• International Journal of Technology (IJTech)
  • Vol 11, No 6 (2020)

Integrated Approach for Assessing the Economic Security of a Cluster

Integrated Approach for Assessing the Economic Security of a Cluster

Title: Integrated Approach for Assessing the Economic Security of a Cluster
Andrey Polyanin, Lyudmila Pronyaeva, Anna Pavlova, Olga Fedotenkova, Dmitry Rodionov

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Cite this article as:
Polyanin, A., Pronyaeva, L., Pavlova, A., Fedotenkova, O., Rodionov, D., 2020. Integrated Approach for Assessing the Economic Security of a Cluster. International Journal of Technology. Volume 11(6), pp. 1148-1160

Andrey Polyanin Department of Management and Public Administration Central Russian Institute of Management, Branch of RANEPA Orel, 302028, Russia
Lyudmila Pronyaeva Department of Management and Public Administration Central Russian Institute of Management, Branch of RANEPA Orel, 302028, Russia
Anna Pavlova Department of Management and Public Administration Central Russian Institute of Management, Branch of RANEPA Orel, 302028, Russia
Olga Fedotenkova Department of Management and Public Administration Central Russian Institute of Management, Branch of RANEPA Orel, 302028, Russia
Dmitry Rodionov Institute of Industrial Management, Economics and Trade, Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, Staint Petersburg 195251, Russia
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Integrated Approach for Assessing the Economic Security of a Cluster

The aim of the study is to develop scientific and methodological recommendations that can contribute to the timely identification of real and potential economic threats in a cluster. In present-day conditions, clusterization is one of the most effective ways to overcome systemic challenges and crisis phenomena in the economy. Integration of independent organizations into clusters, based on principles of localization, integration and synergy, has the purpose of increasing their competitiveness. At the same time, cluster functioning is connected to various risks and threats that reduce sustainable development and affect the level of economic security of both the cluster and its participants. During the research, general scientific methods, such as the generalization, synthesis and analysis of the accumulated scientific results were evaluated in terms of ensuring the economic security of organizations, including their cluster. A number of techniques and methods were applied to develop the proposed integrated approach to assessing the economic security of clusters: typology, identification, rating-and-scores, and the indicative method. A critical assessment of the existing methods for assessing the economic security of clusters was given. It was revealed that the main drawback of these methods is that they do not consider the complicated internal management structure of a cluster. We created a methodology for assessing the economic security of a cluster, which is characterized by a comprehensive approach considering all the possible risks and threats in the functioning of the individual components of the cluster structure.

Cluster; Comprehensive assessment; Economic security; Indicators; Risks


Currently, the economies all countries face many systemic challenges arising from the restructuring of the world economy, increasing global competition and crisis phenomena. To overcome these challenges, different approaches are used to ensure the economic growth, sustainable development and economic security of a country and its regions. One of these approaches is clusterization of the economy. This approach can be applied to, comprehensively solve the tasks related to economic development, such as increasing the competitiveness of the enterprises, territories, and industries, the effectiveness of regional economic policy and its level of economic security. There is no doubt that an axiom proved by many scientists is that the cluster approach, based on the well-known principles of localization, integration and synergy, ensures the economic security of the cluster territory.

Issues, such as establishing the cluster approach, justifying of the advantages of a cluster form of integration, identifying the cluster types and determining how to identify them in the economy, the forming and implementing the cluster policy, have been presented in the works of cluster theory founder Porter (1998) and his followers (Roelandt and Hertog, 1999; Sölvell et al., 2003; Anderson et al., 2004). The studies of Jacobs and de Man (1996) substantiated a functional structure of a cluster and presented the types of cluster bonds.

A number of scholars have proven that the participation of companies in a cluster allows for better exchange, acquisition and generation of new knowledge, which is - the basis of competitiveness (Beaudry and Breschi, 2003; Malmberg and Power, 2005). Studies by other scholars have shown that cluster member firms have higher survival rates and performance indicators than similar companies outside the clusters (Wennberg and Lindqvist, 2010; Delgado et al., 2014).

A number of interesting scientific studies have been conducted to develop a methodology for assessing the functioning of clusters, such as: a methodology for assessing the level of development of a regional cluster in the information technology (IT) sector to identify the prerequisites for the formation of a digital cluster in the region based on an integral indicator (Kudryavtseva et al., 2020); a multivariate model for assessing the impact of the joint actions of cluster members on their productivity and transfer of innovations (Wiratmadja et al., 2016); and a port cluster development model based on tandem free trade policies and coastal ecosystem preservation (Moeis et al., 2020).

In the field of economics, the problem of ensuring the economic security of a cluster remains ultimately undeveloped in terms of theoretical and methodological aspects and scientific and methodological recommendations, as determined by a combination of the conditions and factors that ensure the clusters ability to pursue the sustainable growth of the well-being of its participants.

The theoretical grounds for assessing economic security are rooted in the writings of United States (US) scholars. For example, Nanto (2011) studied the influence of state policy on the economy: defining the state policy role in the creation of the conditions for economic security at different levels. Buzan (1991) substantiated the relationship between economic security insurance and economic stability and sustainability. While researching the problems of spatial socio-economic interregional inequality, Lessman (2013) identified it as a serious threat to the economic security of territories.

In Russia, Senchagov (2007) is a universally acknowledged theorist of economic security, who introduced the concept of economic security, and defined its categories, indicators and their threshold values. Significant research in the field of the categorization of threats to economic security was conducted by of Afontsev (2001). Other studies started featuring some interesting approaches to the classification of external and internal threats to economic security in clusters. Specifically Klimonova and Yurina (2014)- emphasized the threats of the manifestation of globalization in the field of economic security of the cluster, Nosov (2018) - identified additional threats to the economic security of an enterprise - a member of the cluster, Plotnikov (2015) - systematized the risks of cluster policy by subject composition, and Izmalkova and Vertakova (2019) - proposed a system of risk-oriented diagnostic indicators of an enterprise of a cluster structure.

In their scientific study, Podmolodina et al. (2012) proposed a system of methods for assessing the economic security of an enterprise, making it possible to draw conclusions about its ability to withstand external and internal threats. Sergeeva and Chunaev (2019), proposed a model for diagnosing economic security at the level of enterprises based on an analysis of the existing methods for its assessment.

However, only a few scientific papers have presented specific methods for assessing the clusters economic security. Thus, Ermolaev (2014) grounded his methodology for a comprehensive assessment of the clusters economic security on the assessment of the economic security of enterprises that participate in this integrated structure. For each type of security (personnel, environmental, strategic, corporate, security of the state of economic efficiency of production, etc.), Ermolaev (2014) defined a key indicator. However, in our opinion, a disadvantage of this approach is that it does not assess the economic security of the entire cluster structure.

The essence of the methodology for assessing the competitiveness and sustainability of clusters proposed by Gakashev (2013) is that successful clusters have a stable (leading) position in the market based on their innovative technological superiority over other manufacturers of the cluster’s product. Gakashev (2013) highlighted three main positions with a set of indicators: a market position, technological leadership, and the ability to upgrade. We consider this methodology as being effective for characterizing the degree to which the cluster development is successful, but it can only be part of an integrated methodology for assessing the economic security of a cluster.

A methodology proposed by Polyutov (2009) is based on determining the level of economic security of a cluster by calculating a number of indicators that characterize the security and efficiency of the cluster participants. However, a structure of these indicators does not imply the possibility of conducting a comprehensive assessment of the economic security of a cluster; it is mainly focused on assessing the effectiveness of its participants’ management.

While assessing the above-mentioned methods, we should note that there is no integrated approach that would allow for assessing the economic security of a cluster with its complex integrated structure. In our opinion, the integrity of the approach to assessing the economic security of a cluster should consist of assessing the separate components of the cluster structure: the level of the cluster's management system and the level of the enterprises participating in the cluster association.


Based on the information outlined above, it can be concluded that, nowadays, there is a lack of a consolidated scientifically-recognized concept for assessing the issues related to the economic security of clusters. Specifically, the problem of methodological support of an integrated assessment of the economic security, taking into account specific features of the cluster management structure based on levels, remains unaddressed. To some extent, this is due to the fact that, as a phenomenon, clusters have only recently become widespread in Russia; they are now at the stage of empiric mastery of the accumulated information and experience. Regarding the economic security of the state, regions, and enterprises, many scholars have already proposed significant scientific works. However, very few studies have addressed the economic security of clusters.

In this regard, we have proposed an approach for assessing the level of economic security of specific integrated structures, such as clusters. It consists of identifying individual types of economic security for each level of management in a cluster (the level of participants and the level of the cluster as a whole), developing a list of indicators that characterize the economic security of each level of management in a cluster, determining the indicators of economic security, comparing and analyzing the actual values ??of indicators with threshold values ??of indicators, identifying and analyzing the deviations obtained, ranking the actual levels of threats based on the threshold values, ??and determining the integral indicator of the economic security of a cluster. The article presents an example of the implementation of the proposed technique. In the practical activities of the cluster, the actual values ??of the indicators in the context of the types of economic security will be filled in by cluster managers based on the analysis of the results of its functioning. The data obtained by the cluster managers based on the proposed methodology make it possible to identify real and potential economic threats, find ways to level their consequences, and create and implement a program for the development of a cluster association that includes measures to strengthen the cluster’s economic security.


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