Cluster dynamics in the Basque region of Spain

  • N. Etura Luque

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Developing and retaining competitive advantage was a major concern for all companies; it fundamentally relied on being aware of the external environment and customer satisfaction. Modifications of the environment conditions and unexpected economic events could cause of a loss of the level of organisational adjustment and subsequent loss in competitiveness, only those organisations able to rapidly adjust to these dynamics would be able to remain. In some instances, companies decided to geographically co-locate seeking economies of scale and benefiting from complementarities. Literature review revealed the strong support that clusters had from Government and Local Authorities, but it also highlighted the limited practical research in the field.

    The aim of this research was to measure the dynamism of the cluster formed by the geographical concentration of diverse manufacturers within the Mondragon Cooperativa Group in the Basque region of Spain, and compared it to the individual dynamism of these organisations in order to have a better understanding the actual complementarities and synergies of this industrial colocation.

    Literature review identified dynamic capabilities as the core enablers of organisation when competing in dynamic environments; based on these capabilities, a model was formulated. This model combined with the primary data collected via questionnaire and interviews helped measure the dynamism of the individual cluster members and the cluster as whole as well as provided an insight on the complementarities and synergies of this type of alliance.

    The findings of the research concluded that the cluster as a whole was more dynamic than the individual members; nevertheless, the model suggested that there were considerable differences in speed among the cluster members. These differences on speed were determined by the size of the company and their performance in dimensions such as marketing, culture and management. The research also suggested that despite of the clear differences in the level of dynamism among cluster members, all companies benefited in some way from being part of the cluster; these benefits were different in nature depending on each specific members.
    Date of Award2011
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorMark Hooper (Supervisor)


    • Basque region
    • Spain
    • cooperatives
    • commercial trading
    • small and medium sized enterprises
    • SMEs

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