Cluster Business Processes Management with 3D Immersive Environments

Cluster Business Processes Management with 3D Immersive Environments

Michail Glykas (Department of Financial and Management Engineering, University of the Aegean, Mitilini, Greece & Managing Director, Aegean Technopolis, Technology Park of the Aegean Region, Greece)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/IJEEI.2015070101
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The purpose of the article is to present an innovative managerial approach for SME Cluster Management. Clusters contribute extensively in global economy and their role becomes increasingly more important for growth and prosperity in both developed and underdeveloped economies. At first the author presents the state of the art and contemporary approaches in cluster management and highlight the need for new managerial approaches and frameworks both methodology and technology based. The author then proposes a novel cluster management framework that takes into consideration issues concepts from disciplines as diverse as intellectual capital, cluster process management, cluster organizational management, the role of catalyst SMEs, 3D immersive environment technologies, social networking etc. The resulting proposed framework for SME Clustering is a 3D avatar based environment and framework for managing Geographically dispersed SME clusters.
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1. Introduction

In the last decades there has been a systematic and fundamental change in the way companies carry out innovation activities (Zeng et al. 2010). The locus of innovation is more likely to be centered in networks of learning rather than in individual firms (Powell et al., 1996). According to Ahuja (2000) networking means that firms form linkages to obtain access to assets (Nohria and Garcia- Pont, 1991), learn new skills (Kogut, 1988); manage their dependence upon other firms (Pfeffer and Salancik, 1978), or maintain parity with competitors (Garcia-Pont and Nohria, 1998).

Chesbrough and Crowther (2006) define two types of open innovation strategies: inbound and outbound open innovation. Although none of these modes of open innovation is new, in recent years inbound open innovation (e.g. Laursen and Salter, 2006) has gained space.

Firms exchange knowledge in order to accomplish innovation. Through clusters they manage uncertainty and establish their growth, and in certain case their survival, by creating:

  • Social norms,

  • Innovation conventions and habits

  • Dynamic exchange of knowledge between them

In terms of social norms, the social-network model argues that there is more order to inter-firm interactions and less order to intra-firm interactions than the economic models would imply (Granovetter, 1985). Theorists in this field have also introduced the “territory concept” (Camagni 2002) as a system of localized technological externalities, social relations and local governance which unites a group of companies.

Over the last two decades an extensive literature has emerged on the role of inter-firm networks and their impact upon innovation conventions and habits and its effect on firm performance (see a review in Hoang and Antoncic, 2003 and Santarelli and Vivarelli, 2007). SMEs are as innovative as larger firms despite employing less internal resources (Acs and Audrescht 1990). Nevertheless, not all SMEs embrace into this type of collaboration, (Huggins 2001).

Companies in clusters experience stronger growth and faster innovation than those outside clusters (Audretsch and Feldman, 1996b; Swann et al., 1998; Baptista, 2000; Klepper, 2007). According to Porter (1998: 80), Clusters affect competition in three broad ways: first, by increasing the productivity of companies based in the area; second, by driving the direction and pace of innovation, which underpins future productivity growth; and third, by stimulating the formation of new business, which expands and strengthens the cluster itself.

SMEs have proved to be important employment growth and innovation engines in high-tech sectors, both through existing firms and ‘‘New Technology Based Firms’’ (NTBFs) (Santarelli and Vivarelli, 2007).


2. Cluster Governance In Its Life Cycle And Performance Assessment

Cluster governance is aimed at facilitating and improving the innovation management process (Bahlmann and Huysman, 2008). Cluster governance is usually a continuous fine-tuning strategic process of major importance. Interactions depend heavily on continuous negotiation between participating firms in individual firm or cluster specific competence areas. (Cooke, 2005).

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