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Title DELOS
Developing learning organisation models in SME clusters
Aspect
Concept Findings Challenge
Synopsis The DELOS project considers the notion of cluster as a valid categorical construct for mapping SME and the notion of organisational learning as a meaningful operational dynamic for assessing and explaining the “behaviour” of SME. 
The key assumptions of this rationale are as follows:
- that SME collectively represent the dynamic engine of economic growth, and their aggregate actions are inherently transferable into aggregate economic benefits;
- that SME reflect structured patterns of interaction;
- that facilitating clusters of SME will allow diffusion of know-how and innovation to be more efficient;
- that facilitating aggregate learning amongst SME will stimulate 'intentional' activity and decision-making and allow SME clusters to consolidate their market position or diversify into other markets;
- that the behaviour of large organisations can act as a role model towards understanding and shaping the collective actions of clusters of  SME;
- that cluster models are transferable across socio-cultural and socio-economic boundaries (Sarcina 1998, p. 1).
Reference The final project report (Sarcina 1998) includes a profound discussion of conceptual issues related to learning organisations and SMEs.
See also project info on DELOS.
Descriptors D-LO  EP03          E03a
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Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO