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Perspectives on Cluster Evolution: Critical Review and Future Research Issues

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  • Trippl, Michaela

    () (CIRCLE, Lund University)

  • Grillitsch, Markus

    () (CIRCLE, Lund University)

  • Isaksen, Arne

    () (Department of Working Life and Innovation, University of Agder)

  • Sinozic, Tanja

    () (Institute for the Environment and Regional Development, Vienna University of Economics and Business)

Abstract

The past two decades have witnessed an ever-growing scholarly interest in regional clusters. The focus of research has mainly been on why clusters exist and what characteristics “functioning” clusters hold. Although the interest in more dynamic views on clusters is not new, in recent years, however, more attention has been paid to providing better explanations of how clusters change and develop over time, giving rise to an increasing popularity of different variants of the cluster life cycle approach. This article offers a critical review of various cluster life cycle models. We discuss the key ideas and arguments put forward by their main protagonists and we identify several shortcomings – such as the problematic predefinition of development phases, indifference to context-specific factors and neglect of multi-scalar impacts – that surround these models. Based on this critical assessment the article identifies several core issues for future research. In particular, we argue that there is a need to gain a better understanding of the context sensitivity of cluster evolution, to explore how cluster development paths are influenced by a multiplicity of factors and processes at various spatial scales and their interactions, and to investigate the role of human agents and to unravel how they shape the long-term development of regional clusters.

Suggested Citation

  • Trippl, Michaela & Grillitsch, Markus & Isaksen, Arne & Sinozic, Tanja, 2014. "Perspectives on Cluster Evolution: Critical Review and Future Research Issues," Papers in Innovation Studies 2014/12, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lucirc:2014_012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    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. repec:elg:eechap:16617_1 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. repec:pal:eurjdr:v:30:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1057_s41287-017-0123-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. 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.
    10. repec:aae:journl:v:4:y:2018:i:4:p:17-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cluster evolution; life cycle approaches; context sensitivity; multi-scalar frameworks; human agency;

    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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