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Session Theme: Innovation, Clusters, Learning and Knowledge Management Clustering and Cluster Development in Knowledge-intensive Industries: A ‘Knowledge and Learning ’ Perspective on New Firm Formation and Firm-building/Firm Growth in Ireland’s Indigenou

By Mike Crone

Abstract

www.qub.ac.uk/nierc A growing number of empirical studies on the geography of the ‘knowledge economy ’ or ‘new economy’ have shown a strong tendency for spatial clustering and highly spatially uneven development in these industries. At the same time, other authors have highlighted the shortcomings of traditional theoretical explanations for clustering (such as pure cost-based agglomeration economies) when it comes to accounting for clustering in knowledge-intensive industries (KIIs). Recent debates within economic geography have proposed that a focus on knowledge and learning may provide a more fruitful avenue for understanding clustering in KIIs. In this context the main aim of the paper is to explore whether and how a ‘knowledge and learning ’ (K&L) perspective can illuminate the question of clustering and cluster development in KIIs. This is done through a structured discussion of empirical evidence from a case study of Ireland’s indigenous software industry, which can be characterised as a cluster of knowledge-intensive businesses. The paper begins by reviewing relevant literature on clustering. Traditional explanations of clustering are discussed and their alleged shortcomings are highlighted. The essence of various K&L perspectives i

Year: 2011
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