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WHAT DO MEMBERS EXPECT FROM CLUSTER MEMBERSHIP? THE CASE OF THE CROATIAN WOOD CLUSTER

Ivan-Damir Anić, Ivana Rašić, Zoran Aralica

Industrial clusters have been considered a successful form of firms’ organisation, and an instrument for increasing the competitiveness and growth of the region and firms’ performance (Aranguren et al., 2013; Abdesslem & Chiappini, 2016; Stojčić et al., 2019; Pecze, 2019). The idea behind cluster formation and its promotion is that firms benefit from agglomeration effects due to knowledge and technology spillovers, input and output sharing, and location externalities (Maffioli et al., 2016). Cluster organisations should facilitate collaboration among firms, scientific and public actors, networking, inter-firm linkages, sharing of information, resources, and knowledge to build new growth opportunities, and overcome coordination failures (Maffioli et al., 2016). Past research has examined the impact of clusters on firm performance in various industries and the wood industry as well, indicating that cluster membership has a positive impact on firms’ survival, innovation activities and performance – exports, productivity, and sales (e.g., Strøjer et al., 2003; Tödtling & Trippl, 2004; Wennberg & Lindqvist, 2008; Eisingerich et al., 2010; Abdesslem & Chiappini, 2016; Stojčić et al., 2019).
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