Competitiveness, local production systems and global commodity chains in the music industry: entering the US market

Power, D.,
Hallencreutz, D.
Regional Studies

This article is based on the results of interviews with music industry actors in the USA, and several other countries, that examined the industry, distribution and retail structures controlling ‘foreign’ music’s access to the world’s largest music markets. The paper uses the US market in order to demonstrate and trace the principal channelsand barriers that determine the conditions of market access for a musical product. It is shown that music distribution channels and retail environments exist in a networked
commodity chain dominated by a limited set of oligopolistic global firms. The journey of a foreign musical product to market in the USA is a difficult one through a
set of globally interlinked but highly fractured and localised commodity pools and channels. The paper concludes by suggesting that for firms and national industries
interested in exporting to the USA understanding the workings of these links between products and consumers is vital. The implications for regional industrial and
innovation policy of power over products’ commercial success being ‘located’ largely outside the local production centre are argued to be far-reaching. In summary, the
article is premised on the idea that if we are to understand success or failure in music sales and better develop regional production milieus we must first understand those
who control the distribution channels and retail environments that sales are made through. In such a task a revised version of the global commodity chain perspective
has much to offer researchers and policymakers alike.


Constructing Regional Advantage: Platform Policies Based on Related Variety and Differentiated Knowledge Bases

Asheim, B.,
Boschma, R.A.,
Cooke, P.
Regional Studies

This paper presents a regional innovation policy model based on the idea of constructing regional advantage. This policy model brings together concepts like related variety, knowledge bases and policy platforms. Related variety attaches importance to knowledge spillovers across complementary sectors. The paper categorizes knowledge into ‘analytical’ (science based), ‘synthetic’ (engineering based) and ‘symbolic’ (arts based) in nature, with different requirements of ‘virtual’ and real proximity mixes. The implications of this are traced for evolving ‘platform policies’ that facilitate economic development within and between regions in action lines appropriate to incorporate the basic principles behind related variety and differentiated knowledge bases.


Cool, creative and egalitarian?

Gill, R.
Information, Communication and Society

The new media industries are popularly regarded as cool, creative and egalitarian. This view is held by academics, policy-makers and also by new media workers themselves, who cite the youth, dynamism and informality of new media as some of its main attractions. This paper is concerned with what this mythologized version of new media work leaves out, glosses over and, indeed, makes difficult to articulate at all. Themes include pervasive insecurity, low pay, and long hours but the particular focus of the paper is on gender inequalities in new media work. Despite its image as 'cool', non-hierarchical and egalitarian, the new media sector, this paper will argue, is characterized by a number of entrenched and all too old-fashioned patterns of gender inequality relating to education, access to work and pay. Moreover, a number of new forms of gender inequality are emerging, connected - paradoxically - to many of the features of the work that are valued - informality,autonomy,flexibility and so on. Drawing on a study of 125 freelance new media workers in six European countries, this paper explores these issues and argues that the new forms of sexism in new media represent a serious challenge to its image of itself as cool, diverse and egalitarian.


Creative cities: the cultural industries and the creative class

Pratt, A. C.
Geografiska Annaler B - Human geography

The aim of this paper is to critically examine the notion that the creative class may or may not play as a causal mechanism of urban regeneration. The paper begins with a review of Florida’s argument focusing on the conceptual and theoretical underpinnings. The second section develops a critique of the relationship between the creative class and growth. This is followed by an attempt to clarify the relationship between the concepts of creativity, culture and the creative industries. Finally, the paper suggests that policy makers may achieve more successful regeneration outcomes if they attend to the cultural industries as an object that links production and consumption, manufacturing and service. Such a notion is more useful in interpreting and understanding the significant role of cultural production in contemporary cities, and what relation it has to growth.


Creative industry: Lacklustre business - Swedish fashion firms' combination of business and aesthetics as a competetive strategy

Hauge, A.
Creative Industries Journal

The view that creativity and innovation is the key to survival and success in contemporary economy is widely accepted. In fact, creativity and innovation has become so omnipresent in the discourse that one can get the impression this is a goal in itself, not a means to stay competitive. However, ultimately, creative contributions have to be converted into sensible economic and commercial strategies if firms want to stay in business. Even the most imaginative idea has to be transferred into products to be sold in the marketplace. This article presents empirical evidence from the Swedish fashion industry that shows an emphasis among industry informants on the more everyday sides of running a business as an explanation to their success. Here, creative input in for example design is a relatively accessible resource, whereas the ‘tricks of the trade’, understood as a good business sense, is harder to come by. Fashion is one of the cultural industries, and this sector is often mentioned as the forerunner in the creatively driven economy. Hence, the notable focus on the more mundane aspects of how to run a business in a supposedly creative industry like fashion is a bit unanticipated. This does not suggest that creativity is irrelevant in fashion, but rather that there is an excess of aesthetic talent and that there is a need for a holistic business approach even in the creative economy. In this article we see how fashion firms combine a business focus with an important input of creativity.


Creativity and Management Control - The Diversity of festival budgets.

Knardal, P.S.,
Pettersen, I.J
International Journal of Managing Prosjects in Business 8 (4) (pp. 679-695)

Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the budget, when split into a network of projects, can act as a management tool to balance control with creativity.

– A case study is used to discuss the budget in a large Norwegian festival. Simons’ (1995) concept of interactive use of budgets is applied for the analysis of empirical findings. Especially, the authors focus on the design and use of the budget and how it is aligned with the specific characteristics of festivals as economic organizations.

– The findings support earlier research which focusses on the need to balance between control and dynamic changes to successfully manage festivals. This study gives a detailed knowledge on how managers use budgets to combine management control with creativity and dynamic adaptions.

– This study contributes to a detailed understanding of how managers can use budgets as tools to stabilize between uncertainty, creativity and control.


Cultural Industries revisited

Hirsch, P.
Organization Science

In this article, I will (1) reexamine and discuss the original framing of the term cultural industries; (2) briefly review some of the more recent complementary perspectives which expand the possible arenas for studying this topic; and (3) append a short note on how the more recent inclusion of nonprofit cultural products(e.g., symphonies, museums) in this framework poses interesting analytical questions and opportunities.


Culture, creativity and experience in Nordic and Scandinavian cultural policy

Power, D.
International Journal of Cultural Policy

The article examines the impact that the ‘creative industries’ discourse which originated in the UK has had in the Scandinavian and Nordic countries. It is argued that the diversity of the region and the various national policy contexts make it hard to identify any one legacy. The discourse does, however, fit neatly into wider discourses within economic and regional planning that emphasise the roles of cultural and creative activities in industrial transformation and the knowledge economy. It is suggested that despite difficulties defining both ‘creative industries’ and ‘Scandinavia’ there is a role for cross‐border policies aimed at supporting commercial actors through the exploitation of regional economies of scale and scope.


Cyclical Clusters in Global Circuits: Overlapping Spaces and Furniture Industry Trade Fairs

Power, D.,
Jansson, J.
Economic Geography

This article contributes to an understanding of temporary or event-based economic phenomena in economic and industrial geography by drawing on research conducted on the furniture and interior design industry. It argues that trade fairs should be seen not simply as temporary industry gatherings, but as central, though temporary, spaces for knowledge and market processes that symbolize microcosms of the industry they represent and function as effective marketplaces. It suggests that these temporary events should be viewed not as isolated from one another, but as arranged together in an almost continual global circuit. In this sense, trade fairs are less temporary clusters than they are cyclical clusters; they are complexes of overlapping spaces that are scheduled and arranged in such a way that spaces can be reproduced, reenacted, and renewed over time. Although actual fairs are short-lived events, their presence in the business cycle has lasting consequences for the organization of markets and industries and for the firms of which they are comprised.


Divergent Paths in Regional Economic Development: A Tale of Two Festival Towns.

Bjälesjö, J.,
Nelson, R.,
Ström, P

This study compares how two small communities in rural settings tried to promote sustained economic development by capitalizing on local music festivals. Merritt, British Columbia, Canada, home to a large country music event, focused on place branding, marketing, and related entertainment initiatives. Hultsfred, Sweden, in contrast, used its iconic rock festival to create a year-round music industry cluster called RockCity. Our study argues that the alternative strategies reflect fundamental differences in economic development policies and governance structures. We subsequently question whether RockCity-like cluster initiatives are possible in the Canada without coordinated tools and programs for supporting cultural industries in small communities. 


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