UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF HUMAN AGENCY IN SHAPING CLUSTER DEVELOPMENT: THE CASE OF THE EMERGING GUATEMALAN FILM INDUSTRY

UoM administered thesis: Master of Philosophy

  • Authors:
  • Fernando Franco Jiménez

Abstract

Industrial clusters have increasingly become recognised as engines of regional economic growth, due to the perception that co-locating enables knowledge transfers, innovation, cohesiveness, and ultimately increases the overall competitiveness of geographical agglomerations. In addition, clusters are important to understand the dynamics of flexibly specialised industries, as these often rely on robust networks of producers, consumers and supporting organisations. One of the most significant examples of flexible specialisation is found within the film industry. In addition, clusters are dynamic systems that transform and evolve over time. In order to capture the evolutionary dynamics of clusters, academics employ the cluster life-cycle model, which is used to divide the trajectories of clusters in discernible and sequential stages. An important driver of cluster evolution, and one that is under-researched, is the role of human agency as an influential driving force. The literature defines agents who take on the task of transforming their contexts as institutional entrepreneurs, individuals capable of envisioning alternative arrangements and mobilising resources to transform their surroundings. This research project sets out to explore the transformational effects of human agency in an emerging film industry cluster. In order to do so, a model of the cluster life-cycle was developed to analyse the motivations of institutional entrepreneurs as well as the impact of their actions on a cluster’s trajectory. The empirical focus of the research is placed on the emerging Guatemalan film industry cluster. Moreover, this is a qualitative study, data was collected from semi- structured interviews as well as a focus group session and it was analysed using thematic network analysis. Findings indicate that the motivations that drive institutional entrepreneurs are related to enabling conditions that allow individuals to further their personal and collective interests. Additionally, institutional entrepreneurs have the capability of significantly transforming their immediate contexts through devising and implementing institutional initiatives. However, institutional entrepreneurship is a complex process that requires leadership, empathy and political will.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Award date31 Dec 2017