Cluster Case Studies: The Marriage of Quantitative and Qualitative Information for Action

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Center for Economic Development


This article highlights the use of qualitative data as methodological tools in cluster analysis, following the identification of the cluster through a quantitative analysis. The qualitative methodological tools surveyed include a detailed interview protocol, an interview analysis, a cluster map to describe the cluster structure, and a briefing paper. A cluster map is a visual schematic that describes the different components of a cluster and how the components relate to each other. The cluster map illustrates the cluster’s structure, shapes the way in which the cluster is perceived, and can guide new economic development strategies that take into account the synergies between the cluster’s different components. The article reviews several types of cluster maps and recommends an improved version that combines elements from several of the maps.



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