Title: Research note: clusters vs. networks – a literature-based approach towards an integrated concept

Authors: Alexander Bode, Tobias B. Talmon l'Armee, Simon Alig

Addresses: Darmstadt University of Technology, Hochschulstrasse 1, Darmstadt 64289, Germany. ' Darmstadt University of Technology, Hochschulstrasse 1, Darmstadt 64289, Germany. ' Darmstadt University of Technology, Hochschulstrasse 1, Darmstadt 64289, Germany

Abstract: The cluster concept has steadily increased its importance during the past years – both from practitioners| and researchers| point of view. Simultaneously, many corporate networks are established. Researchers from different areas (business management, economics social and geographical science) are trying to explain both phenomena. As a result of different disciplines| varying research objects, many definitions of clusters exist. Furthermore, the terms cluster and network are often not clearly distinguished. Some authors even merge the terms. Based on a profound literature review, this paper structures the manifold definitions, differentiating between clusters and networks and gives first practical insights on how to integrate the two concepts.

Keywords: industry clusters; corporate networks; cooperation; organisation; cluster management; Porter; Porter diamond; social networks; value chain; industrial districts; cluster initiatives; social relationships; integration.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGSB.2010.035333

International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business, 2010 Vol.4 No.1, pp.92 - 110

Available online: 21 Sep 2010 *

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