Title: The interplay of strategies and knowledge for competitive advantages in a medium low-tech industrial cluster located in an emerging country

Authors: Marcos Ferasso; Adam Sulich; Gemma Durán-Romero; Andrzej Sztando

Addresses: Economics and Business Sciences Department, Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa, R. de Santa Marta,56, Coração de Jesus, 1169-023 Lisboa, Portugal ' Wroclaw University of Economics and Business, Komandorska 118/120, 53-345 Wrocław, Poland ' Departamento de Estructura Económica y Economía del Desarrollo, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Avda. Francisco Tomás y Valiente, 5, 28049, Madrid, Spain ' Wroclaw University of Economics and Business, Komandorska 118/120, 53-345 Wrocław, Poland

Abstract: This research explored how strategies and knowledge are used within a medium low-tech industrial cluster to achieve competitive advantages. Firstly, a meta-bibliographical survey of literature was conducted to find theoretical gaps; secondly, an empirical case study was analysed. The dataset comprises collected interviews, several documentation and non-participating observations. Data was analysed through categorisation technique, after being reduced, prioritised and synthetised. Main findings revealed that the cluster' companies implemented adaptive strategies, according to Chaffee's typology and differentiation strategies, according to Porter's, by outsourcing R&D of each inner company to a specialised partnered research centre. This cluster is characterised with strong tendencies of coopetition, trusted relationships, and planning of conjoint activities to provide and to share learning, effective combination of resources in strategic communities, and profiting from economic efficiency. The main strategic knowledge is considered the consumer market rather than secrets, patents or intellectual properties. Knowledge related to specific expertise is the second key strategic asset that allows competitive advantages to cluster's companies. This research represents a first attempt to understand industrial dynamics regarding the strategy and knowledge interplay in a context of medium low-tech clusters. Practical implications for cluster governances, policymakers and scholars are addressed.

Keywords: strategy; knowledge; industrial cluster; innovation; medium-low technological innovations.

DOI: 10.1504/IJKMS.2022.119259

International Journal of Knowledge Management Studies, 2022 Vol.13 No.1, pp.33 - 54

Received: 27 Dec 2019
Accepted: 23 Dec 2020

Published online: 30 Nov 2021 *

Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article