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Extra resources for Business Clusters: Promoting Enterprise in Central And Eastern Europe (Local Economic and Employment Development)

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Like clusters, social capital stems from a particular historic, cultural and social context. Thus Putman (1993) focuses on a non-hierarchical social organisation, Fukuyama (1995) on decentralised governments and Evans (1996) on competent public administration as explanations of strong levels of social capital in some regions and localities. Clusters and social capital are both deeply rooted in a local culture where overlapping social and business ties create a complex social fabric. Nevertheless, other empirical studies have shown that public support to social capital through promotion of business networks can have a positive impact on cluster building and on the performance of firms (Cooke and Clifton, 2002).

This analysis has implications for cluster policies and the attention that should be devoted to social capital issues, because increasing the level of trust and co-operation among actors might transform latent clusters into working ones. This typology and that of Markusen (1996) referred to in Chapter 1, also underline the fact that there are different types of clusters and different stages of cluster development. It is likely that each will require different policies and that role of social capital will vary between them.

1 CLUSTERS – DEFINITION AND METHODOLOGY Bibliography Bagnasco, A. (1977), Tre Italia. La Problematica Territoriale Dello Sviluppo Economico Italiano (Three Italies. The territorial dimension of economic development in Italy), Il Mulino, Bologna. Cooke, P. (1996), “Reinventing the Region: Firms, Clusters and Networks in Economic Development”, Daniels P. and Lever W. ), The Global Economy in Transition, Addison Wesley Longman, Harlow. Enright J. Michael (2000), The globalisation of competition and the localisation of competitive advantage: Policies towards regional clustering, in Hood N.

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