PROMOTING THE REGIONAL COMPETITIVENESS THROUGH CLUSTERS‘ APPROACH: CASE OF THE LATVIAN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CLUSTER
Keywords:clusters, information technology (IT), innovation, regional, competitiveness
The purpose of this research is to contribute to the debate on regional competitiveness concept by evaluating genesis of the studies of concept development, and the impact assessment. This paper also presents the impact of clusters on regional competitiveness through the experience of the Latvian Information Technology (IT) cluster. The methods used in the research are literature analysis, correlation and statistical analysis. The main tasks include: (i) the usage of competitiveness concept to describe main factors of regional competitiveness, (ii) identification of the role of clusters for regional competitiveness by testing the linkage between regional competitiveness and state of cluster development, (iii) presenting the experience of the Latvian Information Technology (IT) cluster and the assessment of advantages enterprises operating in the cluster environment.
The novelty of the research is testing the relationship between regional competitiveness and state of cluster development, as well as introducing the assessment of the CEOs of the Latvian IT cluster enterprises on advantages of cluster environment. In addition, synthesis of the cluster’s concept has led to findings on mandatory and desirable features of clusters.
The authors conclude that regions with higher competitiveness have better developed clusters, while regions with higher state of cluster development are more competitive. The experience of Latvian IT enterprises in the cluster’s environment recognize that more can be achieved by working together than if acting alone. However, benefits of belonging to cluster aren’t always recognized and exploited.