Can clusters be bi-polar? Exploring the case of the Piraeus port–maritime cluster

Further to being Greece’s biggest port, Piraeus has been a traditional pole of attraction for a plethora of organisations, companies, and institutions engaged in port- and shipping-related activities. Regional development literature has already indicated that the benefits deriving from adjacency and agglomeration economies are maximised when individual entities are organised in forming business clusters. Therefore, the paper critically addresses the existence of theoretical preconditions to a competitive port–maritime cluster formulation in wider Piraeus area. Based on a thorough review of cluster theory, the basic characteristics of clusters are identified to provide the analytical tools for examining the geographical concentration and economic specialisation in Piraeus. Field research in the form of in-depth interviews with leading shipping- and port-related business representatives and institutional bodies and the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data collected revealed that necessary preconditions for successful cluster formulation are met despite the inexistence of a formally recognised cluster. Two distinct poles of economic activity (shipping and port related) are recognised, demonstrating differentiated clustering behaviours and patterns of interaction with other players. The paper concludes with proposals deriving from this dual cluster structure and governance and the need for innovative, differentiated strategies.

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  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01608608
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 6 2016 3:00PM