Perspectives of SME innovation clusters development in Russia
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to develop and test models explaining the unsatisfactory innovation activity of Russian firms and the main obstacles to innovation cluster development. Design/methodology/approach: Based on statistical analysis and the results of a pilot survey of 192 local businessmen, followed by imitation modeling analysis, the study tests hypotheses regarding the impact of unsatisfactory institutional environments, including weak property rights protection, on innovation cluster development in Russia. Findings: The analysis shows that the impact of adverse factors on innovation activities of cluster members is crucial, and estimates to what extent the negative factors' influence should be reduced to prevent cluster degradation processes. Research limitations/implications: The models provide a number of sensitivity tests of the parameters; however, data from clusters with different levels of support and protection need to be obtained. Government experiments could be conducted to test the models and find ranges of optimal parameters for cluster development. Short of this, examination of actual data from different cluster in similar environments would allow estimated of optimal strategies for support. Longitudinal data can also help determine the actual cause and effect of successful innovation cluster development. Practical implications: The paper provides managerial implications for organizations involved in innovation clusters, which can be used to improve cluster members' performance and collaborative innovation activities by means of creating acceptable institutional environments. Originality/value: The paper provides evidence of the connection between collaborative activities of clustering organizations in Russia and their performance caused by expectations concerning institutional conditions on the macro level in Russia.