Creative Work Beyond the Creative Industries

Creative Work Beyond the Creative Industries

Innovation, Employment and Education

Edited by Greg Hearn, Ruth Bridgstock, Ben Goldsmith and Jess Rodgers

Creative workers are employed in sectors outside the creative industries often in greater numbers than within the creative field. This is the first book to explore the phenomena of the embedded creative and creative services through a range of sectors, disciplines, and perspectives.

Chapter 1: Creative work beyond the Creative Industries: an introduction

Greg Hearn, Ruth Bridgstock, Ben Goldsmith and Jess Rodgers

Subjects: business and management, organisational innovation, organisation studies, innovation and technology, organisational innovation


Creative occupations exist across the entire economy. The creative worker’s habitus cannot be discovered by looking only in film studios, games companies or artists’ garrets. Work practices, evolved through the traditions of the creative and performing arts, are now deployed to create new services and products across all sectors, to develop process innovations, and to change the distribution thereof. Yet the bulk of academic study of creative work (both functionalist and critical), as well as the content of higher/ further professional education programs and everyday understanding of creative workers, focuses on one subset of the Creative Industries: those involved in the production of cultural goods or services (film, television, music etc.) for consumption by the general public. And further, the bulk of existing academic work focuses on those creative workers employed in Cultural Production industries. However, as recent work has shown, this focus misses both the large (and increasing) number of creative workers embedded in industries beyond the core Creative Industries (for example, manufacturing, banking, mining) and those creative workers and firms that supply services to business as well as to the general public, such as architects, technical writers and graphic designers (see Cunningham 2013; Potts and Cunningham 2008; Potts et al. 2008). This book focuses on this subset of very important, and yet under-recognized creative workers: embedded creative workers and providers of Creative Services into other sectors of the economy, as indicated in taxonomy shown in Table 1.1, which juxtaposes occupation and industry sector.