Source: adapted from Markusen, A. (1996) "Sticky Places in Slippery Space: A Typology of Industrial Districts", Economic Geography, Vol. 72, No. 3, pp. 293-313.
Types of Manufacturing Clustering
The above figure portrays three types of manufacturing clustering:
  • Marshallian industrial district. This form of clustering is characterized by a division of labor between small firms engaged in complementary activities and an advanced specialization. Northern Italy particularly relates to this type of regional flexible specialization where networking is an important component of industrial dynamics. The distribution system is commonly serviced by small batch flows between the numerous suppliers and customers.
  • Hub-and-spoke district. A situation in which an industrial sector has suppliers clustering around one or several core firms. The hub-and-spoke district is distinct from Marshallian district, as its dynamics are a function of the dominant firm rather than networking among smaller firms. The fate of the region is often linked with the fate of core firm. The firm Boeing and the region of Seattle are a common example of a hub-and-spoke district. The distribution system is bound to the requirement of the large firm which is large enough to have its own transport operations.
  • Satellite platform district. A set of unconnected branch plants embedded in external organization links, each part of its own globally oriented supply chain. A satellite platform district often corresponds to a location of high accessibility around which the branch plants have clustered, such as a transport terminal.