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Aboriginal perspectives of enterprise clustering

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Presentation by CRC-REP Principal Research Leader Dr Damien Jacobsen to CAUTHE 2017 about Aboriginal perspectives of enterprise clustering in tourism.

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Aboriginal perspectives of enterprise clustering

  1. 1. Aboriginal perspectives of enterprise clustering Dr. Damien Jacobsen Principal Research Leader Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism Product Project Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation Southern Cross University, Australia
  2. 2. What is enterprise clustering? 2 Clusters are ‘geographic concentrations of interconnected companies, specialised suppliers, service providers, firms in related industries, and associated institutions in particular fields that compete, but also co-operate’ Porter (1998, p. 197-8). Participants are often located in the same geographical region and interrelated by characteristics (e.g. the landscape) or specialities. Clusters come in all shapes and sizes Creates value chain opportunities, as well as a range of benefit potential highlighted in the literature (see Michael 2003; Lade 2010; Ffowcs-Williams 2012).
  3. 3. 3 Common features of strong enterprise clusters Culture of creativity, innovation and co- opetition Commitment to building knowledge Support from government and other agencies Benefits to large and small enterprises Geographical proximity Diverse links to wider industry Skilled cluster participants Specialisation Ability to adapt to new technology/ways of doing business Knowledge exchange through personal interaction Face to face interaction Collaboration with other clusters ‘Bread and butter’ market Strong communication Access to finance Manager/leadership Strong ‘brand’ attracting customers, investors etc. Physical infrastructure Source: Ffowcs-Williams (2012, pp.34-38)
  4. 4. Cluster-style approach developed or proposed around Australia, including: far north Queensland; Arnhem Land (Northern Territory); the Fitzroy River region (Western Australia); the Dampier Peninsula (Western Australia); Central Australia (Northern Territory); the Darwin region (Northern Territory); and, Outback New South Wales. Previous study: Central Australia, applied Porter clustering approach but failed and conceded that the model ‘…needs much more explanation and possibly considerable modification…’ for use by Aboriginal tourism operators (Schmiechen, James & Tremblay 2010, p. 35). 4 Background – why Aboriginal perspectives of clustering?
  5. 5. Reconceptualise Western concepts of enterprise clustering according to the worldviews and cultural perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people involved in tourism 5 Purpose of the study
  6. 6. Decolonising research approach: Transformative – generate emancipative possibilities Cultural protocol Privilege Aboriginal voice and expertise Aboriginal-led Outcome review & approvals (including photographs/video) Applied outputs Qualitative focus group: dialogue and critical engagement with business practices Participants: expert informants (demonstrated experience in cluster-style tourism) Analysis: Qualitative themes 6 Design
  7. 7. 7 October 2014: hosted on Nykina country - Kimberley, Western Australia. Day 1 – discuss western enterprise clustering concepts - Ffowcs-Williams (2012). Group work – brainstorm Aboriginal enterprise clustering perspectives Day 2: Participants reduce 141 issues/perspectives to 44 Aboriginal Tourism Enterprise Clustering Forum Image adapted from: http://www.kimberleyaustralia.com/gibb-river-road-map.html Forum venue
  8. 8. Coequal Enterprise Community Structured Grass Roots Representation Localised Domain of Trade Tourism System Linkages Funding for Capacity Centralised Cluster Management Culturally Grounded Objectives Fusion of Cultural Diversity Cluster Planning and Development Culturally Fluent Business Communication Culturally Appropriate Governance Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander principles of enterprise clustering 8 Fusion of Cultural Diversity The cultural diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people provides strength to business, as well as value to the products and experiences offered to visitors.
  9. 9. 9 Correspondence with Ffowcs-Williams (2012) Principle Corresponding features identified by Ffowcs-Williams (2012) Structured Grass Roots Representation  n/a Coequal Enterprise Community  Knowledge exchange through personal interaction  Benefits to large and small enterprises  Commitment to building knowledge Culturally Fluent Business Communication  Strong communication Culturally Grounded Objectives  n/a Localised Domain of Trade  Strong ‘brand’ attracting customers, investors etc.  Culture of creativity, innovation and co- opetition Tourism System Linkages  Diverse links to wider industry  Collaboration with other clusters Fusion of Cultural Diversity  Specialisation Culturally Appropriate Governance  n/a Centralised Cluster Management  Manager/leadership Funding Towards Capacity  Access to finance
  10. 10. Next steps 10 Further refinement Applied contexts: Cape York, South Australia Development kit Value of clustering
  11. 11. Potential for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 11 Form and maintain enterprise clusters in culturally appropriate ways Small operators work/walk together to alleviate marginalisation Create better products and experiences for visitors Build repository of Aboriginal business know-how and learning Stronger self-representation within industry and government Increase self-reliance and implement regional approach to tourism
  12. 12. Challenge view that culture inhibits business Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are business people, innovators, strategists pushing boundaries of knowledge and practice Generate body of Aboriginal knowledge for the business of tourism Move beyond deficit thinking Empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as drivers of tourism 12 Implications
  13. 13. Thank you! Please visit: http://crc-rep.com/ Contact Details: Dr Damien Jacobsen Phone: 02 6620 3042 E-mail: damien.jacobsen@nintione.com.au 13
  14. 14. References cited: Ffowcs-Williams I (Ed). 2012. Cluster Development: The Go-To Handbook: Building Competitiveness through Smart Specialisation. Cluster Navigators Limited: Nelson, New Zealand. Jacobsen, D., 2016. Tourism enterprises beyond the margins: the relational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander SMEs in remote Australia. Tourism Planning & Development, pp.1-19. Lade, C. 2010. Developing tourism clusters and networks: attitudes to competition along Australia’s Murray River. Tourism Analysis 15, pp. 649-661. Michael, E. J. 2003. Tourism micro-clusters. Tourism Economics, 9(2), pp. 133–145. Porter, M.E. 1998. ‘Clusters and competition: New agendas for companies, governments, and institutions’ in On Competition. in Porter, M. (Ed.). Harvard Business School Press. Boston. Schmallegger, D., Carson, D. and Tremblay, P. 2010. The economic geography of remote tourism: The problem of connection seeking. Tourism Analysis, 15 (1), pp. 127-139. Schmiechen, J., James, D. & Tremblay, P. 2010. Learning markets and indigenous tourism: action research pilot of a learning markets cluster in Central Australia. CRC for Sustainable Tourism Pty Ltd. 14

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