Clustering As An Effective Tool For Increasing The Competitiveness Of Industrial Enterprises


The article discloses the problem of increasing competitive advantages of industrial enterprises based on clustering. It is a relatively new management technology for the Russian Federation. The regularities of the formation and functioning of the industrial cluster were identified. They reflect the following: territorial and geographical community; long-term relations of enterprises which are the cluster members; the presence of a complex of regulatory mechanisms, etc. The conditions conducive to the formation of innovative industrial clusters are defined. They include a favourable economic and geographical location of the territory; a well-developed transport system, the presence of large competitive industries with stable energy sources; the presence of large cities with a sufficient density of population. The directions for increasing the level of competitiveness of non-ferrous metallurgy enterprises were determined on the basis of the cluster approach, including: stimulating demand and creating new enterprises-consumers of non-ferrous metals; introduction of innovative production technologies and management; import substitution; creation and development of a network of small and medium enterprises for the production of a wide range of products from non-ferrous metals according to the market demands, especially in the process of implementing innovative technologies. The structure, content, sequence of implementation and the performers of the stages of the process of creating an industrial cluster have been developed. A conceptual model of the industrial cluster is presented on the example of Boguchansk district of Krasnoyarsk Krai.

Keywords: Clusteringindustrial clustercompetitivenessenterpriseimport substitutioninnovative development


The analysis of the international and national practice of the vertical and horizontal integration of industrial enterprises shows that one of the promising areas for the development of cooperation among industrial enterprises is their clustering. The approach to regional development based on clusters began its formation in Russia in 2005 with the Concept of Long-Term Social and Economic Development of the Russian Federation, approved by the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation on November 17, 2008, No. 1662-p. The Decree set out the creation of the network of territorial and manufacturing clusters that will implement competitive potential of the territories; the formation of a number of innovative high-tech clusters in the European and Asian parts of Russia (Ivanov & Muravyova, 2015). The application of a cluster approach leads to the emergence of a synergistic effect. The effect stimulates an increase in efficiency indicators within the cluster itself, as well as the related sector of the economy (Elola, Valdaliso, López, & Aranguren, 2012). At the same time, the main specific feature of the cluster is its innovative orientation.

The Concept of the Long-Term Social and Economic Development of Russia until 2020, the Strategy for the Innovative Development of the Russian Federation for the Period until 2020, and other regulatory documents consider clusters as the main object of the state innovation policy. However, clustering has not been widely spread in a number of the national industries (Stepanov, 2013), particularly, in the metallurgical complex.

Problem Statement

The Russian metallurgy is one of the global players in the metal products market. It actively develops in the global system of economic relations. At the same time, in the current market conditions and growth of political and macroeconomic risks, metallurgical enterprises face an acute problem of ensuring a sustainable competitiveness (Ibrayeva, 2015). The strengthening positions of China and other countries of the Asian region in the world metal market require the creation of a new spatial innovation-oriented production and social structures in the adjacent territories, including Siberia. Clusters represent one of the forms of concentration of industry and enable mobilizing a new network resource of the organization of territories (Ivanov & Muravyova, 2015).

Moreover, the need for a balanced development of the metallurgical sector of the Russian industry and the improvement of its competitive advantages requires the use of innovative production technologies and environmentally friendly policy at the enterprises. There is also a necessity to create the network of small and medium-sized enterprises producing a wide range of innovative metal products and to provide enterprises with qualified personnel, applying effective financing mechanisms.

Research Questions

Due to the insufficient study of the industrial clustering problem, it is necessary to solve the following research problems:

1. To identify the regularities of the formation of competitiveness of metallurgical enterprises.

2. To assess the impact of the industrial cluster on competitiveness.

3. To determine the sequence of implementation and the performers of the process of creating the industrial cluster.

4. To develop a conceptual model of the industrial cluster.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to develop recommendations for improving the competitiveness of industrial enterprises through the formation of industrial clusters.

Research Methods

The methodological framework of the research includes the studies and developments of the national and foreign scientists involved in investigation the problems of the cluster approach to improve the competitiveness and efficiency of the regional economy, public and private partnership for the social and economic development of the undeveloped territories of the country. The methodological framework of the research also includes methodological materials, legal and regulatory acts of the Government of the Russian Federation on the studied problem, and other documents.

The methods of the systematic approach, the statistical method, the methods of analogies and comparisons were applied in the work.

The empirical base of the study was compiled with the help of statistical data and reference materials of the Federal State Statistics Service, the strategy of social and economic development of the regions of the Russian Federation, the materials of ministries, federal services, news agencies, metallurgical companies, scientific publications in journals which were systematized by the authors in the course of the study, and the authors’ research.


Determinants and factors of the formation of competitiveness of metallurgical enterprises

The competitive advantages of the national non-ferrous metallurgy are characterized by the following factors:

1) Russia has reserves of almost all non-ferrous metals and is among the top ten countries in the world in terms of availability of raw materials;

2) the industry has a high level of the concentration of production. About 90% of the output is carried out by the enterprises of four vertically and horizontally integrated companies with large deposits within the country and abroad;

3) the leading companies, as a rule, include enterprises for the extraction of ores, their processing and concentration, as well as sales and distribution networks;

4) the Russian companies “RUSAL” and “Norilsk Nickel” hold leading positions on the global metal market of aluminum and nickel, respectively.

Having studied the negative changes in the competitive environment, as well as the negative impact on the development of the industry of a number of external and intra-industrial factors (Ermolaev & Natashkina, 2016), the authors conclude that the competitiveness of the Russian companies on the world market of non-ferrous metals can significantly decrease, and the export can become low profitable and even unprofitable. The key problem in this case is the stimulation of the national demand and the creation of new enterprises-consumers. The solution to this problem can be a cluster support of the production chains. Industrial clusters provide best conditions for increasing competitiveness, because clusters have the most developed determinants (Colovic, 2012; Trippl, Grillitsch, Isaksen, & Sinozic, 2015; Skalholt & Thune, 2014; Boschma & Fornahl, 2011). Table 1 presents the determinants of the competitiveness of metallurgical enterprises and the formation factors formulated by the authors.

Table 1 -
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Impact of the industrial cluster on competitiveness

The assessment of the influence of the industrial cluster on the competitiveness of the industry is carried out on the basis of calculations of the optimization model of the factors of competitiveness formation represented by the objective function:

j = 1 m d i × C i j = > m a x

where di is the criterion weight of assessment; d i = 1 ;

C i j — is the expertise assessment of j factor according to i criterion;

m is the number of expertise assessments and C i j = 1 ;

i — 1, 2 — m ( m is the number of assessment criteria);

j — 1, 2 — n ( n is the number of the factors of single level).

The criterion of optimality of the objective function in the assessment of factors is the improvement in the state of competitiveness of the industry for a certain period as a result of the formation of a cluster.

The effect of the influence of industrial clusters on the competitiveness of enterprises of the metallurgical complex takes place, as a rule, after a long period of time, in its various manifestations and can be assessed mainly by indirect measures (Table 2 ).

Table 2 -
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The content and order of the process of creating an industrial cluster

The creation of an industrial cluster is a complex and all-embracing process that takes place under the influence of many various factors (Ingstrup & Damgaard, 2013; Kovrov, 2014; Titova, 2015). In our opinion, this process involves a project approach and consists of 5 stages (Table 3 ). They include a pre-project stage, the actual development of the project; the identification of a cluster strategy; confirmation of the adequacy of the developed project to the regulatory requirements, and the creation of a cluster management system. The practical application of this sequence will form a more efficient industrial cluster in terms of time, material and labour resources.

Table 3 -
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  • Development of the conceptual model of the industrial cluster on the example of Boguchansk district of the Krasnoyarsk Krai

Boguchansk district is one of the municipal territorial units located in the northeast of the Krasnoyarsk Krai in the Lower Angara region. At present, the region’s territory is equated to the lands of the Far North, where gas deposits (fuel and non-combustible), coal, peat, iron, manganese, titanium, vanadium, apatite ores, gallium, rare earth metals and other natural resources are located. The region is in the process of an active industrial and infrastructural development associated primarily with the implementation of the large-scale investment project Integrated Development of the Lower Angara Region, which is being implemented with federal support.

Figure 1 , developed by the authors shows the conceptual model of Boguchansk innovation-industrial cluster, which is being formed on the territory of the newly created large high-tech business.

The implementation of an effective cluster policy ensures high rates of economic growth and diversification of the economy as a result of increasing the competitiveness of enterprises forming the territorial production cluster (Bazhanova, 2015; Vertakova, Kozieva, & Pinyaeva, 2017). According to the preliminary social and economic results of the activity of Boguchansk cluster, it is necessary to note the creation of 10,000 new jobs, provided both during the construction period and during the operation period. Functioning of the factory will allow achieving a significant multiplicative effect in the framework of the Integrated Development of the Lower Angara region. Reducing the cost of delivering alumina to the plant and finished products to consumers will provide additional opportunities to reduce cost prices.

Figure 1: Conceptual model of Boguchansk industrial cluster
Conceptual model of Boguchansk industrial cluster
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As a result of the study, the authors developed recommendations to ensure the competitiveness of industrial enterprises through the formation and development of clusters.

Four determinants of the competitiveness of metallurgical enterprises and eleven factors forming them have been formulated. They are basic elements of the objective function. The criterion of optimality of the objective function in the process of assessing factors makes for the improvement of the competitiveness of the industry over a certain period of time. This is the result of the formation of a cluster.

The structure, content and sequence of the process of creating an industrial cluster was developed taking into account the requirements of the regulatory documents of the Government of the Russian Federation on cluster support issues. The conceptual model has been presented as a specific example. Practical application of this sequence will form the industrial cluster which is more efficient in terms of time, material and labour resources.


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20 March 2019

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Ivanov, I., Afanas'ev, V., & Сhulanova, O. (2019). Clustering As An Effective Tool For Increasing The Competitiveness Of Industrial Enterprises. In V. Mantulenko (Ed.), Global Challenges and Prospects of the Modern Economic Development, vol 57. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 274-282). Future Academy.