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THE COMPETITIVENESS CLUSTERS IN CROATIA
This study explores the perceptions of members of 13 competitiveness clusters in Croatia (CCC) towards clusters’ objectives, processes, setting and performance. Survey data (n=250) were analysed using descriptive statistics, exploratory factor analysis and regression analysis. Results indicate that progress of CCCs is not visible in the observed period and they are lagging behind successful cluster initiatives in the world. The most important reasons for underperformance are related to weaknesses inherited in cluster development framework, poor implementation of activities, inadequate resources for pursuing more ambitious objectives, lack of consensus and weaknesses in strategy formulation. The paper contributes to the literature by evaluating the program of competitiveness clusters for the first time. It examines the factors that contribute to performance of clusters, and compares CCCs with best practices of similar associations in the world. Although this research is based on perceptions of members, it has valuable implications for clusters and policy-makers. In order to strengthen existing clusters, changes in the national framework are needed, while clusters should have more resources at their disposal to reach more ambitious objectives in the future.
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