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Creative Precarious Decision-Making in the Crises of Our Time: Emergence of creative cluster-development initiatives by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

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Presentation on theme: "Creative Precarious Decision-Making in the Crises of Our Time: Emergence of creative cluster-development initiatives by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Creative Precarious Decision-Making in the Crises of Our Time: Emergence of creative cluster-development initiatives by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Samos Eirini Skouta, Patrick Humphreys Creative Precarious Decision-Making in the Crises of Our Time: Emergence of creative cluster-development initiatives by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Samos Eirini Skouta, Patrick Humphreys

2 The story is about an initiative taking place in the islands of Samos, Ikaria and Fournoi. Samos is 200 nautical miles east of Athens and only one mile from Asia Minor, while Ikaria and Fournoi are close to Samos to the West. The story is about an initiative taking place in the islands of Samos, Ikaria and Fournoi. Samos is 200 nautical miles east of Athens and only one mile from Asia Minor, while Ikaria and Fournoi are close to Samos to the West. The Setting

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4 The islands economy relies primarily on tourism and agriculture, but transport of goods and people to and from the islands is difficult. Ferries from the islands to Athens take 15 hours each way. Their only airport is on Samos: most air passengers have to fly via Athens. Although package tour airplanes fly directly to Samos, there has been a reduction of 50% in flights over the past 2 years The islands economy relies primarily on tourism and agriculture, but transport of goods and people to and from the islands is difficult. Ferries from the islands to Athens take 15 hours each way. Their only airport is on Samos: most air passengers have to fly via Athens. Although package tour airplanes fly directly to Samos, there has been a reduction of 50% in flights over the past 2 years

5 The cluster is brought together due to SMEs motivation to cope with: Lack of infrastructure; for transport, for water supply Neglect Corruption Financial and social crisis (cuts in income and financing for both the public and private sector). Need for survival It has to find collaborative and innovative solutions. The cluster is brought together due to SMEs motivation to cope with: Lack of infrastructure; for transport, for water supply Neglect Corruption Financial and social crisis (cuts in income and financing for both the public and private sector). Need for survival It has to find collaborative and innovative solutions. The Problems

6 SME Cluster Overview Cluster focuses on initiatives to promote tourism – especially alternatives to the standard package tourism: support for individual travelers, ecotourism, agro-tourism, etc. involves service providers as well as producers Cluster formation started bottom-up in Spring 2011 Cluster focuses on initiatives to promote tourism – especially alternatives to the standard package tourism: support for individual travelers, ecotourism, agro-tourism, etc. involves service providers as well as producers Cluster formation started bottom-up in Spring 2011

7 Business focus of the Cluster SMEs Services lead Products follow

8 SME Cluster Initiation Obstacles: -Greeks typically dont like working in teams. -Harsh competition as the way to do business. -Everything the SME does, needs to be approved and accepted by the municipality. -Up until recently, businesses expected the active help and support of the local authorities, but nowadays the mayors have no resources for this. Obstacles: -Greeks typically dont like working in teams. -Harsh competition as the way to do business. -Everything the SME does, needs to be approved and accepted by the municipality. -Up until recently, businesses expected the active help and support of the local authorities, but nowadays the mayors have no resources for this. Needs: -Many motivators required to foster collaboration -Essential role for cluster coordinator: Get SMEs to consider collaborative advantage and overcome co-opetition anxiety -Even bottom-up cluster building starts with the mayor But, all resources for cluster building have to come from the SMEs themselves rather than the municipality. Needs: -Many motivators required to foster collaboration -Essential role for cluster coordinator: Get SMEs to consider collaborative advantage and overcome co-opetition anxiety -Even bottom-up cluster building starts with the mayor But, all resources for cluster building have to come from the SMEs themselves rather than the municipality.

9 SME Cluster Initiation Agent Independent agent to facilitate the cluster initiation process: BioEnersis, a SME focusing on consulting, training of rrofessionals and Event planning Goals: Developing a cluster of enterprises in the Aegean region and Greece. Planning and attaining innovations for the development of entrepreneurship. Independent agent to facilitate the cluster initiation process: BioEnersis, a SME focusing on consulting, training of rrofessionals and Event planning Goals: Developing a cluster of enterprises in the Aegean region and Greece. Planning and attaining innovations for the development of entrepreneurship.

10 BioEnersis SME Clustering Process

11 SME Clustering: meeting cycle Meeting with all SMEs that want to be involved. ideas for initiatives gaining collaborative advantage?? an event which could realise most of these ideas?? Talk to and gain the approval of the local authority. Meeting with Cluster SMEs to plan the event event collectively. o Identify possible problems: e.g. communication or co-opetition anxiety problems. o Identify SMEs that should be invited to join cluster Meetings with individual SMEs to work on problems identified in the collective meeting. Meeting with the whole SME group: all agree that previously identified problems have been resolved?? new problems arising?? if issues still need to be resolved, continue cycle of individual and collective meetings with SMEs. Meeting with all SMEs that want to be involved. ideas for initiatives gaining collaborative advantage?? an event which could realise most of these ideas?? Talk to and gain the approval of the local authority. Meeting with Cluster SMEs to plan the event event collectively. o Identify possible problems: e.g. communication or co-opetition anxiety problems. o Identify SMEs that should be invited to join cluster Meetings with individual SMEs to work on problems identified in the collective meeting. Meeting with the whole SME group: all agree that previously identified problems have been resolved?? new problems arising?? if issues still need to be resolved, continue cycle of individual and collective meetings with SMEs.

12 BioEnersis SME Clustering Process Discussing with local authorities and cluster representative. Addressing issues individually... Collective cluster meetings.... and collectively.

13 Fourniada is an annual 3-day sports event promoting Greek-Turkish friendship since However, thanks to BioEnersis contribution, and the Cluster SMEs activities, in 2011 the event has been very successful, compared to the past. An example: Fourniada

14 The successful outcome of Fourniada enhanced the SMEs commitment to the cluster and strengthened their relationships and trust. BUT it provoked negative reactions from the side of the local municipality that felt excluded and regarded the clusters actions as competitive. As a result, until recently, the cluster SMEs founded and operating in Fournoi, felt potentially threatened by the municipality and their willingness on producing similar events in the area, diminished due to the sense of insecurity transmitted by the local authorities reactions. Fourniada: The Outcome

15 BioEnersis viewed this incident as an opportunity to reassess both the situation and the circumstances leading to it, as to avoid similar problems in the future. Therefore, in the first part of 2012 BioEnersis continued the individual and collective meeting cycle in order to: re-establish lost trust between SMEs and local authorities, motivate the SMEs to look past the authorities impending response, where this is possible, find a strategy that will enable the cluster to produce events without causing the potential negative response of the authorities and finally, find a strategy that will not allow municipalities to view cluster activities as competitive ones. A New Strategy for Cluster Events

16 New strategy good in practice? Video Case Study in progress: Completion in August 2012 and available for distribution to those interested.


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