Croatian Defense Industry Competitiveness Cluster: Knowledge Management and Innovation Perspective

Marina Jurčić 1 , Sandra Lovrenčić 2  and Nataša Kurnoga 3
  • 1 University of Zagreb, Croatia
  • 2 University of Zagreb, Croatia
  • 3 University of Zagreb, Croatia


Background: Industry clusters and their relationship with the organization’s success, competitive advantage and innovations have been gaining research interest for decades, with the recent focus on defence industry.

Objectives: The aim is to investigate how Croatian Defense Industry Competitiveness Cluster (CDICC) fosters the knowledge management and innovation performance of its members.

Methods/Approach: Survey has been performed on a portion of CDICC members, and responses have been analysed using the factor analysis and the correlation analysis.

Results: The results indicate that CDICC actively contributes to knowledge creation and acquisition, innovation performance and market performance of its members. However, the analysis revealed that knowledge storage and knowledge dissemination are not sufficiently supported by CDICC.

Conclusions: The current problems with the various aspects of knowledge management within a cluster provide a direction for overcoming possible obstacles for further development of industrial clusters.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • 1. Armellini, F., Kaminski, P. C., Beaudry, C. (2014), “The open innovation journey in emerging economies: an analysis of the Brazilian aerospace industry” Journal of Aerospace Technology and Management, Vol. 6 No. 4, pp. 462-474.

  • 2. Aryanto, R., Fransiska, M. (2012), “The role of government assistance to generate competitive leadership, commitment, motivation, innovation, environment and its impact on the performance of TenunCual Union Industry Cluster in Bangka Belitung Province”. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, Vol. 65, pp.167-172.

  • 3. Baptista, R., Swann, P. (1998), “Do firms in clusters innovate more?” Research Policy, Vol. 27 No. 5, pp. 525-540.

  • 4. Blanvillain, S., Hurard, C., Mazari, B., Degres, S. (2014), “On Knowledge Usage and Innovation in Aeronautics Clusters Management” InImpact: The Journal of Innovation Impact, Vol. 7 No.1, pp. 177-190.

  • 5. Briones Peñalver, A. J. (2013), “The Economics of Security and Defence: Transfer of Knowledge and Innovation Related to the Defence Industry” Revista del Instituto Español de Estudios Estratégicos, No. 2, pp.1-22.

  • 6. Chang, H. C., Tsai C. L., & Henderson, S. (2012), “How Industrial Clusters and Regional Innovation Systems Impact the Knowledge Innovation Within the Taiwanese Science-Based Parks Firms?” In: Hou, H. (ed.) New Research on Knowledge Management Applications and Lesson Learned, pp.1-24. InTech, Rijeka.

  • 7. Chen, C. J., & Huang, J. W. (2009), “Strategic human resource practices and innovation performance - The mediating role of knowledge management capacity” Journal of business research, Vol. 62 No. 1, pp.104-114.

  • 8. Croatian Agency for Investments and Competitiveness (2016), Competitiveness industry clusters. Available at http://www.Croatian Agency for Investments and (15 May 2016).

  • 9. Darroch, J. (2005), “Knowledge management, innovation and firm performance” Journal of knowledge management, Vol. 9 No.3, pp.101-115.

  • 10. De Hoog, R. (2009), “Knowledge Management: From idea to a discipline” In: Kiel, D. L. (ed.) Knowledge Management, Organizational Intelligence and Learning, and Complexity, Vol. III, pp. 163-178. Eolss Publishers, Oxford.

  • 11. Demir, K. A., Caymaz, E., Erenel, F. (2016), “Defence Industry Clusters in Turkey. Journal of Defence Resources Management”, Vol. 1 No. 7, pp. 7-20.

  • 12. Dominguez Gonzalez, R. V., Martins, M. F. (2017), “Knowledge Management Process: a theoretical-conceptual research” Gestão & Produção, Vol. 24 No.2, pp. 248-265.

  • 13. Easterby-Smith, M., Lyles, M. A., Tsang, E. W. (2008), “Inter-organizational knowledge transfer: Current themes and future prospects. Journal of management studies”, Vol. 45 No. 4, pp. 677-690.

  • 14. Ebrahimi Mehrabani, S., Shajari, S. (2012), “Knowledge Management and Innovation Capacity”, Journal of Management Research, Vol. 4, No.2, pp. 164-177.

  • 15. Erenel, F., Demir, K. A., Caymaz, E. (2015), “Assessment Of Defence Industry Clusters In Turkey”. In: Constantinescu, M., Popa, B., Braşov, M. (Ed). The 10th International Scientific Conference “Defence Resources Management In The 21st Century”, pp. 101-107. National Defence University „Carol I” Publishing House, Bukurest.

  • 16. Girard, J., & Girard J. (2015). “Defining knowledge management: Toward an applied compendium”, Online Journal of Applied Knowledge Management, Vol. 3 No.1, pp.1-20.

  • 17. Government of the Republic of Croatia. (2016), “Strategija pametne specijalizacije Republike Hrvatske za razdoblje od 2016. do 2020. godine i akcijski plan za provedbu strategije pametne specijalizacije Republike Hrvatske za razdoblje od 2016. do 2017. Godine”, (Smart specialisation strategy of the Republic of Croatia for the period from 2016 to 2020 and the Action plan for the implementation of the Smart specialisation strategy of the Republic of Croatia in the period from 2016 to 2017). Narodne novine, 32, pp. 2–127. Zagreb: Narodne novine d.d.

  • 18. Guillou, S., Lazaric, N., Longhi, C., Rochhia, S. (2009), “The French defence industry in the knowledge management era: A historical overview and evidence from empirical data” Research Policy, Vol. 38 No. 1, pp. 170-180.

  • 19. Hajir, J. A., Obeidat, B. Y., Al-dalahmeh, M. A., Masa’deh, R. (2015), “The role of knowledge management infrastructure in enhancing innovation at mobile telecommunication companies in Jordan”, European Journal of Social Sciences, Vol.50 No.3, pp. 313-330.

  • 20. Hsu, M. S., Lai, Y. L., Lin, F. J. (2013), “Effects of Industry Clusters on Company Competitiveness: Special Economic Zones in Taiwan”, Review of Pacific Basin Financial Markets and Policies, Vol. 16, No.3, 1350017.

  • 21. Junges, F. M., Gonçalo, C. R., Garrido, I. L., Fiates, G. G. S. (2015). Knowledge management, innovation competency and organisational performance: a study of knowledge-intensive organisations in the IT industry. International Journal of Innovation and Learning, Vol.18, No.2, pp. 198-221.

  • 22. Ketels, C., Lindqvist, G., & Sölvell, Ö. (2012), “Strengthening clusters and competitiveness in Europe: The Role of Cluster Organisations” Stockholm: The Cluster Observatory. Available at: Clusters and Competitiveness in Europe - The Role of Cluster Organisations.PDF / (1 July 2018).

  • 23. Knudsen, M. P. (2007), “The relative importance of interfirm relationships and knowledge transfer for new product development success”, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Vol. 24 No.2, pp. 117-138.

  • 24. Lai, Y. L., Hsu, M. S., Lin, F. J. (2013), “Effects of Industry Clusters on Company Competitiveness: Special Economic Zones in Taiwan”. Review of Pacific Basin Financial Markets and Policies, Vol. 16 No.3, pp. 1-28.

  • 25. Lai, Y. L., Hsu, M. S., Lin, F. J., Chen, Y. M., Lin, Y. H. (2014), “The effects of industry cluster knowledge management on innovation performance”, Journal of Business Research, Vol. 67 No.5, pp. 734-739.

  • 26. Lasisi, J. O., Dabiri, M. A. (2015), “Knowledge Sharing, Innovation and Employee Performance: A Study of the Nigeria Hotel Industry”, International Journal in Management and Social Science, Vol. 3 No.2, pp. 530-542.

  • 27. Lerch, F., Provan, K., Sydow, J. (2008), “Network Integration in Regional Clusters and Firm Innovation–A Comparison of Measures”. Paper presented at the 2008 Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Anaheim, California. Available at: / (16 May, 2018).

  • 28. Luengo-Valderrey, M. J., Moso-Díez, M. (2016), “The Role of Knowledge Management in Innovation: Spanish Evidence”. International Journal of Computer, Electrical, Automation, Control and Information Engineering, Vol 10 No.2, pp. 286-292.

  • 29. Ministry of Defence (2014), “Croatian Armed Forces Long Term Development Plan 2015 – 2024”. Available at: / (Accessed 21 May 2017).

  • 30. Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts (2016), “Godišnje izvješće o izvozu i uvozu robe vojne namjene i nevojnih ubojnih sredstava za komercijalne svrhe za 2015. Godinu”. (The Annual Report on Export and Import of Military Goods and Non Military Lethel Goods for Commercial Purposes in 2015). Available at: / (16 May 2016).

  • 31. Porter, M. E. (1998), “Clusters and the new economics of competition. Harvard Business Review”, Vol. 76 No. 6, pp. 77-90.

  • 32. Price, D. P., Stoica, M., Boncella, R. J. (2013), “The relationship between innovation, knowledge, and performance in family and non-family firms: an analysis of SMEs”, Journal of innovation and Entrepreneurship, Vol.2 No.1, 14

  • 33. Prim, A. L., Amal, M., Carvalho, L. (2016), “Regional cluster, innovation and export performance: an empirical study”. BAR-Brazilian Administration Review, Vol.13 No.2, e160028.

  • 34. Tallman, S., Jenkins, M., Henry, N., Pinch, S. (2004), “Knowledge, clusters, and competitive advantage”. Academy of management review, Vol.29 No.2, 258-271.

  • 35. The Croatian Defense Industry Competitiveness Cluster (CDICC) (2017a), About us. Available at: (Accessed 21 May 2017).

  • 36. The Croatian Defense Industry Competitiveness Cluster (CDICC) (2017b.). Membership. Available at: (21 May 2017).

  • 37. The Croatian Defense Industry Competitiveness Cluster (CDICC) (2017c), “Strateške smjernice za razvoj obrambene industrije Republike Hrvatske” (Strategic Roadmap for Development of Croatian Defence Industry). Available at: / (21 May 2017).

  • 38. Valdez-Juárez, L. E., de Lema, D. G. P., Maldonado-Guzmán, G. (2016), “Management of knowledge, innovation and performance in SMEs”, Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management, Vol.11, pp. 141-176.

  • 39. Vassakis, K., Voulgaris, F., Xekardakis, D., Lemonakis, C. (2015), “Innovation and clustering in SMEs during a period of economic turbulence: the case of Greece”. Paper presented at the 9th International Conference “New Horizons in Industry, Business and Education” (NHIBE 2015), Skiathos, Greece.


Journal + Issues