we seek to demonstrate that a cluster’s reputation is multifaceted


PI: Yosha Wijngaarden

Expected end of subproject: summmer 2014



Locational narratives and cluster reputation
Despite international connections being only one click away, locational choices remain important for entrepreneurs. The artisan and industrial production has always clustered in specific areas, for example Swiss watchmaking and, more recently, and the clustering of silicon transistor and later software production in Silicon Valley.

Recently, industrial clustering has attracted increasing attention. A special kind of cluster, the creative cluster, sought an even stronger spotlight. Clustering literature has often focused on the attraction of new entrants, buzz and knowledge spillovers (Bathelt, Malmberg, & Maskell, 2004; Storper & Venables, 2004); aspects that as essential for sustainability. However, clusters are also approached in terms of production, where the locality functions as a quality or authenticity seal (Porter, 1998).

We propose that the common denominator in these approaches is the cluster’s reputation, and seek to demonstrate that a cluster’s reputation is multifaceted. Reputation entails externalities that attract creative entrepreneurs (Asheim, Coenen, & Vang, 2007; Drake, 2003), and the creative or authentic reputation is also commodified as a marketing tool for locally produced products and services (e.g. Heebels & van Aalst, 2010; Scott, 2000; Molotch, 1996). Our method includes interviewing co-located entrepreneurs within creative business centres were interviewed about the role of the cluster’s reputation in their locational decision making and how they tap into this reputation for product marketing.