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 10: Looking inside the portfolio to understand the work of creative workers: a study of creatives in Perth

Dawn Bennett, Jane Coffey, Scott Fitzgerald, Peter Petocz and Al Rainnie

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


The research reported in this chapter forms part of a larger study that is investigating the work practices, orientations, career trajectories and skill requirements of individual creative workers in Perth, Western Australia (WA). The overarching purpose of the research is to generate a more detailed picture of the characteristics and dynamics of the work and careers of creative workers. This chapter focuses on creative workers’ time, motivation and identity, investigating whether and why they might incorporate a range of activities from the creative to the mundane, and the extent to which these activities correspond with the Creative Trident employment modes of specialist, support and embedded work. Specialist refers to creative workers and occupations inside the Creative Industries, such as an actor in a television program or a software developer in a software company. Support refers to non-creative occupations within the Creative Industries, such as administration, management or accountancy. Embedded refers to creative workers and occupations in non-Creative Industries, such as a designer in manufacturing or a PR professional in healthcare. This chapter also considers the inclusion of non-creative work, which falls outside the Trident. We begin by positioning our work within the context of Perth, which is an isolated capital city. As Stratton (2008, 614) has argued, this isolation is central to Perth’s cultural identity: ‘one of the most important tropes of Perth’s culture is the centrality of the claim to isolation’.

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