Evaluation of cluster performance in transition to circular economy

Kristina Razminienė

Doctoral dissertation

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Clusters have an impact on regional development for they unite small and medium enterprises (SMEs), science and research institutions, higher education institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other entities which aim at increasing competitiveness through cooperation, science, and business partnership, joint research and development (R&D) activities and innovation. Circular economy (CE) gains its popularity for this approach encourages focusing on resource efficiency, doing less damage to the environment, economy, and society. Hence, CE can add to the competitive advantage in clusters’ development. The dissertation analyses Lithuanian clusters’ performance evaluation problems and transitions to a more resource-efficient and sustainable development through CE. The object of the dissertation is clusters’ performance evaluation including the transition to CE.

The literature analyses of clusters and CE were performed, which forms the basis of clusters’ performance in transition to CE evaluation tool formulation, which would enable to improve clusters’ performance and gain a competitive advantage in the future. The proposed tool is designed to assess a cluster’s performance with integrated measures that indicate the CE transition. This tool would allow the recognition of resource-efficient and sustainable development of existing clusters.

The dissertation aims to analyze the theoretic approaches towards clusters and CE for the tool of clusters’ performance evaluation in transition towards CE, which could be proposed based on the literature and empirically tested on Lithuanian clusters’ case.

A sequence of tasks solution is followed in the thesis: to review the existing literature on clusters and CE by presenting the concept and available approaches; to select indicators based on literature analysis that reflect clusters’ performance and make a system, suitable for evaluation; to propose a transition to CE evaluation system with reasonable indicators that are recognizable internationally; to develop an original clusters’ performance evaluation tool that would include measures indicating the transition to CE; to verify the suitability of the proposed clusters’ performance in transition to CE evaluation tool in Lithuanian clusters working in different sectors, to propose the conception of a database covering the clusters’ performance and CE indicators.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.20334/2021-009-M

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170 p.
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