Many regional economies have pursued a strategy of stimulating the development of regional clusters. Such clusters typically include small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as a core component of those economies. Effective cluster development in that context depends on SMEs sharing knowledge and generating innovation. ICT networks can be an important resource for this sharing and innovation. This paper proposes the concept of ‘Communities of Enterprise’ to conceptualise the relationships and communication patterns used in cluster development. This concept builds on theoretical understandings of information systems, clustering and regional development. The value creation potential of Communities of Enterprise, supported by ICTs is substantial, but only when the socioeconomic elements of regional clusters are understood. The Community of Enterprise approach addresses the fact that without an industry focus it can be difficult to engage and link SMEs from different industries, although this is where the greatest potential for value creation in regional clusters is to be found. This paper concludes by considering the relevance of Communities of Enterprise for understanding and researching eCluster development in the Australian regional context.
Mason, Cecily; Castleman, Tanya; and Parker, Craig, "Communities of enterprise: SMEs, ICT and regional development" (2006). ECIS 2006 Proceedings. 174.