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The Mechanism of Networked Growth of Clustered Firm

Author: ZuoAiQi
Tutor: JiaShengHua
School: Zhejiang University
Course: Business management
Keywords: clustered firm local networks networked growth network characteristics
CLC: F270
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2005
Downloads: 2647
Quote: 32
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Since midst of 1980s, with the ongoing acceleration of global competition and technological innovation, firms seek growth through networking, formally and informally, with relevant organizations. It is one of the basic firm growth models and named the mechanism of networked growth or network-based growth. The great success in "Silicon Valley", "The Third Italy", Bangalore of India, Guadalajara of Mexico indicates that the networked growth model of clustered firm based on local networks has powerful promising and vigorous vitality.Some attentions were paid to the networked growth model of clustered firm in previous research, and this model also shows much realistic meanings for China where industrial clusters are prosperous and active. After absorbing thoughts from theories of firm growth, industrial clusters and socioeconomic network, this dissertation makes some efforts to explore the mechanism of networked growth and its managerial implications in China.Considering the influence of relational embededness, resource dependence, transaction cost and organizational learning, lots of firms, government departments, financial institutions, intermediary service organizations, colleges and research institutions geographically conglomerate, and local networks is forming in a specific geographic region. Local networks can be divided into the first-order networks organized by local firms and the second-order networks organized by local firms and other organizations. Local networks can promote the growth of clustered firm through offering abundant resources, deepening flexible production and sustaining nonlinear innovation. And, these functions are influenced by the network characteristics. From this perspective, the core problem of networked growth model lies in the effectiveness of local networks constructed by clustered firm. This problem would divide into three key questions further: why the clustered firm chooses to grow in the way based on local networks? What essential characteristics of local networks are contributed to the growth of clustered firm? What important factors influence the forming and development of the local networks?By integrating the normative and empirical analysis processes, this dissertation tries to explore the mechanism of networked growth of clustered firm. The following three parts are the main work of this dissertation.(1) Obtaining the adequate data by depth interviews and questionnairesWe investigated firms, local government departments and other organizations for 6 months in three industrial clusters, Jiaojiang sewing machine industrial clusters, Luqiao automobile and motorcycle industrial clusters and Haining leather clothing industrial clusters in Zhejiang. We interviewed 25 mid- and top- managers of clustered firm and 16 principals of local institutions firstly, and carried out pretest-survey in Haining with 45 questionnaires. After that, total 470 questionnaires are handed out in three clusters and 331 valid samples are returned.(2) Constructing the theoretical framework for analyzing the mechanism of networked growth of clustered firm by syncretizing multi-disciplinary knowledgeBased on the various previous dissertation and academic analysis, this dissertation summarizes the constitution of the theories of firm growth and points out that more and more firms adopt the networked growth model in response to the complicated environment. There are some distinct differences in strategic thoughts, commercial idea, and resource channels among the three basic mechanisms of firm growth, i.e. organic growth, acquired growth and networked growth. This dissertation syncretizes theory of firm growth and network organization theory, and constructs the theoretical framework that is "network-network resource-firm growth". In this framework, firms are viewed as one of network nodes and can obtain network resources by contacting with other network nodes. The abundance of resources obtained from networks is determined by the network characteristics. So, a firm with given network characteristics will hold co

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