Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Department of Industrial Economics

No 2013/02: Critical Success Factors and Cluster Evolution: A case study of the Linköping ICT cluster lifecycle

Sam Tavassoli () and Dimitrios Tsagdis ()
Additional contact information
Sam Tavassoli: CSIR, Blekinge Inst of Technology, Postal: CSIR, School of Management, Blekinge Inst of Technology, 371 79 Karlskrona, Sweden
Dimitrios Tsagdis: CSIR, Blekinge Inst of Technology, Postal: Hull University Business School , Filey Road, Scarborough, YO11 3AZ, UK

Abstract: This paper investigates the variation in the importance of critical success factors (CSFs) in the evolution of the Linköping ICT cluster in Sweden. The international empirical evidence of CSFs in ICT clusters reported in the literature is systematically reviewed. On its basis an object-oriented conceptual model is developed encompassing 15 CSFs; each attributed to one or more objects, e.g. firms, institutions, entrepreneurs. The lifecycle of the Linköping ICT cluster is delineated and its stages segmented. The existence and importance of each CSF in each stage of the cluster lifecycle is established empirically on the basis of interviews with key experts. The main findings comprise a stage-specific group of CSFs whose importance varies across the cluster’s lifecycle stages with different patterns. The above findings aim to stimulate policy makers and researchers alike to further pursue the line of enquiry developed in this paper.

Keywords: ICT clusters; Critical success factors; Cluster lifecycle; Cluster evolution

JEL-codes: E61; O21; R58

35 pages, December 3, 2013

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