Clusters or un-clustered industries? Where inter-firm marketing cooperation matters

Christian Felzensztein, Eli Gimmon, Claudio Aqueveque

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Purpose: This paper aims to focus on the perceived role of clusters in inter-firm cooperation and social networks. Design/methodology/approach: The study was carried out in a region of Latin America where limited research has been conducted in terms of inter-firm relationships. Managers from three key natural resources-based industries in Chile participated in the survey; one of these industries constituted a well-defined cluster whereas the other two did not. The survey assessed managers' perceptions of the benefits and opportunities of inter-firm cooperation in strategic marketing activities. Findings: Results support the advantages of clusters. Managers of firms which are part of clustered industries tend to perceive more benefits and opportunities for inter-firm co-operation in marketing activities. Additionally, significant differences between clustered and non-clustered industries in terms of their co-operation behavior and objectives were found. Research limitations/implications: The findings shed light on strategies for the enhancement of inter-firm cooperation in marketing, of particular value for marketers in small-and-medium sized enterprises. The paper suggests establishing new clusters and promoting more regional clusters policies since clustering seems to provide better and positive inter-firm interaction leading to cooperation. Practical implications: There are lessons to be learned at national and regional levels for Latin American and emerging economies fostering new industry cluster policies. Originality/value: Clustered firms and industries may result in more innovative marketing strategies at both local and international levels than non-clustered firms. The authors encourage regional development bodies to foster more cooperation among firms and trade associations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-402
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Business and Industrial Marketing
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Chile
  • Industrial marketing
  • Inter-firm cooperation
  • Knowledge exchange
  • Latin America
  • Marketing information
  • Regional clusters
  • Relationship marketing


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