Support organizations in assisting governance in competitive clusters

Cristina Espinheira Costa Pereira, Ana Cláudia Azevedo, Ernesto Michelangelo Giglio, João Maurício Gama Boaventura


Objective: To analyze how support organizations act on governance, specifically on competitive factors: cluster-oriented outcome strategies, and evolutionary character through the introduction of technologies.

Methodology / Approach: A multiple case study was carried out in the Health Sciences clusters of Ribeirão Preto - Brazil, and the Oxfordshire Health Science Cluster - England.

Originality / Relevance: This study sheds light on support organizations' potential to develop activities that reinforce clusters' governance, especially concerning strategic direction and support for innovation.

Main Results: The results show and reinforce the importance of support organizations for governance and their positive influence on competitiveness. In practical terms, it highlights the importance that such organizations have for the development of strategies that favor the community and promote and disseminate technological development in the region.

Theoretical/methodological contributions: The work contributes theoretically by supporting, with evidence, the importance of support organizations for the cluster's governance, advancing the understanding of relationship network theory when considering the weakest ties in the competitiveness of clusters. The methodological and managerial benefit consists of offering a matrix of six activities that can be investigated in future research and/or used by the clusters' managers, indicating that such actions can and should include the support organizations.


Clusters; Governance; Support organizations; Competitiveness.


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