Title: Does one size fit all? The governance mode and strategic position of cluster innovation platforms

Authors: Limin Gong; Shisong Jiang; Mark Greeven

Addresses: Economics and Management School, Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430072, China ' Economics and Management School, Research Center for China Industry-University-Research Collaboration, Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430072, China ' Department of Management Science and Engineering, School of Management, Zhejiang University, Office 1001-11, Administration Building, Zijinggang Campus, 388 Gudun Road, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310058, China

Abstract: Despite its significant role, governments encounter a policy dilemma how to intervene in the economy to promote industrial cluster upgrading while not foregoing market driven innovation. This paper focuses on government-supported innovation platforms within industrial clusters. Through a comparative case study in China, we find a general pattern among cluster characteristics, governance mode and strategic position of innovation platforms. The contributions of our paper are: 1) exploring a distinctive pattern of service innovation, 'innovation through services'; 2) proposing a typology for innovation platforms; 3) enriching the knowledge-based theory of clusters by innovation practices in developing countries. Our results also imply that national and provincial policy for innovation platform should keep flexible because one size does not fit all and must be locally adapted. Finally, the co-evolution of the industrial cluster and innovation platform within the cluster is a promising direction for future research.

Keywords: industrial clusters; innovation platforms; governance mode; government supported innovation; China; service innovation; developing countries; national policy; provincial policy; government policy; innovation policy; textile industry; Zhejiang Innovation Institute; children's clothes; garment industry; clothing industry; apparel industry; Zhili Science and Technology Innovation Centre.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTM.2012.052856

International Journal of Services Technology and Management, 2012 Vol.18 No.3/4, pp.128 - 153

Available online: 25 Mar 2013 *

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