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A Comparison of Cluster Members and Non Cluster Members in Transition Economies: The Case of Bulgaria, Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Serbia

Karaev, Aleksandar (2014) A Comparison of Cluster Members and Non Cluster Members in Transition Economies: The Case of Bulgaria, Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Serbia. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This research aims to determine the impact of the cluster approach on the competitiveness of cluster members in clusters in transition countries. The project focuses on cases in Bulgaria, Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Serbia. The study provides a critical review of the cluster literature, which then leads to data analysis, deriving conclusions and providing recommendations based on the findings from the research. Aiming at building on strengths and compensating for weaknesses of both approaches, the mixed method research, using both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies was used, based on deductive research approach. In addition to descriptive statistics, one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), post hoc analysis, factor analysis and regression analysis were used as main statistical tools for answering the research questions. The main findings are that cluster phenomenon in selected countries in South East Europe is very different from the one in industrialized countries and there is no statistical evidence that clusters contribute to improving the competitiveness of the cluster members. On the other hand the companies which are not involved in cluster initiatives, do not see any disadvantage as a result of “being out of the game”. Furthermore, cluster members in the selected countries have received only limited additional benefits which are not accessible to the non-members. The main benefit that cluster members in selected countries receive is access to information, business partners and business supporting organisations, but those benefits have not resulted in an increase of their competitiveness. One of the key contributions of this research is that for the first time it provides evidence about the influence of clusters on competitiveness of the cluster members in transition economies in the South East Europe. There is also no other study in this part of Europe that compares the business performance of cluster members to non-members.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Clusters, Small and Medium Enterprises, competitiveness
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Management School (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.634318
Depositing User: Mr Aleksandar Karaev
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2015 15:11
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 12:09
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/7451

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