This paper assesses core innovation activity among SMEs within different levels of cluster development. The aim of the paper, using empirical data from the Australian wine industry, is to demonstrate that innovation levels and activity intensify as an industry cluster develops. By dividing wine clusters into ‘innovative’ (highly developed) and ‘organised’ (less developed) models, the paper uses selected core indicators of innovation activity to explore levels of integration within each model. This integration is examined in the context of Porter’s theory of ‘competitive advantage’, with implications for SMEs in particular, and lessons for industry clusters in general.
This article was originally published as Aylward, D and Glynn, J, SME Innovation within the Australian Wine Industry: A Cluster Analysis, Small Enterprise Research: The Journal of the SMAANZ (Small Enterprise Association of Australia and New Zealand), 14(1), 42-54, 2006. Original journal here.