Chapter 3: Embedding cluster transformation in global sectoral resilience dynamics: conceptual considerations and the example of automotive production
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The regional resilience approach tries to conceptualize major place specific dynamics and factors that mark the adaptability and response capacities of industrial localities to economic crises. Academic debates on economic resilience, however, leave open important questions that deserve to be taken up: How can contradictions between the flexible adaptation requirements associated with resilience and the stabilizing, solidifying nature of industry clusters be solved? And how do the mostly internationally organized resilience capacities of industries affect regional clusters in different sectors? In fact, sector specific mechanisms of shock response can be observed across locations on the international scale, termed sectoral resilience. This chapter constructively combines this notion with assumptions on how international shock responses affect cluster dynamics. It acknowledges that the companies which constitute an industry’s spatially distributed production system, when struck by a major global crisis, collectively form a sector specific response that affects various locations. Shock induced shifts in international activity patterns thus interfere with local cluster dynamics, as economic actors strategically use assets at different locations in spatially differing ways in order to successfully adapt. Against this backdrop the chapter explores, first, how sectoral resilience generally interacts with regional cluster dynamics, advocating that interferences vary between industry sectors. A heuristic approach is developed that conceptualizes logical links of sectoral resilience and cluster dynamics in a global-local setting. Second, it is discussed which regional cluster qualities determine how a cluster is affected by international sectoral resilience processes, telling under which conditions a cluster can profit or rather suffers from induced changes. And third, propositions on sectoral resilience and cluster development interdependencies are illustrated for the example of the globalized automotive sector. Eventually, cluster policy recommendations are derived.

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Edited by Dirk Fornahl and Nils Grashof
Monograph Book