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The Role of Lead Firms in Cluster Life Cycles: The Case of the Manchester Television Cluster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-175
Number of pages14
JournalNorwegian Journal of Geography
Issue number3
Early online date2 Mar 2016
DateAccepted/In press - 2 Sep 2015
DateE-pub ahead of print - 2 Mar 2016
DatePublished (current) - May 2016


The author utilizes recent work in evolutionary economic geography to examine the television cluster in Manchester, UK. A path dependency approach is used to trace the evolutionary phases of the cluster, and to reveal the shifting dynamics of the cluster and the role of key actors. The article focuses on the role of two lead firms – the BBC and Granada. Based on qualitative interview and participant observation data, supplemented with contextual quantitative data collection, the study presents the results of longitudinal research conducted between 2000 and 2014. The author finds that the role of lead firms varied according to the evolutionary phase of the cluster. The role of the broadcasters was most significant during the emergence and growth of the cluster. Both the lead firm and the cluster have been impacted by exogenous factors, particularly regulatory changes. A key trigger point in 2003 led to the evolutionary trajectory of the cluster shifting into decline and stagnation.

    Structured keywords

  • MGMT theme Global Political Economy
  • MGMT International Business Management and Strategy


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