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Managing technologies within an industrial cluster: a case from a toolmakers cluster of Slovenia

Published Online:pp 301-317https://doi.org/10.1504/IJTM.2015.072974

This paper investigates the competitive and cooperative behaviour of firms within an industrial cluster. The theory suggests that industrial clusters are a playground where even competitors cooperate on specific issues. It is for this reason that we have made clear distinctions between different technology areas within industrial clusters and present when and where cooperation between firms occurs. This research suggests that distinctions between key supporting and new/emerging technologies are of extreme relevance. Firms show reluctance to cooperate in the joint development of key technologies, especially when those key technologies are similar and thus they compete regarding similar products. No such reluctance can be observed when new and emerging technologies are considered. The cooperation mechanism also prevails in the cases of supporting technologies that are common to other cluster members.

Keywords

industrial clusters, networks, cooperation, competition, key technologies, emerging technologies, supporting technologies, knowledge management, technology management, advanced technology, case study, toolmakers cluster, Slovenia, toolmaking