Industrial cluster relocation: intra- and extra-cluster linkages using social network analysis

The study aims to analyse the causes and consequence of cluster relocation.

Firstly, it seeks to document the determinants of relocation that underlie the decision process. Questions such as the differences between early- and late-mover firms, and which factors lead the decision-making process, will be addressed in the research. Secondly, the study seeks to understand the impact of cluster relocation on the new location, focussing on the transfer of technology and the diffusion of innovation. The study aims to provide an answer to the following questions: how do the relocated firms affect the local ones? In particular, do the relocated firms develop horizontal, vertical and external linkages?

The methodology will be based on process tracing and social network analysis (SNA). It is possible to rule out potentially explanatory variables in the decision-making process of early- and late-mover firms by tracing the relocation process. The SNA will describe the connections between relocated and local firms and their positions within the network. The network effectiveness will be verified through the diffusion of innovations within the cluster.

The relocation of the footwear Sinos Valley cluster in Brazil will be used as a case study in this research. The cluster was partially relocated in the 1990s as a consequence of international competition. Several firms were relocated to the Northeast of the country.

Cintia Kulzer Sacilotto
Research Student