Title: The paradox of clusters in high-tech industries: unfolding the interactions black box

Authors: Jose-Luis Hervas-Oliver

Addresses: Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Cami de Vera s/n DOE 7D, 46022 Valencia, Spain; Florida State University, International Programmes, College Avenue, Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA

Abstract: This paper analyses a fundamental gap research in high-tech clusters surveying literature in a critical perspective. The paper criticises the taken-for-granted assumption that knowledge spillovers (KS), as un-traded interactions, are unique assets conveying flows of knowledge in clusters, arguing the importance of traded interactions based on market transaction conditions which also occur in clusters, especially in the high-tech ones. In addition, the paper explores how a co-located firm gains access to the cluster knowledge to expand their repository or resources in the case of high-tech clusters, in which the global pipelines are prominent. In doing so, the paper posits an unanswered paradox in the case of high-tech clusters: which type of interactions occurs in clusters when there is a manifested lack of local social networks? Results suggest that formal and traded commercial partnerships are also assets available in clusters, beyond the traditionally claimed KS. In addition, the global circuits of knowledge are crucial for co-located firms in high-tech clusters. The paper presents implications for the academia and the policymakers.

Keywords: high-tech clusters; co-located firms; social networks; knowledge spillovers; un-traded interactions; unique assets; knowledge flows; traded interactions; market transaction conditions; cluster knowledge; local networks; formal partnerships; traded partnerships; commercial partnerships; global knowledge; learning; intellectual capital; high technology industries.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLIC.2012.049614

International Journal of Learning and Intellectual Capital, 2012 Vol.9 No.4, pp.367 - 379

Published online: 10 Oct 2012 *

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