Competitive or cooperative relationships in clusters: a comparative study of two internationalising agro-processing clusters in Ghana

Article


Ayakwah, A., Sepulveda Ramirez, L. and Lyon, F. 2018. Competitive or cooperative relationships in clusters: a comparative study of two internationalising agro-processing clusters in Ghana. Critical Perspectives on International Business. 14 (2/3), pp. 230-251. https://doi.org/10.1108/cpoib-12-2016-0063
TypeArticle
TitleCompetitive or cooperative relationships in clusters: a comparative study of two internationalising agro-processing clusters in Ghana
AuthorsAyakwah, A., Sepulveda Ramirez, L. and Lyon, F.
Abstract

An efficient policy supporting clustered business operations necessitates an appreciation of the dynamics of rivalry and collaborations among businesses. This paper postulates that variation in competition and cooperation can significantly influence the nature of business relationships among clustered businesses, which is essential for cluster policy particularly (Newland, 2003) as most research on rivalry and cooperation in clusters have been in developed economies. This paper seeks to fill this gap in the literature in African clusters based on original empirical research.
The study adopts a mixed method research design allowing for data triangulation to study two food processing clusters. The approach comprises a survey and in-depth interview with key actors along the supply chain.
The findings show that business clusters with more formal business structures tend to have minimal horizontal competition but higher vertical cooperation. Comparatively, clusters with more socially embedded milieu tend to have higher levels of cooperation and minimal competition in both vertical and horizontal relationships. The research also shows that such variations in inter-business relationships have an effect on cluster operations in terms of business access to finance, formal contract, sharing of innovation and the way they relate to different stakeholders in their supply chain.
This paper advances a critical case for international business theory on clusters in Africa to incorporate the distinctive business relationships in SME clusters. It also demonstrates how unique location-specific attributes of developing economies hold the key to sustaining the operations of SME-based clusters.

Research GroupCentre for Enterprise, Environment and Development Research (CEEDR)
LanguageEnglish
PublisherEmerald
JournalCritical Perspectives on International Business
ISSN1742-2043
Publication dates
Online07 Feb 2018
Print08 May 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited20 Nov 2017
Accepted20 Nov 2017
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
Copyright Statement

This article is © Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here (https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/). Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
This is the accepted version of the manuscript "Competitive or cooperative relationships in clusters: a comparative study of two internationalising agro-processing clusters in Ghana", published in the journal "Critical Perspectives on International Business" available via the journal site at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/cpoib-12-2016-0063

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1108/cpoib-12-2016-0063
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Porter, G., Lyon, F., Adamu, F., Obafemi, L. and Blench, R. 2005. Trade and market in conflict development and conflict resolution in Nigeria: scoping study report to the UK department for International Development. University of Minnesota AgEcon Search.
Mapping the social economy in the rural East Midlands.
Lyon, F., Smallbone, D., Evans, M., Ekanem, I., Smith, K. and CEEDR (Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research) 2002. Mapping the social economy in the rural East Midlands. Countryside Agency.
Types and impacts of BME businesses
Lyon, F., Owen, R., McPherson, M., Ekanem, I., Ellis, C., Bertotti, M., Sepulveda Ramirez, L., Oyelere, M. and CEEDR (Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research) 2007. Types and impacts of BME businesses. South East England Development Agency.
Trust, co-operation and networking in an immigrant business community: the case of chinese-owned businesses in the UK.
Smallbone, D., Lyon, F. and Xiao, L. 2005. Trust, co-operation and networking in an immigrant business community: the case of chinese-owned businesses in the UK. in: Hohmann, H. and Welter, F. (ed.) Trust and entrepreneurship: a West–East perspective. Cheltenham Edward Elgar.
The social relations of economic life and networks of civic engagement: ‘Social capital’ and targeted development in West Africa.
Lyon, F. and Porter, G. 2005. The social relations of economic life and networks of civic engagement: ‘Social capital’ and targeted development in West Africa. in: Cline-Cole, R. and Robson, E. (ed.) West African worlds: paths through socio-economic change, livelihoods and development. Harlow Pearson.
Institutional perspectives on understanding street vendor behaviour and networks: cases from Ghana
Lyon, F. 2007. Institutional perspectives on understanding street vendor behaviour and networks: cases from Ghana. in: Cross, J. and Morales, A. (ed.) Street entrepreneurs: people, place and politics in local and global perspective London Routledge.
Measuring the contributions of small firms to reducing poverty and increasing social inclusion in the UK
Lyon, F. and Bertotti, M. 2007. Measuring the contributions of small firms to reducing poverty and increasing social inclusion in the UK. in: Stoner, J. and Wankel, C. (ed.) Innovative approaches to reducing global poverty. Charlotte, USA Information Age Publishing.
Business-led regeneration of deprived areas: a review of the evidence base. [Research report 5]
North, D., Smallbone, D., Lyon, F., Potts, G. and CEEDR (Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research) 2003. Business-led regeneration of deprived areas: a review of the evidence base. [Research report 5]. London Office of the Deputy Prime Minister..
Complementarity and co-ordination of self-employment support in rural areas.
Lyon, F. and CEEDR (Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research) 2002. Complementarity and co-ordination of self-employment support in rural areas. Countryside Agency.
Formalising new arrival enterprises: challenges of new ethnic entrepreneurship for business support policy.
Sepulveda Ramirez, L., Lyon, F., Botero, A., Syrett, S. and CEEDR (Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research) 2007. Formalising new arrival enterprises: challenges of new ethnic entrepreneurship for business support policy. Prevista Ltd.
Provide advice on methods to improve promotion and facilitation of Rural Enterprise Scheme - RE0114
Lyon, F., CEEDR (Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research) and Plunkett Foundation 2003. Provide advice on methods to improve promotion and facilitation of Rural Enterprise Scheme - RE0114. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
The contribution of social enterprises to rural economies.
Lyon, F. and CEEDR (Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research) 2003. The contribution of social enterprises to rural economies. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Evaluation of the support for enterprising communities pilot project.
Lyon, F., Evans, M., Ramsden, M., Burch, J. and CEEDR (Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research) 2005. Evaluation of the support for enterprising communities pilot project. Department of Education and Skills..
A note on trust, networks, social capital and entrepreneurial behaviour.
Smallbone, D. and Lyon, F. 2002. A note on trust, networks, social capital and entrepreneurial behaviour. in: Hohmann, H. and Welter, F. (ed.) Entrepreneurial strategies and trust: structure and evolution of entrepreneurial behavioural patterns in East and West European environments. Bremen Forschungsstelle Osteurpa.
Entrepreneurship
Lyon, F. 2004. Entrepreneurship. in: Forsyth, T. (ed.) Encyclopedia of international development. London Routledge.
Markets, ethnicity and environment in a vulnerable landscape: the case of small-scale vegetable production on the Jos Plateau, Nigeria, 1991-2001.
Porter, G., Harris, F., Lyon, F., Adeptu, A. and Dung, J. 2003. Markets, ethnicity and environment in a vulnerable landscape: the case of small-scale vegetable production on the Jos Plateau, Nigeria, 1991-2001. Geographical Journal. 169 (4), pp. 370-381.
The relations of co-operation in group enterprises and associations in Ghana: exploration of issues of trust and power
Lyon, F. 2003. The relations of co-operation in group enterprises and associations in Ghana: exploration of issues of trust and power. in: Sforzi, F. (ed.) The institutions of local development Ashgate.
Market institutions and urban food supply in West and Southern Africa a review
Porter, G., Lyon, F. and Potts, D. 2007. Market institutions and urban food supply in West and Southern Africa a review. Progress in Development Studies. 7 (2), pp. 115-134. https://doi.org/10.1177/146499340600700203
Trust, networks and norms: the creation of social capital in agricultural economies in Ghana
Lyon, F. 2000. Trust, networks and norms: the creation of social capital in agricultural economies in Ghana. World Development. 28 (4), pp. 663-682. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0305-750X(99)00146-1
Developing fledgling social enterprises? A study of the support required and the means of delivering it.
Lyon, F. and Ramsden, M. 2006. Developing fledgling social enterprises? A study of the support required and the means of delivering it. Social Enterprise Journal. 2 (1), pp. 27-41.
The Nigerian market: fuelling conflict or contributing to peace.
Lyon, F., Porter, G., Adamu, F. and Obafemi, L. 2006. The Nigerian market: fuelling conflict or contributing to peace. in: Banfield, J., Gunduz, C. and Killick, N. (ed.) Local business, local peace: the peace building potential of the domestic private sector. London International Alert. pp. 432-437
External evaluation of Innovation Exchange.
Lyon, F. and CEEDR 2010. External evaluation of Innovation Exchange. London Middlesex University.
Outsider missing link or panacea? Some Reflections about the place of social enterprise (with)in and in relation to the Third Sector.
Sepulveda Ramirez, L. 2009. Outsider missing link or panacea? Some Reflections about the place of social enterprise (with)in and in relation to the Third Sector. Birmingham Third Sector Research Centre, University of Birmingham.
Alternative approaches to capacity building: practices in the public and private sector.
Lyon, F. 2009. Alternative approaches to capacity building: practices in the public and private sector. CEEDR, Middlesex University.
Decentralizing industrial policies: threat or opportunity in developing countries?
Sepulveda Ramirez, L. and Amin, A. 2006. Decentralizing industrial policies: threat or opportunity in developing countries? in: Bianchi, P. and Labory, S. (ed.) International Handbook on Industrial Policy Edward Elgar Publishing. pp. 321-342
Market institutions, trust and norms: exploring moral economies in Nigerian food systems
Lyon, F. and Porter, G. 2009. Market institutions, trust and norms: exploring moral economies in Nigerian food systems. Cambridge Journal of Economics. 33 (5), pp. 903-920. https://doi.org/10.1093/cje/bem008
Managing co-operation: trust and power in Ghanaian associations
Lyon, F. 2006. Managing co-operation: trust and power in Ghanaian associations. Organization Studies. 27 (1), pp. 31-52. https://doi.org/10.1177/0170840605056392
Spatializing industrial policies: a view from the south
Sepulveda Ramirez, L. 2008. Spatializing industrial policies: a view from the south. Regional Studies. 42 (10), pp. 1385-1397. https://doi.org/10.1080/00343400701543223
Spatialising industrial policies: a view from the south
Sepulveda Ramirez, L. 2008. Spatialising industrial policies: a view from the south. Regional Studies. 42 (10), pp. 1385-1397. https://doi.org/10.1080/00343400701543223
Enterprising refugees: contributions and challenges in deprived areas
Lyon, F., Sepulveda Ramirez, L. and Syrett, S. 2007. Enterprising refugees: contributions and challenges in deprived areas. Local Economy. 22 (4), pp. 363-375. https://doi.org/10.1080/02690940701736769
Out of the shadows? Formalisation approaches to informal economic activity
Sepulveda Ramirez, L. and Syrett, S. 2007. Out of the shadows? Formalisation approaches to informal economic activity. Policy and Politics. 35 (1), pp. 87-104. https://doi.org/10.1332/030557307779657739
Groups as a means or an end? Social capital and the promotion of cooperation in Ghana
Porter, G. and Lyon, F. 2006. Groups as a means or an end? Social capital and the promotion of cooperation in Ghana. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 24 (2), pp. 249-262. https://doi.org/10.1068/d0303
Learning and research for sustainable agro-ecosystems by both farmers and scientists.
Lyon, F., Clarke, S., Harris, F., Wolf, M. and Gibbon, D. 2005. Learning and research for sustainable agro-ecosystems by both farmers and scientists. London Middlesex University.
Trader associations and urban food systems in Ghana: institutionalist approaches to understanding urban collective action
Lyon, F. 2003. Trader associations and urban food systems in Ghana: institutionalist approaches to understanding urban collective action. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. 27 (1), pp. 11-23. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-2427.00428