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Innovation and the network position of firms: the case of the Eskişehir–Bilecik–Kütahya ceramic cluster in Turkey

Gökhan Önder () and Cemil Ulukan ()
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Gökhan Önder: Anadolu University
Cemil Ulukan: Anadolu University

Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, 2020, vol. 47, issue 4, No 3, 589-612

Abstract: Abstract Since the 1990s, clusters, which are business systems created by firms concentrated in a particular geographical area, have attracted the attention of researchers from different fields. This study aims to explore the network structure of the Eskişehir–Bilecik–Kütahya (EBK) ceramic product cluster, which accounts for nearly 50% of the production of ceramic products in Turkey, and to analyze the relationships between the network positions and innovation performance of firms. To that end, in-depth interviews were conducted with 56 firms/institutions in the cluster. Social network analysis was used to generate network graphs demonstrating the buyer–supplier relations and technical advice ties of the actors in the cluster, and the relationship between the innovation performance of firms and their positions in the network was estimated with the Heckman selection model. The findings of the study show that firms in the EBK ceramic cluster have access to the basic activities in the value chain within the cluster and that the network of technical advice has a small number of actors and ties. In addition, degree centrality, which represents the number of ties the firms have, and closeness centrality, which represents the distance of actors from other actors in the network structure, increase the innovation performance of firms.

Keywords: Business clusters; Social network analysis; Heckman selection model; Innovation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L14 O31 L61 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s40812-020-00175-6

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Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics is currently edited by C. Cambini, M.G. Colombo, L. Piscitello, L. Rondi and A. Zanfei

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