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Organizational trust and knowledge obtaining in industrial clusters

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PurposeThis study seeks to initiate an attempt to examine empirically the relationship between a firm's industrial cluster involvement, trust, and knowledge obtaining. Design/methodology/approachA field survey research method was used and data were collected from four international industrial clusters, which consist of 188 company responses. Multiple regression analysis was used to analyze the data. FindingsThe study found that greater involvement in an industrial cluster can enhance a firm's knowledge-obtaining practices. Further, trust partially mediates the relationship between industrial cluster involvement and knowledge obtaining. Research limitations/implicationsUsing self-reported data could be a potential limitation of this study. It would be preferable to have other forms of data for study. Practical implicationsThe findings provide business executives as well as policy makers with a new way of thinking in respect of how to develop a firm's competitiveness in today's global economy by obtaining up-to-date knowledge through trusting relationships in industrial clusters. Originality/valueThe major contribution of the work is that it is the first attempt to operationalize the "industrial cluster" construct as well as to create a coherent model that logically links industrial clusters, trust, and knowledge obtaining for empirical test.

Keywords: Cluster analysis; Competitive strategy; Knowledge engineering; Knowledge management; Trust

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 23, 2010


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