Title page for ETD etd-06072006-075555

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Miller, Chad Richard
URN etd-06072006-075555
Title The Tholian Web: The Political/Institutional Context of Regional Cluster-Based Economic Development
Degree PhD
Department Public Administration and Public Affairs
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dudley, Larkin S. Committee Co-Chair
Rees, Joseph V. Committee Co-Chair
Hult, Karen M. Committee Member
Mayer, Heike Committee Member
Sirgy, M. Joseph Committee Member
  • Community Power Structures
  • Economic Development
  • Clusters
  • Network Governance
Date of Defense 2006-05-04
Availability unrestricted
This is an exploratory study that applies the dominant theories of the community power structure literature to the trend of regional cluster-based economic development policy in order to develop a conceptual framework of the political/institutional context of this “new” approach. In order to develop a framework that can be utilized by practitioners, field studies were conducted in Austin, Texas; Portland, Oregon; Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina; Lynchburg, Virginia; and Roanoke, Virginia. The findings are that the major community power structure theories (i.e., market model, economic forces, civic culture, regime theory, the growth machine, and civic entrepreneurs) all provide important insights for the adoption of cluster-based policies. Other important factors that need to be considered are the importance of public administrators, performance metrics, state context, institutional arrangements, elected officials, tax structure, and historical path dependency. The implication for public administration is that the role of public administrators is contingent on the nature of the network governance structure.
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