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Relationships, cooperation and development in a Brazilian industrial cluster

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Purpose ‐ The objective of this study is to analyse and propose alternatives to the lack of integration and cooperation of industrial firms in a Brazilian cluster of the jewelry sector. The relationships between the functional factors and the surrounding factors of the cluster are examined. Design/methodology/approach ‐ This research is based on a face-to-face survey that established relationships between the internal factor/variables of the companies, the cluster and the external environment's factor/variables. Findings ‐ It was found that integration and cooperation are essential for the development of a cluster since it stimulates the use of local resources. High levels of clusters' inter-firm integration may represent high levels of operational efficiency. Research limitations/implications ‐ This study has some limitations related to generalizations, but it can be said that the statistical tools applied to characterize the companies' subgroups in a cluster proved valid. In view of this, further research on other local productive systems is suggested in order to strengthen the propositions making use of the same tools described in this study. Practical implications ‐ The findings indicate the need for strategic actions by the companies in order to seize opportunities to promote local innovation. Originality/value ‐ The paper indicates an enterprise's classification according to the characteristics of the company's competitive strategy.
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