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How can clusters sustain performance? The role of network strength, network openness, and environmental uncertainty

By Andreas B. Eisingerich, Simon J. Bell and Paul Tracey

Abstract

This paper draws on social network theory to develop a model of regional cluster performance. We suggest that high performing regional clusters are underpinned by (1) network strength and (2) network openness, but that the effects of these on the performance of a cluster as a whole are moderated by environmental uncertainty. Specifically, the positive effects of network openness on cluster performance tend to increase as environmental uncertainty increases, while the positive effects of network strength on cluster performance tend to decrease as environmental uncertainty increases. Our findings have theoretical and practical implications for social network research in general, and cluster research in particular.Geographical clusters Cluster performance Social networks in clusters Environmental uncertainty

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