Industrial district literature has focused on local endogenous development. So far, these works analyse the external ties between clusters and the reconfiguration of global value chains (GVC) in the last decade, opening a new research stream to understand innovation and its impact on differing territories. This article analyses intercluster linkages through multinational enterprise (MNE) affiliates that are located in related clusters along the ceramic GVC. Firstly, the paper explores how the clusters within the industry have changed over time and uses a qualitative meta-study approach. Secondly, an explorative analysis is conducted to analyse how MNE and the external linkages MNE affiliates help to connect distant clusters and to diffuse innovation which reshape the GVC although not all the industries and clusters play the same role in reconfiguring GVCs.
Keywords: clusters, innovation, external ties, MNE subsidiaries, global value chain, GVC