AAWE, Economics Dept, New York University, 19 W 4th St, 6Fl., New York NY 10012aawe@wine-economics.org

AAWE Working Paper No. 158 – Business


Does ‘Liquid Geography’ Facilitate Cooperation or Competition? A Study of Sub-Clusters, Knowledge Exchange, and Innovation in the Wine Industry

Jeremy Galbreath


The relationships between cooperation and competition are a central element of geographically defined clusters. This article advances an understanding of the cooperation–competition nexus by examining how firms in three regional wine clusters in Australia engage in knowledge exchanges about climate change. The findings suggest that, in the main, firms across all three regions appear to be predominantly engaging in these specific knowledge exchanges within their own narrow sub-clusters. This so-called ‘liquid geography’ is suggestive of a somewhat competitive lock-out posture. However, firms in ‘elite’ sub-clusters appear to be cooperating more via external knowledge exchanges, albeit perhaps with self-interest in mind. The results also suggest that only with respect to adaptive climate change innovations (as opposed to mitigative innovations) do implementation rates differ. This appears to be advantaging firms in elite sub-clusters over all other firms in the regions. Implications are discussed along with future research directions.

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