From ‘industrial districts’ to ‘knowledge clusters’: a model of knowledge dissemination and competitive advantage in industrial agglomerations

From ‘industrial districts’ to ‘knowledge clusters’: a model of knowledge dissemination... This paper integrates knowledge-based theories of the firm with geograph-ical studies of industrial agglomeration to produce a model that helps explain the competitive advantages enjoyed by proximate firms located in geographical clusters. We propose a hierarchy of specialized knowledge stocks at both firm and cluster levels and suggest that the comparative advantage conferred by knowledge resources at each level is protected, in part, by asymmetries in knowledge flows from level to level. The paper argues that codified component knowledge is more easily spread than firm-specific architectural knowledge. Nevertheless, over time, agglomerations may develop a cluster-specific form of architectural knowledge that facilitates the rapid dissemination of knowledge throughout the cluster by increasing the learning capacity of proximate firms and thereby conferring cluster-specific competitive advantages. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Economic Geography Oxford University Press

From ‘industrial districts’ to ‘knowledge clusters’: a model of knowledge dissemination and competitive advantage in industrial agglomerations

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Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
© Oxford University Press 2003; all rights reserved.
ISSN
1468-2702
eISSN
1468-2710
D.O.I.
10.1093/jeg/lbg019
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper integrates knowledge-based theories of the firm with geograph-ical studies of industrial agglomeration to produce a model that helps explain the competitive advantages enjoyed by proximate firms located in geographical clusters. We propose a hierarchy of specialized knowledge stocks at both firm and cluster levels and suggest that the comparative advantage conferred by knowledge resources at each level is protected, in part, by asymmetries in knowledge flows from level to level. The paper argues that codified component knowledge is more easily spread than firm-specific architectural knowledge. Nevertheless, over time, agglomerations may develop a cluster-specific form of architectural knowledge that facilitates the rapid dissemination of knowledge throughout the cluster by increasing the learning capacity of proximate firms and thereby conferring cluster-specific competitive advantages.

Journal

Journal of Economic GeographyOxford University Press

Published: Oct 1, 2003

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