Aligning institutional logics to enhance regional cluster emergence: Evidence from the wind and solar energy industries
Tilleman, Suzanne Gladys, 1971-
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Tilleman, Suzanne Gladys, 1971-
For over a century, researchers from diverse intellectual disciplines have tried to explain the emergence of regional business clusters. I contribute to research on cluster emergence by applying an institutional logics framework to model how cluster emergence is influenced by such factors as supportive institutional logics, knowledge spillover, labor pooling, and technological uncertainty. This study is guided by the research question: How do institutions, specifically, varying levels of a congruous institutional logic, affect regional cluster emergence? Using the passage of the 1978 Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) as a catalyst for business cluster emergence in the renewable energy sector, this study examines the emergence of wind and solar energy manufacturing clusters. I test hypotheses about the positive influences of a congruous institutional logic across U.S. metropolitan statistical areas to see if the relative prevalence of a congruous institutional logic results in more firms and greater levels of clustering. For example, a pro-environmental sentiment among human populations aligns, or in other words, is congruous, with renewable energy manufacturing. I use fixed effects estimation to test several hypotheses regarding positive direct and moderating effects of institutional alignment on cluster emergence. I find that congruous institutional logics have a positive direct influence on clustering, and as technological uncertainty increases, this positive direct influence is enhanced. I find only partial support for the moderating influence of congruous institutional logics on the positive direct effect of positive externalities on clustering. This study contributes to practice and theory by building a model and supporting hypotheses on the influence of institutional fit on regional cluster emergence.
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