Economic Development through Clusters-Understanding the Idea of Cooperation in the Opinion of Students: A Case Study
Purpose: The purpose of the paper is to check how students understand cooperation, which is very important in the contemporary market functioning. Design/Methodology/Approach: The paper presents a review of literature devoted to the concept of cooperation, co-opetition, and networking and a review of literature and research demonstrating the role of universities in economic development. To find out how students understand the concept of cooperation, co-opetition, and networking, a survey was conducted among university students in selected European regions. This paper uses the example of the University of Applied Sciences case study in Nysa, in Opolskie Voivodeship in Poland. Findings: The earlier conducted research among cluster managers demonstrates that one of the main reasons for the collapse of clusters is mental barriers. In many cases, members of cluster initiatives do not understand cooperation and co-opetition when joining them. They expect additional benefits, but without their own engagement and acquiring the skill of cooperation. Depopulation and migration processes in some regions are a big problem for the regional market. In subject literature, it is stressed that strong clusters can support regional development, which is particularly important in the case of small and weak regions in terms of endogenous factors. Practical Implications: Each year, university graduates enter the labor market, and in the future, some of them will be members of various business networks, including cluster networks. Through a survey study, it attempted to verify how students understand the concept of cooperation and clustering. Originality/value: This article illustrates how the learning process can be focused on finding solutions about strengthening knowledge and competencies for cooperation.