2020 年 2020 巻 35 号 p. 21-43
In recent year, SMEs （Small and Medium Sized Enterprises） are increasingly inclined to enter the healthcare industry sector with super-aging progresses in Japan. On the other hand, these new business by SMEs are getting needed to build new various relationship with medical, care and welfare personnel as well as the traditional business relationship with business-tobusiness transactions. In other words, the development of medical and care-welfare equipment by SMEs are getting needed not only the strength of strong ties, but also the strength of week ties.
So, this paper focuses on the affinity of healthcare industry cluster and social capital. Specifically, this study is analyzing about the development process of healthcare equipment by SMEs using the method of ego-centric networks and the case studies in Nagano Prefecture.
In conclusion, the following four points were clarified in this study. First, there’s a difference occurrence pattern of strong ties and weak ties in the development process of medical equipment and care-welfare equipment. Second, the cause of that is due to be different of production-oriented and manufactured items in medical equipment and care-welfare equipment by SMEs. Third, healthcare industry cluster is involved with the historical, cultural and social context in the area. Fourth, the boundary spanner by cluster facilitator and the function of temporary cluster plays an important role in the formation of healthcare industry cluster that are based on social capital.