Current thinking on cluster theory and its translation in economic geography and strategic and operations management is a reconciliation possible?

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Purpose - This paper offers an approach for outlining the main dimensions surrounding clusters in three areas of knowledge: economic geography, strategic management and operations management, the first being considered its natural field of knowledge. Design/methodology/approach - The work was developed using the citation analysis technique as applied to a database of 627 articles and 22,980 citations, taken from 15 important journals in the areas selected. Findings - The results proved that the theoretical and conceptual bases are unique to each of the areas studied and that they have few topics in common between them. They are complementary, however, and this facilitates their reconciliation. Research limitations/implications - The sample base, despite considering fairly influential periodicals in the areas of knowledge selected, can be considered to be a limitation. Originality/value - Common themes and different areas of knowledge surrounding the cluster concept were identified; despite being considered 'common', a more detailed examination of their content reveals very different, but certainly complementary emphases, which makes it possible to reconcile the areas of knowledge.

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