Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography

May 19, 2012

# 12.06 Are technological gatekeepers constraining my cluster? Unfolding the paradox of gatekeepers resilience across cluster life cycle stages

Filed under: 2012 — Tags: , , , , — mattehartog @ 9:50 am

Jose-Luis Hervas-Oliver

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The economic geography literature assumes that large leading firms (technology gatekeepers ) (TGs) with high absorptive capacity and high-intensity R&D expenditures, shape the district learning process. However, there is an absence in the literature of a dynamic analysis of the role of the TG. Instead, most of the evidence provided is set at a single point in time and considers only one stage of the cluster life cycle (CLC). This paper challenges the aforementioned assumption, and introduces into the discussion two important influences on outcomes: the type of knowledge created (whether it be continuous or radical) in the cluster by technology gatekeepers, and the stage of the cluster life cycle (CLC) at which that knowledge is created. This work addresses the roles of the TG and the CLC together, responding to the gap that not much is known about the role and the persistence of the TG dynamically across different stages of the cluster life cycle. Using qualitative longitudinal case-study research, a world-class cluster is analysed over the last twenty years. The results show that there are temporary technological gatekeepers across cluster life cycles which assume the (temporary) role of leaders when it is a question of bringing in disruptive knowledge. The study’s findings have important implications for scholars and policymakers.

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