Cluster Facilitation from a Cluster Life Cycle Perspective

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Abstract

Clusters influence the way firms cooperate, organize and compete, but clusters and their related benefits rarely come spontaneously in a straight line of expansion. It is argued that clusters typically develop in accordance with a life cycle, which includes an evolutionary sequence of steps where actors from the private and public sectors are engaged and where one or more cluster facilitators are coordinating and promoting the process. In the literature, the role of cluster facilitators has almost exclusively been described as static, leaving a research gap about how this particular role changes during the life cycle of clusters. Inspired by that research gap, this paper contributes to the understanding of the relationship between cluster development and cluster facilitation. It brings forward a framework for describing and discussing the exact changes taking place in the role of cluster facilitators, including the facilitation focus, competencies and tasks that they make use of along the cluster life cycle. This investigation is based on a multiple case study consisting of nine different clusters located in Denmark.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Planning Studies
Volume21
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)556-574
ISSN0965-4313
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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