Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Business (Research)


Management & Enterprise

First Advisor

John Hobbs


In recent years industry clusters have become recognised as a common feature of economies across the globe (Pouder and St. John, 1996; Porter, 1998a, 1998b; DTI, 2004; Sölvell, 2008; Ketels and Memedovic, 2008). Advantages associated with clusters include regional economic growth, new firm formation, employment growth, increased innovation and increased prosperity. The advantages associated with clusters are so great that cluster initiatives have become a widely accepted policy tool for regional economic development. As a small open economy, reliant on exports for economic growth, clusters appear to represent an opportunity for Irish industry to increase competitiveness. Theory argues that clusters cannot be created (Porter, 1998a, 2003) but must be based on capabilities which exist. This research explores the potential of adopting a cluster approach for the development of two of Ireland’s strong indigenous industries; the agri-food sector and the tourism industry. Using the V-LINC methodology, an analysis of business linkages is conducted to examine the industry ecosystems for these sectors in west Cork. Based on the findings of the analysis and application of Porter’s Diamond of Competitive advantage, the suitability of a cluster approach for the development of Agri-food and Tourism in Ireland is discussed and recommendations for future studies are presented.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Access Level


Project Identifier

info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EU/INTERREG IVB//IE/Atlantic Area Interreg IVB/ATClusters