Global Sourcing Strategies and the Dynamics of Cluster Knowledge Sharing: An Evolutionary Perspective

Par Lise Lillebrygfjeld Halse

As clusters have increasingly become more globalized, an important question is whether this development changes the knowledge dynamics of clusters. This article addresses how cluster companies’ global sourcing strategies affect cluster knowledge dynamics and innovation performance. The article combines insight from the literature on global sourcing and evolutionary theory with empirical findings from a regional cluster that has experienced the intensified globalization of cluster value chains over the last few decades. The case study demonstrates that the path-dependent characteristics of global sourcing strategies may lead to changes in cluster knowledge dynamics. Building on evolutionary theory and a case study from the maritime cluster in Norway, three propositions are presented, highlighting the path-dependent characteristics of global sourcing. A consequence of this path-dependency is that, over time, manufacturing capabilities will be lost when manufacturing is sourced out of the region in which it was previously located. This may create a barrier for the later backshoring of manufacturing.
JEL Codes: O31, R110

  • Global Sourcing
  • Backshoring
  • Path Dependency
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