Royer, S., Festing, M., Steffen, C., Brown, K., Burgess, J. & Waterhouse, J.: The Value Adding Web at Work - Developing a toolbox to analyse firm clusters, 2009.
Industry clusters have been studied for a long time from diverse perspectives. The results of this research have increased our understanding of knowledge flows in clusters, spillovers between cluster actors and regional development through clusters. However, there still remain deficits in knowledge about industry clusters and cluster development. A central gap in cluster research is an agreed conceptualisation of industry clusters and the underlying components within clusters. As a contribution to filling that gap our 'value adding web' conceptualisation of clusters is described here. Building on this novel understanding of industry clusters, a case methodology is suggested. The resultant 'toolbox' of techniques with which to study clusters has been used to analyse Australian and German cluster cases. This paper offers a series of templates to be used for comparative case study research in industry clusters.