Evolution of ICT and Software Industry: Crisis, Resilience and the Role of Emerging Clusters


56th European Regional Science Association Congress, Viyana, Austria, 23 - 26 August 2016, pp.1-14

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: Viyana
  • Country: Austria
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-14
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: No


The ICT and software industry have evolved as twin global industries now spanning a large number of interconnected clusters in the developed and emerging countries. Firms, governments and other actors have re-established different relationships and structures throughout 1980-1984, early 1990s, 2000-2001 and 2007-2008 crises, often resulting in decline of older clusters and emergence or solidification of newer ones. Studies indicate that a cluster's evolution, its position in the technological life-cycle, and dominancy are quite relevant with resilience of the cluster. On the other hand, region-specific factors seem to be important for specialization of ICT-software clusters, which, may work or against their benefit due to strategic geographic responses of larger actors in the industry, such as promotion of offshore outsourcing or onshore in-house activities. There is increasing evidence that these factors are recently used better by regional and national governments against clusters in more advanced regions, particularly by strategic use of timely legal reforms, state-sponsored large ICT-software projects and attempts to grow local ICT-software markets. Yet, the knowledge externalities created by these efforts are captured not only by large MNCs, but also by an increasing number of local companies, which are increasingly transforming into multi-national actors. This paper tries to evaluate how governments, local companies and MNCs establish strategic collaborations and promote growth of clusters in emerging country context, in the case of ICT-software industries. The study relies on secondary data resources and the literature in evaluating emerging country contexts, but also makes use of primary data, local and national strategic planning documents and interview interpretations in the context of Turkey's clusters. The study's main contribution lies in demonstrating how mixed core/periphery features, collaboration of local/national actors with global actors, and emerging new technologies play a role in the emergence of new forms and functional structures at industry level.