Critical success factors and cluster evolution: A case study of the Linköping ICT cluster lifecycle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper investigates the variation in the importance of critical success factors (CSFs) in the evolution of the Linköping ICT (information and communication technology) cluster in Sweden. The international empirical evidence of CSFs in ICT clusters reported in the literature is systematically reviewed. On this basis an object-oriented conceptual model is developed encompassing fifteen CSFs; each attributed to one or more objects: for example, firms, institutions, entrepreneurs. The lifecycle of the Linköping ICT cluster is delineated and its stages segmented. The existence and importance of each CSF at each stage of the cluster lifecycle is established empirically on the basis of interviews with key experts. The main findings comprise a stage-specific group of CSFs whose importance varies across the cluster's lifecycle stages with different patterns. The findings are aimed to stimulate policy makers and researchers alike to pursue further the line of enquiry developed in this paper.


External organisations
  • Blekinge Institute of Technology
  • University of Hull
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economics and Business


  • Cluster evolution, Cluster lifecycle, Critical success factors, ICT clusters
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1425-1444
Number of pages20
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes