Cluster initiatives are a popular instrument of public policy everywhere in the world. This development acknowledges that the organisational units that create added value are not isolated individual businesses, but networks of actors. Our research has the objective to better understand value creation of single firms embedded in clusters in terms of overlapping value adding webs of single firms. The main focus of the paper is on how to describe and operationalise and how to manage social and symbolic capital in clusters. The fact that the main source of value creation is rooted within networks raises the question of the impact of social capital on relational rents. The main objectives of this paper therefore are to investigate how value creation on the relational level of a cluster can be systematised to come to a better understanding of valuable resources on the cluster level. Empirically the study refers to a regional cluster in Southern Jutland in Denmark. We found that the horizontal actors in the cluster see the core of initiated cluster activities rather on the edge of their business activities. The paper develops implications for the cluster firms as well as the cluster management in its role as a broker and a moderator.
Social Capital; Symbolic Capital; Value Adding Web; Firm Clusters
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EMNet 2011: Fifth International Conference on Economics and Management of Networks