Title: Business clusters and competitiveness in Small and Medium Enterprises: the case of the IT sector in Thessalonica, Greece

Authors: Panagiotis Piperopoulos, Richard Scase

Addresses: Department of Marketing and Operations Management, University of Macedonia, 156 Egnatia Street, 540 06 Thessaloniki, Greece. ' Kent Business School, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7PE, UK

Abstract: The role of industrial districts and their significance in generating economic growth is well established in the literature. Based on studies in Europe and the USA, many government agencies have encouraged the formation of business clusters as means of improving competitive advantage. This paper addresses the issue of how business clusters impact the performance of SMEs. Through detailed case studies in a less-developed region of the EU, the paper concludes that SMEs that develop strategic partnerships are more likely to grow, innovate and expand their trading in international markets than those SMEs that adopt a |traditional| go-it-alone approach.

Keywords: business clusters; industrial districts; SMEs; small and medium-sized enterprises; competitiveness; information technology; IT sector; Greece.

DOI: 10.1504/WREMSD.2007.013606

World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, 2007 Vol.3 No.2, pp.109 - 126

Published online: 09 May 2007 *

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