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Paper info: Cluster Facilitation in a Cluster Life Cycle Perspective


Cluster Facilitation in a Cluster Life Cycle Perspective


Mads Bruun Ingstrup & Torben Damgaard

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 27th IMP-conference in Glasgow, Scotland in 2011.


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Clusters influence the way in which firms cooperate, organise, and compete but clusters and their related benefits rarely come spontaneously in a straight line of expansion. It is argued that clusters typically develop in accordance with a life cycle, which includes an evolutionary sequence of steps where actors from the private and public sector are engaged and where one or more cluster facilitators are coordinating and promoting the process. In literature, the role of cluster facilitators has almost exclusively been described as static, leaving a research gap about how this particular role changes during the life cycle of clusters. Inspired from that, this paper contributes to the understanding of the relationship between cluster development and cluster facilitation. It brings forward a framework for describing and discussing the exact changes taking place with the role of cluster facilitators, including the facilitation focus, competencies, and tasks they make use of along the cluster life cycle. This investigation is based on a multiple case study consisting of nine different clusters located in Denmark.
Keywords: Cluster, cluster facilitator, cluster life cycle, case study, Denmark