### The Evolution Stages and Characteristics of the Innovation Network of the Jeans Garment Industrial Cluster in Xintang, Guangzhou

Shuting Chen1(), Qinglan Qian1(), Kaihuang Zhang1, Rujuan Qiao2

1. 1.School of Geography and Remote Sense, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
2.Guangzhou Tujian Urban Planning Survey and Design Co. , Ltd. , Guangzhou 511300, China
• Received:2020-10-27 Revised:2021-01-04 Online:2021-07-01
• Contact: Qinglan Qian E-mail:chenshuting97@126.com;Qianlynn@21cn.com

Abstract:

In order to manage the impact of drastic changes in the domestic and international economic environment and seek ways and paths to improve the innovation capabilities of local traditional manufacturing clusters, based on the perspective of evolutionary economic geography, this research examines the Xintang jeans garment manufacturing cluster in Guangzhou, obtaining first-hand data from questionnaires and in-depth interviews. We constructed an innovative support and environmental network structure model, proposed an analysis framework for network evolution, and conducted an empirical study on the evolution process, characteristics, and motivations of the innovation network of the Xintang jeans garment manufacturing cluster. The research results show that: (1) The innovation network of the Xintang jeans garment manufacturing cluster has experienced four stages that include budding (1980-1990), networking (1990-2000), growth (2000-2012), and development (2012-2018). In the budding stage, the production and innovation links between enterprises began to appear, and the cluster innovation network was initially established. In the networking stage, the derivation of firms deepened the informal connections between enterprises, and the innovative core network steadily developed. In the growth stage, the adjustment of policy and planning positioning reshaped the industrial development strategy, the innovation connection was strengthened, and the innovation network scale was expanded. In the development stage, the cooperation between the government, universities, research institutions, and enterprises was strengthened. The technological innovation capabilities of leading companies in jeans garment production have been improved, the innovation of online and offline business models has been highlighted, and the scale of innovation networks has been stable. (2) Different sub-networks play different roles in promoting the evolution of the overall network. In the budding stage, the innovation environment sub-network directly induced the formation of the overall innovation network. In the networking stage, the innovation environment network and the innovation core network jointly promoted the further development of the overall innovation network. In the growth stage, the innovation support network was the main factor that accelerated the growth of the overall innovation network. In the development stage, the innovation environment network once again became the key to the evolution of the overall innovation network. (3)From the perspective of evolutionary power, endogenous and exogenous power have jointly promoted the development of innovation networks. The export-oriented economic characteristics of the cluster induced the initial network to be dominated by global forces; it then expanded domestically after forming a local scale. The core network, support network, and environment network are important components of the overall innovation network. These three sub-networks are causal and interact with each other to jointly promote the coevolution of the overall network. This research focuses on the innovation and development of traditional manufacturing clusters such as jeans garment manufacturing and is a useful supplement to Chinese research on traditional industry cluster innovation networks.

CLC Number:

• F427