Journal of Economics and Business

ISSN 2615-3726 (Online)

ISSN 2621-5667 (Print)

Published: 09 November 2019

Factors of Cluster Initiatives Management

Wiktor Adamus

Jagiellonian University, Poland

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Pages: 1185-1200

Keywords: European Clusters, Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), Management, Critical Success Factors


The idea of clusters attracts attention of specialists as well as larger public since at least three decades. Presented paper addresses itself to one particularly important aspect of managing clusters: cluster excellence and the ways of achieving it. Despite the on-going debate there are still only a few studies that investigate cluster initiatives performance and management phenomena, identify the success factors underlying cluster initiatives management and compare their influence. The objective of this study was to identify Critical Success Factors of cluster initiatives management. Further development of the field demands constant sophistication of analytical tools and modes of empirical research. There exist a need for selecting and assessing quality of data at researcher’s disposal. It is particularly strongly felt when data come from respondents in social surveys, from participant observation, focus groups sessions, content analysis and so on. Methods listed above always bear some risk of subjectivism and arbitrary decisions of what is good or bad in data we have. AHP method adopted in research which paper is based on offers stronger ways of gathering, selecting and interpreting the validity of data. The proposed Analytic Hierarchy Process framework identified the relative importance of different success factors to cluster initiative management and determined the key areas of activity and management focus. The AHP based interviews conducted among European cluster managers representing 19 cluster initiatives located in 10 countries allowed to identify the following Critical Success Factors: ‘Assuring sustainability of financing’, ‘Development of CI mission, vision, strategy and operational action plan’, ‘Integration building partnerships inside the CI, creation of interpersonal links, social networks, trust’ and ‘Development of cluster’s critical mass and management of partners’ complementarities and interdependencies’. Their joint importance for cluster initiative management success reached 40%, while the remaining 60% was distributed among 16 other factors. The results of this study support more effective management and better organization of cluster development processes. They are specifically tailored for entrepreneurs, willing to initiate or establishing cluster initiatives, as well as managers, responsible for CIs day-to-day operations and other CI stakeholders. They can also be utilized in the political area, as guidance for policy makers in redesigning policies of cluster initiatives support as well as monitoring and evaluation processes, so that they are based on identified CSFs.


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