About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3444-3451
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-615-3324-4
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain

ORGANIZING FOR KNOWLEDGE SPILLOVERS IN INITIATED CLUSTERS OF INNOVATION

G. Schuh, U. Gartzen

RWTH Aachen University, Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (GERMANY)
Problem:
A region's or nation's competitiveness is directly related to its innovative capacity. In this context cluster initiatives have become very popular in the current public and political discussion. Unfortunately, when clusters of innovation are established, hardly any attention is paid to the organisation of proximity and the resulting knowledge flows. Knowledge spillovers are an essential motivation for the establishment of a cluster of innovation and hence the support of those spillovers is essential when initiating clusters of innovation. There exists no organizational framework which favours knowledge spillovers in initiated clusters.

Current understanding:
Local knowledge spillovers are widely discussed in current research and regarded as essential for a cluster's success. However, spillovers are usually regarded as a given phenomenon taking place in a functioning cluster. So far no research has tried to reveal how to set up an organizational framework which takes the promotion of knowledge spillovers in a cluster initiative into account. This is the research gap we identified in the field of cluster research.

Research question:
How does an organizational framework for the promotion of knowledge spillovers in a cluster initiative need to be designed in order to ensure the benefits of a cluster?

Design:
The research question will be tackled by creating a design model. This design model spans two dimensions, one being the dimension of cluster actors, namely individuals, project teams and clusters and the other dimension being the design dimension, consisting of structures, activities and attitudes. The design dimension is derived from the "St. Galler Management Concept". The individual design elements that refer to each of those dimensions are derived from cluster theory, project management theory and knowledge transfer theory and hence they represent an eclectic approach.

Findings:
When developing an organizational framework for knowledge spillovers it is important to keep in mind that most of the design elements are of a rather indirect nature with regard to the spillover processes. Still, we assume that it is possible to organize for proximity in a cluster so that knowledge spillovers are favoured. We establish structures, acitivities and attitudes which support the transfer of knowledge, especially tacit knowledge. When designing this framework it is important to account for the various relations in a cluster of innovation which range from cooperation to co-petion to competition.

Contribution:
The paper provides a general framework for the design of clusters. Due to its general structure it can be used for various clusters independent of the field in which the cluster is supposed to be established. Since it incorporates well-known existing approaches it has a strong theoretical foundation.

Practical implications:
In particular practitioners from the field of cluster management will benefit from this study. It is designed to support their operational work through strategic guidelines formulated in the design model. Furthermore, the findings will enable them to better understand the value creating processes in a cluster of innovation and to rearrange them in a more effective and more efficient way. Since the underlying mechanisms in clusters of innovation are independent of the field of the regarded cluster of innovation, the model can be applied to every initiative for a cluster of innovation.
@InProceedings{SCHUH2011ORG,
author = {Schuh, G. and Gartzen, U.},
title = {ORGANIZING FOR KNOWLEDGE SPILLOVERS IN INITIATED CLUSTERS OF INNOVATION},
series = {4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-3324-4},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {3444-3451}}
TY - CONF
AU - G. Schuh AU - U. Gartzen
TI - ORGANIZING FOR KNOWLEDGE SPILLOVERS IN INITIATED CLUSTERS OF INNOVATION
SN - 978-84-615-3324-4/2340-1095
PY - 2011
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2011
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2011 Proceedings
SP - 3444
EP - 3451
ER -
G. Schuh, U. Gartzen (2011) ORGANIZING FOR KNOWLEDGE SPILLOVERS IN INITIATED CLUSTERS OF INNOVATION, ICERI2011 Proceedings, pp. 3444-3451.
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