HOW CLUSTERS CAN PROMOTE THE CREATION OF SHARED VALUE

Author: Dr Xavier Amores Bravo

In this report, it is analysed how clusters can contribute to the social and environmental challenges through the creation of shared value. In recent years, the idea of Creation of Shared Value (CSV) has become widely accepted as one of the most innovative concepts in business management, reaching beyond more consolidated concepts in the business world such as Corporate Social Responsibility. While philanthropy and Corporate Social Responsibility focus on giving back or minimizing the harm business cause to society, shared value focuses company leaders on maximizing the competitive value of solving social issues in new customers and markets, cost savings, retaining talent, and so on. Shared value is a new way for companies to achieve economic success, and some clusters organisations -that represent companies and institutions in a particular value chain- have promoted a lot of cooperation projects related with CSV and competitiveness in the last years.

If CSV could be considered as a true management strategy in which companies find business opportunities that emerge from the great social and environmental challenges our communities are facing at local and global level, clusters could be a good place to promote this kind of projects. CSV is a new way of thinking about business competitiveness and the new roles of enterprises. In the same way that clusters represent a new way to promote competitiveness in the integration of broad value chains, CSV involves the integration of the rest of society's stakeholders in the form of a community and consideration of the social impact in terms of competitiveness. A redefinition of the value chain, by using scarce natural resources more efficiently and by building sustainable business clusters at the company’s locations, fits perfectly with the cluster's involvement and the use and reuse of resources which, in this specific case, is most related to sustainability or Blue Bioeconomy, one of the main topics in the PANORAMED project. 

This report contains, firstly, initial key ideas on CSV with a summary of the main contributions made in recent years and, secondly, its relationship with clusters and particularly why the latter represent an ideal ground for conceiving and implementing CSV initiatives. This second section includes, although not exhaustively, some examples of policies to support clusters or programmes in which clusters participate and may be linked to CSV, as well as some projects at cluster level that have promoted CSV activities in a planned and decisive manner, rather than as an urgent or spontaneous action. Such action is contextualised as a project for the creation of shared value, or has been involved in playing an active role in a CSV initiative. Lastly, a final section contains brief recommendations on public policies considering the opportunities and gaps that promoting CSV through clusters can provide, and which could potentially be applied in a process of clustering and creation of shared value in the blue bioeconomy for the challenges facing the Mediterranean which is the aim of the PANORAMED project.

 

 

Xavier AMORES BRAVO. PhD in Business. Engineer. Cluster Manager of Catalan Water Partnership (CWP) since 2012. Coordinator of projects of R&D, cluster competitiveness, internationalization, he also participates in H2020, LIFE+, COSME, Ministry of Industry and regional calls related with innovation, digital transformation, circular economy and clusters competitiveness. Member of the steering committee of the Spanish Association of Clusters since 2016. He has worked for the regional government of Catalonia between 2005-2011 in the promotion of innovation and the regional economic development. Prior to this, he worked as consultant in projects for the improvement of companies' innovation processes and public administrations to promote innovation, entrepreneurship, cluster policy and Science Parks. Associate Professor of Management and Business Administration at the University of Girona (UdG), he is the director of the MBA in UdG, he also collaborates with the Business School EADA, UPC and UB as professor.