This article seeks to contribute to current debate on the role of clusters in the competitiveness of member firms, by investigating the actual contribution of recently established clusters and by analysing the intensity and nature of the links within two clusters, in the Czech Republic. The analysis is based on data, acquired through qualitative research – interviews – with both members and non-members of the two selected clusters (Clutex, a textile cluster, and Plastr, comprised of firms operating in the plastic industry). The results provide no decisive proof concerning the contribution of clusters to firm competitiveness; however, the interviewed firms recognise and appreciate several advantages of their cluster membership, such as joint research, joint purchasing of materials, improved marketing opportunities. Surprisingly, much more intensive links were discovered in the case of the Clutex cluster, whose members are not concentrated in one region, as are Plastr’s members, but are spread over several regions. This indicates the relevance of other factors, such as cognitive and organizational proximity, on the intensity of inter-firm linkages.