Cases and Policies
Handbooks of Research on Clusters series
Edited by Charlie Karlsson
Chapter 11: Labour Market Dynamics and the Development of the ICT Cluster in the Stockholm Region
Mats Lundmark and Dominic Power 1 Introduction Despite the fact that in the knowledge economy successful clusters depend upon their ability to attract and retain skilled and innovative workers, there has been surprisingly little written about the role of labour mobility in clusters. The majority of cluster research has concentrated on the role of inter-ﬁrm linkages, venture capital, supporting institutions, sophisticated consumers, infrastructure and so on in helping to create a dynamic local milieu supportive of innovation and knowledge creation. Whilst focusing on such topics and actors has yielded enormous amounts of fascinating results it must be complemented by an understanding of the working lives that populate these areas. This chapter makes an attempt to better understand working lives and workers in clusters by looking at the issue of the extent to which the mobility of workers in an area can be seen as an important basis for the capacity of ﬁrms in clusters to grow and learn. In particular, we address the issue of how the dynamics of labour mobility links diﬀerent aspects of cluster, and how labour mobility can be seen to be a key channel through which skills and knowledge are transferred between ﬁrms, and in, and into, clusters. The basic idea in this chapter is that knowledge and learning most commonly develop through interactions located in the workplace. It is in the context of working life and the spaces we work in – oﬃces, laboratories, factories, etc. – that we perhaps most often interact, see...
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