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Cluster evolution and the change of knowledge bases: the development of a design cluster

Mads Bruun Ingstrup, Susanne Jensen and Poul Rind Christensen

European Planning Studies, 2017, vol. 25, issue 2, 202-220

Abstract: Most studies portray cluster knowledge bases as a given resource, tied to specific industries and locations. However, this paper challenges that view and uncovers their dynamic nature by identifying endogenous and exogenous triggering events that influence and change the cluster knowledge base mix over time. This is done by building on the theoretical concepts of pre-existing conditions, triggering events and knowledge bases and by drawing on a case study of the design cluster located in the Triangle Area of Denmark. The paper concludes that the design cluster has changed its mix of knowledge bases several times during its evolution. Starting out as a firm-driven cluster with a dominant synthetic knowledge base, it then evolved into an artistic and creative cluster with a prevailing symbolic knowledge base. In the last few years, the cluster has increasingly adopted an analytical knowledge base at the expense of other knowledge bases. These developments have caused numerous changes in both knowledge building and the sources of knowledge in and around the cluster. These findings have implications for the framing of cluster knowledge bases, considering how they emerge, change and combine, as well as how that affects clusters’ composition of actors, activities and resources.

Date: 2017
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