Innovation, Learning and Cluster Dynamics

B. Nooteboom

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This chapter offers a theory and an analytical framework for the analysis of cluster dynamics, i.e. the innovative performance and evolution of clusters.It develops three types of embedding: institutional embedding, structural embedding (network structure), and relational embedding (type and strength of ties).The analysis is conducted from a perspective of both competence (learning) arising from relations and governance of relational risk, which includes risk of lock-in and risk of spillover.A basic proposition is that innovative clusters face the challenge of combining exploration and exploitation.Hypotheses are specified concerning differences between networks for exploration and exploitation, and concerning combinations and transitions between them.Arguments are presented that in some important respects go against the thesis of the strength of weak ties .Some empirical evidence is presented from recent studies.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper


  • innovation
  • organizational learning
  • clusters
  • industrial districts
  • networks


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