Multimedia, or mixed-media, systems offer presentations that integrate effects existing in a variety of formats, including text, graphics, animation, audio, and video. Such presentations first became commercially available in very primitive form in the early s, as a result of advances that have been made in digital compression technology— particularly the difficult area of image compression.
Manufactured in The Netherlands. The geographical concentration of related manufacturing and service firms is as old as economic development, but it has drawn renewed attention in the last two decades in the wake of the spectacular growth of a number of regional economies ranging from Silicon Valley South San Francisco Bay to Italian rural manufacturing districts.
Upon closer examination, however, this concept turns out to be so fuzzy that it is now commonly used in a variety of ways by a wide array of academics, consultants and policy makers. It is further argued that the regional specialization strategy commonly associated with clusters makes regions more likely to experience economic downturns, prevents the spontaneous creation of inter-industry linkages and hampers the creation of new ideas and businesses.
Michael Porter, cluster, industrial policy, industrial districts, regional development JEL classification: L52, O21, R58 1. Many major economic consulting firms and university research groups have also been created to study and developed ways to implement this strat- egy Waits Clusters, it is argued, raise the productivity, innovativeness, competitiveness, profitability and job creation of their constituent firms, of the geographical areas in which they are located, and thence of the wider economy.
Originally framed by Porter in his best-seller The Competitive Advantage of Nations Porterhis prescription was further repeated, Multimedia industry overview5 books essay and sometimes made more confusing in later years Portera, b. As will be argued in what follows, the concept is fuzzy and its promotion of regional specialization at the expense of spontaneously evolved diversity makes regions more likely to experience economic downturns, prevents the spontaneous creation of inter-industry linkages and hampers the creation of new ideas and businesses.
The fact that these firms and institutions are geographically proximate facilitates the movement of ideas and people between them, which ultimately promotes innovative behavior. They therefore often extend downstream to channels or customers and laterally to manufacturers of complementary products or companies related by skills, technologies, or common inputs.
Considering the extent to which all industries ultimately depend on each other, however, it is no surprise that the boundaries of any given clusters are often in the eyes of the beholder. As a result, because parts of a cluster often are put into different traditional industrial or service categories, significant clusters might be obscured or even unrecognized.
For example, Porter b: Vigorous competition occurs in winning customers and retaining them. Because of the presence of multiple rivals and strong incentives, the intensity of competition among clusters often is accentuated. Yet cooperation must occur in a variety of areas, much of it vertical buyer-supplierwith related industries, and with local institutions.
Competition and cooperation can therefore coexist because they occur on different dimensions or because cooperation at some levels is part of winning the competition at other levels.
In essence, by removing barriers to innovation, investing in basic human and capital infrastructure, and supporting the geograph- ical concentration of related firms. As he put it: While some of these problems can be addressed to varying degrees by private initiatives, others can, in his opinion, only be dealt with by the government.
For example, government regulations might create unnecessary inefficiencies, infrastructure might be lacking and education and training policies might overlook cluster needs.
By doing so, policy makers avoid the problems associated with the support of individual firms which distorts market signalsindustries which presumes that some industries are better than others and distorts market signals and sectors which are too broad to be competitively significant.
As Porter puts it: A cluster focus highlights the externalities, linkages, spillovers, and supporting insti- tutions so important to modern competition. A government role in cluster upgrading, then, will encourage the build- ing of public or quasi-public goods that significantly affect many linked businesses.
Government investments focused on improving the business environment in clusters, other things being equal, might well earn a higher return than those aimed at individual firms or industries or at the broad economy p.
According to Porter, industrial policy rests on a view of competition in which some industries offer greater wealth-creating prospects than others and are therefore targeted for support. Industrial policy also tends to centralize intervention decision at the national level.
As a result, instead of targeting specific clusters, all existing and emerging clusters deserve attention. While clusters have been all the rage, they are problematic on many counts.The geographical concentration of related manufacturing and service firms is as old as economic development, but it has drawn renewed attention in the last two decades in the wake of the spectacular growth of a number of regional economies ranging.
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