A Balancing Act: Managing the global-local dimensions of industrial clusters through the mechanism of 'lead' organisations
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Giblin, M. (2008) "A Balancing Act: Managing the global-local dimensions of industry clusters through the mechanism of 'lead' organisations", CISC Working Paper No. 28.
The purpose of this paper is to investigate 'leading' organisations in a region to understand how the balance between the global and local dimensions can be managed by clusters. Two cases of industrial clusters are employed to examine how certain organisations can occupy a 'lead' position and how - if at all - such organisations generate an agglomerative effect in a cluster, given that firms engage in extra-local inter-organisational linkages in order to remain competitive. The study shows that when large firms enact a leading role by influencing the technology trajectory of the region and stimulating the local dynamic they can generate agglomerative effects thereby enhancing the relevance and sustainability of clusters. Most significantly, it shows how leading organisations act as an important facilitator in connecting the global and local dimensions of clusters even in the absence of extensive formal local linkages. While the study substantiates previous research on the significance of temporary and organised forms of proximity it also shows the value of permanent geographical proximity, thereby contesting recent research that downplays the relevance of the clustering institution (e.g. Wickham and Vecchi 2008, Lorentzen 2007).