Process, Practice and Policy
Edited by Colette Henry and Anne de Bruin
Chapter 7: Reconciling Economic and Creative Performance: Insights from a Creative Business Service Start-up
Brian V. Tjemkes* INTRODUCTION Creative industries essentially supply products and services with aesthetic, broadly educational or entertainment purposes rather than any immediate technical function (Throsby, 2001). Compared with other creative industries, including arts, media and publishing, however, creative business services (CBS) possess distinct properties (Moeran, 1996), in that such firms typically produce and sell informational media content on a commercial basis (Stam et al., 2008). To this end CBS are customer-oriented and employ creative professionals with jobs of a clearly creative nature to develop tailor-made services for their corporate clients. Advertising agencies are typical, as these firms design and sell advertising campaigns that their clients use to communicate with their (potential) customers. The primary aim of this type of firm is to achieve differentiation in its services, making its activities and outcomes highly innovative. Taken together, these characteristics suggest that CBS confront a unique challenge: achieving the twofold objective of economic and creative performance. On this front however, prior research on creative industries only provides partial understanding of this puzzle (Lawrence and Phillips, 2002; Thompson et al., 2007) since it has primarily focused on factors that influence creative performance. For example, studies report that specific individual characteristics (Rae, 2004) and organizational designs foster creative performance (Moultrie and Young, 2009; Townley et al., 2009). However, the insights of this research have limited application within a CBS context: organization designs that enable CBS to obtain high levels of creative performance may not enable them to achieve economic performance and vice versa (Banks...