Cluster evolution: a capability-based view

Autores UPV
CONGRESO Cluster evolution: a capability-based view


We contribute to the unresolved debate about why clusters evolve and transit across their life cycle. We differentiate types of knowledge generated by combining endogenous and exogenous change processes in clusters. These drivers generate synergistic multiplier effects and a cumulative causation in the process creating specific forms of new knowledge which determine a cluster¿s particular evolution. The paper presents a clear-cut distinction between sustaining knowledge based on incremental (exploitative learning) innovation and evolution caused by disrupted (exploratory learning) ¿turns¿ from radical innovation in clusters. The creation of sustaining knowledge by existing firms is exploitative in nature, competence-enhancing and occurs mainly in the context of strong ties; and it is usually initiated by incumbent anchor tenants or technological gatekeepers (TGs). In contrast, the creation of disruptive knowledge is mainly initiated by new entrepreneurial firms, is exploratory in nature, competence-destroying and requires a context of extensive weak ties in order to grasp distant (to the cluster and technology dominance) knowledge. Each type of knowledge determines a different shift in a cluster¿s evolution and its technological life cycle. All in all, the paper presents an undestanding about how capabilities are formed in clusters, how the cluster organizational routines are formed and evolve. In general, it is necessary to understand that the cluster capabilities evolve, become redundant or are recombined to be transformed into new capabilities which ensure advantage and returns. An explorative and logitudinal case study covering 40 years and analyzing three major innovation journeys is presented using longitudinal data on two world-class clusters in the ceramic industry