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Agglomerations, clusters and industrial districts: Evolution and opportunities for future research

Miguel, Gonz�lez-Loureiro; Puig, Francisco; Urzelai, Berrbizne


Gonz�lez-Loureiro Miguel

Francisco Puig


Francisco Puig


After decades of changes driven by globalization, the time has come to revisit the clustering literature. Clustering is one of the most studied business phenomena because enabling firms to compete globally while cooperating locally. The analysis of this organizational model has been developed multidisciplinary and under a diversity of theoretical constructs as agglomeration, cluster or industrial districts. However, what has been the resilience of the concept and what are the future challenges that this fertile line of research faces are aspects that at this point deserve to be analyzed.
In this chapter, we try to answer those questions by using a content analysis. Our analysis reviewed 4,808 articles found in Scopus and the WoS, through a homogeneity analysis by alternating least squares and a cluster techniques. As results of this work, we evidence an increase and steady interest for this literature and that Porter’s seminal studies made the cluster concept gain prominence against others such as agglomeration and industrial district. Besides, we provide an illustrative map of its intellectual structure. In the resulting map, we found five big different areas of research: three of them show the main topics associated with the main approaches and theories adopted by the researchers (agglomeration economies, cluster network advantage and industrial districts embeddedness); while the other two areas (international strategy and economic geography) suggest important gaps and research avenues in relevant but still under estimated issues across research on clustering.
Summarizing, the review included in this introductory chapter shows a diverse intellectual structure about clustering and calls for a turn in this research field toward a more permeable and integrated research among the typologies of clustering that permits a better understanding about its evolution, and among those under estimated areas, in particular in the field of the dynamics of the relationships, and the role that globalization and multinationals play in those contexts.


Miguel, G., Puig, F., & Urzelai, B. (2019). Agglomerations, clusters and industrial districts: Evolution and opportunities for future research. In F. Puig, & B. Urzelai (Eds.), Economic clusters and globalization: Diversity and Resilience. Routledge

Publication Date Mar 26, 2019
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Book Title Economic clusters and globalization: Diversity and Resilience
ISBN 9780367000172
Keywords clustering, agglomeration, cluster, industrial district, clustering, literature review, diversity.
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