The Cranfield PhD - The impact of regional development policy on the development and sustainability of regional clusters

Cranfield School of Management

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PhD Opportunities

The impact of regional development policy on the development and sustainability of regional clusters

Supervisor: Colin Pilbeam MA (Oxon), PhD, MBA

Supervisor: Mark Jenkins BA MSc DPSE PhD

Cranfield School of Management, in partnership with The East of England Development Agency (EEDA), is offering a 4 year PhD studentship starting on 2 October 2006, which will aim to identify the impact of the activities of regional development agencies on the development and sustainability of regional clusters and consider the implications of these findings.

In recent years much has been made of the importance of regional clusters to both regional and national economies.  Whilst the phenomenon has been widely recognised by economists, sociologists and geographers for many decades, Michael Porter?s analysis of the Competitive Advantage of Nations (1990) developed the concept of the regional cluster as a generator of unique competitive skills that drive the economic prosperity of entire regions and nations.  This has led to the regional cluster being studied more widely in the business literature and also the concept being widely adopted as a key element in regional development policies and strategies.  However, the widespread uptake of the cluster concept in regional development has led some to urge caution, emphasising that one of the central problems with the ?cluster? is a lack of clear definition.  The purpose of this study is to explore the implicit assumption that regional policy can have a direct, positive influence on the development of clusters.  In order to this the study will focus on the role of regional development agencies in the development and sustainability of regional clusters. 

Applications are invited from suitably-qualified candidates for a fully funded 4 year full-time studentship within the School under the supervision of Professor Mark Jenkins and Dr Colin Pilbeam.  The studentship includes full payment of fees and stipend of ?12,300 per annum.

Successful applicants must have a good first degree and are likely to have, or be currently completing, a Master?s degree in a relevant discipline and have some work experience.

Applicants are required to submit an application form (downloadable from the School?s website), research proposal, references and a GMAT certificate.  For full details of the application and selection process please visit our website.

The closing date for applications is 30 June 2006.

Enquiries to: Wendy Habgood, PhD Administrator, tel +44 (0)1234 758046, email  For an informal discussion about the project, please contact Professor Mark Jenkins tel +44 (0)1234 751122, email  or Dr Colin Pilbeam tel (0)1234 754450, email

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