Clustering Ambiguities: How Companies and Public Bodies Develop a Cluster

Gunnar Andersson, Frode Ramstad Johansen, Synnøve Rubach


This study explores the way in which companies and public bodies reflect and argue regarding their own engagement in a cluster project. The aim is to create a focus on clustering and to contribute to the understanding of how cluster involvement affects an organisation. Action net models are employed, unfolding engagement as it is revealed in interviews with representatives of participating private companies and public bodies. The outcome identifies a decoupling in the cluster project producing two clearly divided communities of actors. One comprises public bodies and the facilitating organisation, and one, private companies and R&D projects. A small group of actors harmonise transactions between the two communities. The decoupling of the cluster is described differently with regard to relating to, engaging in and understanding the cluster project. Discussions replace dependency with agency as the mechanism applied in clustering, illustrating that the cluster project is a meeting place of temporary and competing mindsets and practices. Clustering is portrayed as an ambiguous venture continuously challenging and confronting its own engagement and rationality.


Clustering, action net, agency

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International Journal of Advanced Corporate Learning (iJAC) – ISSN: 1867-5565
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