The effect of clustering on competitiveness improvement in Hebron A structural equation modeling analysis
Awad, Ibrahim M.
Amro, Alaa A.
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to map the cluster in the leather and shoes sector for improving the competitiveness of the firms. Toward this end, the study is organized to examine the impact of clustering on competitiveness improvement. The influence of competitive elements and performance (Porter’s diamond) and balanced score card was utilized. Design/methodology/approach – A random sample of 131 respondents was chosen during the period from May 2016 to July 2016. A structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis was applied to investigate the research model. This approach was chosen because of its ability to test casual relationships between constructs with multiple measurement items. Researchers proposed a two-stage model-building process for applying SEM. The measurement model was first examined for instrument validation, followed by an analysis of the structural model for testing associations hypothesized by the research model. Findings – The main findings show that there is a unidirectional causal relationship between improvements of performance and achieve competitiveness and also reveal that the Palestinian shoes and leather cluster sector is vital and strong, and conclude that clustering can achieve competitiveness for small- and medium-sized enterprises. Research limitations/implications – Future research can examine the relationship between clustering and innovation. The effect of clustering using other clustering models other than Porter’s model is advised to be used for future research. Practical implications – The relationships among clustering and competitiveness may provide a practical clue to both, policymakers and researchers on how cluster enhances economic firms such as a skilled workforce, research, development capacity, and infrastructure. This is likely to create assets such as trust, synergy, collaboration and cooperation for improved competitiveness. Originality/value – The findings of this study provide background information that can simultaneously be used to analyze relationships among factors of innovation, customer’s satisfaction, internal business and financial performance. This study also identified several essential factors in successful firms, and discussed the implications of these factors for developing organizational strategies to encourage and foster competitiveness.