Clusters for life or life cycles of clusters: from declining to resilient clusters
This paper aims to contribute to the identification of the key parameters of cluster life cycles. We assume that clusters are embedded in larger technological fields, so that the search for these parameters focuses on the way by which clusters could disconnect their cycle from the cycle of technologies, in order to insure their long term viability. For that, we set out 6 propositions concerning (i) the nature of location decision externalities that prevail in the co-location process; (ii) the particular diffusion process of composite technologies and the positioning of clusters along this process; (iii) the structural properties of clusters and the particular role and position some organizations play in their evolution. Through a cross-synthesis of the whole of these propositions, we discuss 4 basic scenarios of the structural and evolutionary pathways of clusters.We show that clusters succeed in disconnecting their cycle from the cycle of technologies if and only if they display resilience properties. Key-words : cluster, cycle, location externalities, knowledge, structural properties, resilience JEL code: D85, L14, O31, R12
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