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On the Effects of Institutional Arrangements for Innovation in Clusters - A comparative case study of sugar clusters in São Paulo, the North East of Brazil and Cuba.

  • Jens Sörvik
Publiceringsår: 2010
Språk: Engelska
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Lund Studies in Research Policy
Volym: 2
Dokumenttyp: Doktorsavhandling
Förlag: The Research Policy Institute, Lund University, Sweden


This thesis explores the effects of institutional arrangements for innovation in clusters. Clusters have become one of the most popular concepts in innovation policy studies in recent years. They have been ascribed as places with structures that reduce transaction costs, and enable innovation processes due to the prevalence of different types of externalities. The focus of this dissertation is on dynamic externalities that support innovation. Five types of externalities that were most frequently prevalent in the literature have been explored, intense competition, knowledge spill-over, specialisation, user-producer learning and joint action. Innovation takes place through interaction and this thesis has explored how cluster externalities can influence innovation depending upon the types of institutional arrangements that govern transactions. Four arrangements have been explored, market, network, quasi hierarchy and state arrangements.

A comparative case study of the sugar and ethanol clusters in São Paulo, the North East of Brazil and Cuba has been carried out with the purpose to identify how the conceptual pieces relate to each other and whether cluster externalities have been behind the innovation that has taken place in the clusters.

The dissertation has found that externalities influence innovation in various ways, which is enabled and influenced by the institutional arrangements and these influence the externalities differently. Arrangements have stronger connection to some externalities than others, e.g. intense competition is enabled by market arrangements and network

arrangements are strongly connected to joint action. At the same time some arrangements can prevent externalities or reduce their impact.

Of the explored clusters, São Paulo is the case where most innovation is taking place. It is the most diversified cluster with regard to specialisation, actors and arrangements and the case where the cluster externalities have been the most widespread, diversified and influential. In the North East of Brazil less innovation has taken place, the cluster is thinner with regard to actors, specialisation and scientific capacity. Innovation in the North East is to a lesser extent the outcome of cluster externalities. There are fewer local networks in place than in São Paulo and the ones that exist are less oriented towards enabling innovation. The Cuban cluster is dense with actors, strong competencies in science and

technology and knowledge of derivate production. There is equipment and machinery in place, of which some is becoming dated though. The Cuban cluster is more the outcome of national state arrangements and international linkages than cluster externalities. The development of the cluster and innovation is hampered, by the lack of markets and network arrangements.


  • Lynn Mytelka (Professor)


  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • Claes Brundenius
  • ISBN: 978-91-7473-065-4

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