MSc. Social Science Research Methods Presentation


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Presentation given at the ESRC Centre for Business Relationships Accountability, Sustainability & Society on 18 November 2008. On the content of my MSc. Social Science Research Methods thesis \'The UK and California: A Comparative Analysis of Fuel Cell Industry Clusters\'.

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MSc. Social Science Research Methods Presentation

  1. 3. Michael Porter Harvard Economist Chief Cluster “Dude” “ A cluster is a geographically proximate group of interconnected companies and associated institutions in particular field, linked by commonalities and complimentarities.”
  2. 4. "agglomeration economies" “ privileged access to knowledge flows”
  3. 5. Cluster policy encompasses elements of regional development, technology strategy and industrial policy.
  4. 7. <ul><li>Factor Conditions; for example the region’s position in terms of the quality availability of labour, degree to which this labour is educated, infrastructure resources available. Porter argues that these factor conditions are not simply inherited’ from the cluster, but that they can be designed and created. </li></ul><ul><li>Demand Conditions; the degree to which consumers are sophisticated in their choices and patterns of consumption. </li></ul><ul><li>Related and Supporting Industries; within the locale, to what extent are the other enterprises co-located within the region, supportive of the clustering context under examination? </li></ul><ul><li>Firm Strategy, Structure & Rivalry; the nature of competition within the region, the structural features of firms and companies. </li></ul>
  5. 8. <ul><li>There are claimed advantages to being part of a cluster, but also potential disadvantages. </li></ul>
  6. 11. <ul><li>Conferences Attended: </li></ul><ul><li>Fuel Cell 2008 Conference </li></ul><ul><li>SCRATCH West-Midlands Conference </li></ul><ul><li>Events Attended: </li></ul><ul><li>Ride & Drive Event, Sacramento </li></ul><ul><li>Ride & Drive Event, Imperial College London </li></ul><ul><li>Questionnaire </li></ul><ul><li>14 Mailed Out, 4 Returned, 28.5% RR </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews </li></ul><ul><li>25 Interviews 20 minutes-1 hour </li></ul><ul><li>One Focus Group </li></ul>
  7. 13. <ul><li>Fuel Cell Vehicles are potentially a disruptive technology, which will entail radically different infrastructure for refuelling, manufacture, e.t.c. </li></ul>
  8. 14. <ul><li>California sets the standard for stakeholder engagement; getting all the right people “around the table” in order to move innovation forward. </li></ul>
  9. 15. <ul><li>“ Chicken & Egg” Scenario – What Comes First? </li></ul><ul><li>Deployment of Infrastructure is key to successful cluster development. </li></ul><ul><li>Co-ordination of Legislative Bodies on multiple-levels is a positive lesson from the Californian Experience. </li></ul>
  10. 17. <ul><li>Legislative Push for Zero Emission Vehicles </li></ul><ul><li>Strong Political Support for ZEV’s </li></ul><ul><li>Culture of Consumption </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Innovation Culture’ </li></ul><ul><li>Celebrity Endorsements </li></ul><ul><li>Awareness of Localized </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental Degradation </li></ul>
  11. 20. <ul><li>United Kingdom </li></ul><ul><li>California </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on ‘renewable’ production of hydrogen. </li></ul><ul><li>Diversity of SME’s and organisations involved with cluster development. </li></ul><ul><li>Strong support from RDA’s. </li></ul><ul><li>Clusters have strong regional identity. </li></ul><ul><li>Strong focus on engaging legislators. </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural factors aid the uptake of fuel cell vehicles. </li></ul><ul><li>Strong support from major automakers. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Cultural awareness’ of ZEV’s. </li></ul>
  12. 21. <ul><li>United Kingdom </li></ul><ul><li>California </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of multi-level political support, and discontinuous patronage from legislators. </li></ul><ul><li>UK Environment not seen as early-stage market. </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of ‘real’ infrastructure. </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict between regional and national government. </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of focus on ‘green’ hydrogen – (potential path dependency). </li></ul><ul><li>Polarised argument between different ZEV technologies (Who Killed The Electric Car?) </li></ul>