The paradox of clusters in high-tech industries: unfolding the interactions black box

Autores UPV
Revista International Journal of Learning and Intellectual Capital


This paper analyses a fundamental gap research in high-tech clusters surveying literature in a critical perspective. The paper criticises the taken-for-granted assumption that knowledge spillovers (KS), as un-traded interactions, are unique assets conveying flows of knowledge in clusters, arguing the importance of traded interactions based on market transaction conditions which also occur in clusters, especially in the high-tech ones. In addition, the paper explores how a co-located firm gains access to the cluster knowledge to expand their repository or resources in the case of high-tech clusters, in which the global pipelines are prominent. In doing so, the paper posits an unanswered paradox in the case of high-tech clusters: which type of interactions occurs in clusters when there is a manifested lack of local social networks? Results suggest that formal and traded commercial partnerships are also assets available in clusters, beyond the traditionally claimed KS. In addition, the global circuits of knowledge are crucial for co-located firms in high-tech clusters. The paper presents implications for the academia and the policymakers