Coping with Economic Crises-The Role of ClustersSep 19 2013
The paper analyses the role clusters can play in coping with the impacts of economic crises, specifically by addressing how cluster organizations have acted to meet the challenges following the economic crises in Norway in the period 2008–2010. The paper investigates whether cluster maturity influences how the cluster acts in response to a crisis. To shed light on these questions, survey data from Norwegian cluster organizations were collected in two waves (spring 2009 and autumn 2010), and case studies of four cluster organizations provide further detail. The data indicate that clusters play a role in reducing uncertainty and improving access to necessary resources in crises periods. The data indicate that these advantages are not only due to increased collaboration between firms within the cluster, but that cluster organizations engage in considerable lobbying on behalf of their firms in regards to regional and national policy makers and public funding bodies. When comparing the impact experienced by mature and emerging clusters and their adaptation strategies, the data show that more mature clusters adapted to recent crises by implementing new innovation strategies and increasing collaboration and competence-building activities, to a greater extent than emerging clusters.
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