconstructing Clusters: Chaotic Concept or Policy Panacea,"
ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers
wp244, ESRC Centre for Business Research.
- Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2003. "Deconstructing clusters: chaotic concept or policy panacea?," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(1), pages 5-35, January.
- Anders Malmberg & Dominic Power, 2005. "(How) Do (Firms in) Clusters Create Knowledge?," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 409-431.
- Mark Lazerson & Gianni Lorenzoni, 1999. "Resisting Organizational Inertia: The Evolution of Industrial Districts," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 3(4), pages 361-377, December.
- Russo, Margherita, 1985. "Technical change and the industrial district: The role of interfirm relations in the growth and transformation of ceramic tile production in Italy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 329-343, December.
- Ann Markusen, 2003.
"Fuzzy Concepts, Scanty Evidence, Policy Distance: The Case for Rigour and Policy Relevance in Critical Regional Studies,"
Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6-7), pages 701-717.
- Ann Markusen, 1999. "Fuzzy Concepts, Scanty Evidence, Policy Distance: The Case for Rigour and Policy Relevance in Critical Regional Studies," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(9), pages 869-884.
- Anders Malmberg & Peter Maskell, 2005.
"Localized Learning Revisited,"
DRUID Working Papers
05-19, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
- Lissoni, Francesco, 2001. "Knowledge codification and the geography of innovation: the case of Brescia mechanical cluster," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1479-1500, December.
- Young, Allyn A., 1928. "Increasing Returns and Economic Progress," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 38, pages 527-542.
- Peter Maskell & Mark Lorenzen, 2003. "The Cluster as Market Organization," DRUID Working Papers 03-14, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
- Marjolein Caniëls & Henny Romijn, 2003. "Agglomeration Advantages and Capability Building in Industrial Clusters: The Missing Link," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(3), pages 129-154.
- Lars Håkanson, 2005. "Epistemic Communities and Cluster Dynamics: On the Role of Knowledge in Industrial Districts," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 433-463.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:0708. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.