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New Roles for Supporting Organizations in Clusters: Enhancing Connectedness in Knowledge Networks

  • Jose Antonio Belso-Martinez
  • Maria Jose Lopez-Sanchez
  • Rosario Mateu-Garcia
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Spatial Science book series (ADVSPATIAL)

Abstract

In today’s context of economic crisis, certain structures such as industrial clusters have been forced to change in order to remain competitive. For years, local supporting organizations have been focused on strengthening cluster networks, providing specialized services, and fostering innovation practices. Nowadays, thanks to their increasing connectivity, supporting organizations have become hybridizers and catalyzers of knowledge that spreads among local firms after an intense process of refinement. Acting as mediators between local firms and gatekeepers of extra-cluster knowledge, they smooth firms’ access to fresh knowledge and nourish the innovativeness of the system. Using data collected in the Toy Valley cluster during 2014, this chapter looks at the mechanisms allowing supporting organizations to successfully diffuse knowledge and pays attention to these two in-between positions. In line with previous research, findings corroborate the particular relevance of facilitators of knowledge. However, important differences emerge when considering the profile of the local organization and the type of knowledge shared.

Keywords

Clusters SME’s Supporting organizations Networks Gatekeepers 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jose Antonio Belso-Martinez
    • 1
  • Maria Jose Lopez-Sanchez
    • 1
  • Rosario Mateu-Garcia
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Economic and Financial StudiesUniversity Miguel HernandezElcheSpain

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