Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
John Hobbs, Richard Moloney, and Michael Walsh
Global Business & Economics Anthology
"Industry Cluster Analysis: A New Method for Comparable Studies"
Optional Fields
Agglomeration Industry clusters Industry specialisations Linkage analysis.

Industrial cluster analysis has become a crucial tool in regional policy. What is clear is that in most of this work there is confusion around the term cluster. While much of the cluster literature stems from the work of Porter (1990), the term cluster has strong similarities to the extensively studied economic principle of agglomeration documented since Marshall (1890). Porterís description of clusters (Benneworth and Henry, 1994) has been criticised for lack of methodological precision. There is increasing concerns concerning cluster methodologies, specifically in the area of quantitative measurement and comparison of industrial linkages.

In light of these concerns this work suggests a new framework to measure and analyse industrial linkages. The framework employs both quantitative and qualitative methods to identify clusters of industries. Included within the framework is a survey instrument based on the Four i Linkage Scale. The scale facilitates an enumeration of the nature and business significance of linkages that respondent firms have with other firms, organisations and institutions. Although such linkages are a central element of cluster theory (Porter, 1990, 1998b), the literature does not provide a consistent method of measuring them. Furthermore the paper ehances the analysis by reporting the rewsults of a linkage index. This index measures the degree to which a companies lnkages are poterian in nature. It is on a scale of 0 to 1 with a value closer to 1 more poterian in nature.

The framework described in this paper provides a consistent methodology and has the advantage that it can be applied to various spatial spaces within an industry setting.

ISSN: 1553-1392
Grant Details