Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Papers in Innovation Studies,
Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy

No 2015/21: Cluster Policy: Renewal through the integration of institutional variety

Markus Grillitsch () and Björn Asheim ()
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Markus Grillitsch: CIRCLE, Lund University
Björn Asheim: CIRCLE, Lund University; UiS Business School/Centre for Innovation Research, University of Stavanger; BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo

Abstract: The literature on cluster evolution suggests that heterogeneity of firm capabilities and openness of network structures are essential for the renewal of mature and declining clusters. This paper argues that the regional and institutional context in which clusters are embedded plays an important role for the renewal of clusters. It elaborates how the integration of institutional variety can stimulate the combination of different types of knowledge, learning and modes of innovation, thereby promoting cluster renewal. The conceptual argument is illustrated with a case study of the maritime cluster in Møre and Romsdal, Norway, which is one of the globally leading clusters in this industry. We find that key actors and policy play an important role in integrating institutional variety. Additionally, the case shows that institutional variety and the integration thereof can be a driving force for cluster renewal even in specialized and semi-peripheral locations.

Keywords: cluster policy; institutions; path-renewal; path-creation; manufacturing; periphery

JEL-codes: B52; O10; O30; R30; R50

18 pages, June 8, 2015

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201521_Grillitsch_Asheim.pdf PDF-file 

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