Handbook of Research on International Entrepreneurship
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Handbook of Research on International Entrepreneurship

Edited by Léo-Paul Dana

This unique reference book provides an array of diverse perspectives on international entrepreneurship, a new and emerging field of research that blends concepts and methodologies from more traditional social sciences. The Handbook includes chapters written by top researchers of economics and sociology, as well as academic leaders in the fields of entrepreneurship and international business. State-of-the-art contributions provide up-to-date literature reviews, making this book essential for the researcher of entrepreneurship and the internationalisation of entrepreneurs.
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Chapter 12: Learning, Innovation and Globalization: The Competitive Advantage of Collaborative Entrepreneurship

Harry Matlay and Jay Mitra


Harry Matlay and Jay Mitra Small, innovative firms are best placed to pursue global competitive advantage when they choose to operate within industrial clusters. This chapter investigates entrepreneurship in existing and emerging clusters in the United Kingdom and Italy. The authors argue that cluster-based enterprises not only make optimum use of global markets, strategic alliances and niche opportunities, but also enable wider, regional linkages for the clusters within which they operate (Mitra and Matlay, 2002). Locally defined, strategic connections, linkages and partnerships are the key factors that distinguish clusters from other forms of business collaborations (Beccatini, 1989; Camagni, 1991; Porter, 1998; Enright, 1998; Cooke and Morgan, 1998; Mitra, 2000). The nature of related linkages – between firms, customers, suppliers, distributors, agencies and across sectoral boundaries – influence the scope and purpose of a variety of entrepreneurial activities and determine the effectiveness of organizational competitiveness at local, national and international levels. The scale and intensity of entrepreneurship at each of these levels is perceived to change strategically, as a result of a continuum of learning, as firms weave their distinctive patterns of innovation, growth and competitiveness (Mitra and Matlay, 2000; Cullen and Matlay, 1999; Leonard, 1998). The quest for sustainable competitive advantage manifests itself in the distinctive and differentiating use of labour and intermediate inputs as well as a propensity for collective learning (Mitra, 2000; Matlay, 2000; Nachum and Keeble, 1999). Research evidence suggests that the learning process is as much a function of entrepreneurship as it is of...

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