Research on the Cluster-Level Architectural Knowledge: Exploration of Six Content Dimensions of Architectural Knowledge based on a Case Study

Research on the Cluster-Level Architectural Knowledge: Exploration of Six Content Dimensions of Architectural Knowledge based on a Case Study

Hao Li (School of Business Management, Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, Liaoning, China), Hong-jie Zhang (School of Business Management, Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, Liaoning, China) and Kai-jing Zhou (School of Business Management, Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, Liaoning, China)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/jkss.2012100105
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Abstract

The cluster-level architectural knowledge is the source to maintain sustainable competitive advantage of clusters. To develop the knowledge-based theory of clusters, the authors chose Dalian Software Park as the object of study, and work strictly according to scientific research process of the case study method. Firstly, they put forward the research questions and established the subject of the study according to the relevant literatures, and made a scientific study design to ensure the reliability and validity of the case study. Secondly, the authors collected research data and materials by the interview. Thirdly, the case analysis was carried out. Based on interview’s materials and secondary data analysis, they explored the content of the cluster-level architectural knowledge, discussed the roles played by different types of architectural knowledge in the development of industrial clusters and the impacts on the maintaining the competitive advantage of the clusters. The authors’ contribute by exploring the contents of the cluster-level architectural knowledge, which includes recognition of the strategies, convention, mutual benefit, industrial atmosphere, collective reputation, and institution.
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Literature Review

Henderson and Clark (1990) proposed the concept of proponent and architecture from product development perspective, and they divided knowledge into component knowledge and architectural knowledge, among this, the component knowledge was the core design concept and its implementation of the knowledge in a specified component, while the architectural knowledge referred to linking the component knowledge into a coherent overall aspects of knowledge. Matusik and Hill (1998) further divided the knowledge into component knowledge and architectural knowledge from organization level. They noted that component knowledge is concerned with the discrete knowledge of subroutine or the whole organization in the operation which was a part or component instead of overall knowledge, such as knowledge of the new product development, inventory management, customer billing, which was only one aspect of the company’s knowledge structure and architecture knowledge just showed the opposite, it was associated with the organization as a whole, related to the practices and routines within organization, coordination with the component knowledge and its application into the production.

Architecture knowledge is the understanding of reciprocity and reputation on the level of industrial cluster through the network interactive, mutual dependence and practices of the common interests among the cluster members, and it is recognized by the members of the cluster but a tacit rules of game (Tallman & Jenkins, 2004).Component knowledge is relatively clear and used to describe the integral part of a body of knowledge which can be distinguished, on the contrary, the architecture knowledge is mutual understanding and industrial atmosphere, owned by the cluster as a complete system, and cannot exist independently (Porter, 1998), and also, it has the feature of non-clarity and causal ambiguity, path dependence and rooted within the born system (Cook & Brown,1999) which can provide sustainable competitive advantage to the organization (Tallman & Jenkins, 2004).

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