Urban Planning Development

Clusters and Regional Development (Regions and Cities) by B. Asheim

By B. Asheim

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1 However, clusters have been scrutinized under many different labels. 1 below may have the same essential meaning as conveyed by using the cluster concept as defined above but can differ in peripheral meaning by their implications (usually involving some minor idea or underlying assumptions in the meaning of the concept), connotations (usually including ideas that color the meaning of the concept often by providing historical or literary associations) or applications (usually the result of current idioms that have established restrictions on the use of a particular term).

2001) The Future of Success: Work and Life in the New Economy, London: Random House Richardson, G. (1972) The organisation of industry, Economic Journal, 82, 883–96 Russo, M. (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, 14, 329–43 Sabel, C. (1989) Flexible specialisation and the re-emergence of regional economies, in Hirst, P. and Zeitlin, J. (eds) Reversing Industrial Decline: Industrial Structure and Policies in Britain and Her Competititors, Oxford, Berg, 17–70 Sako, M.

That can be reckoned to number some tens of thousands . . ) in which with several hundred small firms, it has a far from negligible importance. Porter’s methodology excludes this kind of empirical and analytical knowledge because he takes an operational definition of what counts as clustering, using secondary data that show high employment location quotients for specific sectors and sub-sectors. Occasionally, as in Porter (1998), diagrams of cluster ‘circuitry’ are drawn, but they are not based on firm interviews that would enable his researchers to acquire knowledge of precisely which inter-firm transactions are, say, preferential contracts with neighbours, which favour exchange relations with local significant others, whether a firm was a spin-out from another in the locality, what kinds of relationships exist, if any, with local business support agencies, lawyers, banks, venture capitalists, and the like.

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