Knowledge governance within clusters: the case of small firms

Abstract : Despite the vast literature on knowledge management, little research has addressed the specificities of knowledge integration at the cluster level. Moreover, the literature on clusters has not focused on the role that governance may play in knowledge management. Anchored in a knowledge-based perspective, this paper aims at bridging the two fields, filling the gap by analysing the role of cluster governance in knowledge management. An empirical study of two small French firm clusters was carried out based on 29 interviews. The data analysis consisted essentially in content analysis. The clusters studied were characterized by distinct knowledge management processes. In both cases, governance was necessary in order to support knowledge integration by member firms. Our results suggest that establishing an initial common knowledge base seems to be a prerequisite in order for the external knowledge identification and acquisition processes to take place. The activist role played by governance also seems more efficient than that of a broker. We discuss these results and their implications for policy-makers and cluster members.
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Rachel Bocquet, Caroline Mothe. Knowledge governance within clusters: the case of small firms. Knowledge Management Research and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010, 8, pp.229-239. ⟨10.1057/kmrp.2010.14⟩. ⟨hal-00920052v2⟩

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