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The Future of Creative Work

Creativity and Digital Disruption

Edited by Greg Hearn

The Future of Creative Work provides a unique overview of the changing nature of creative work, examining how digital developments and the rise of intangible capital are causing an upheaval in the social institutions of work. It offers a profound insight into how this technological and social evolution will affect creative professions.
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Greg Hearn

Creative work is changing rapidly. Digital disruption and the rise of intangible capital are causing an upheaval in the social institutions of work, and changing where, how, in what sector and by whom creative work is engaged. Robotics, autonomous systems, artificial intelligence, global digital platforms, and Blockchain will change the design, production and consumption of culture – and, in parallel, the work of creatives. Work in architecture, design, media, art, and digital entertainment will all be affected. Creative workers in other sectors, who outnumber those in the creative industries, will also be affected. These changes will create new axes of power and inequality in the global sphere of creative work. Traditional creative professions will be challenged; new species of creative work will evolve. Some will flourish. In the future deep aesthetic and expressive capabilities will remain crucial, but their combinatorial potential and application across the economy is equally important.

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Ruth Bridgstock and Greg Hearn

Once a rhetorical construct, the growth of the knowledge economy can now be observed empirically (Powell and Snellman, 2004). It can be seen in, for example, growth in numbers of patents, and growth in the number of fields in which patents are filed; an increase in the numbers of knowledge-based workers; and the growing information intensity of most jobs (Powell and Snellman, 2004). Research and development (R & D) activities produce these knowledge assets at the beginning of the value chain. However, it is now recognized that forms of intellectual property (IP) at the consumption end of the value chain, such as creative copyrights, brands and sophisticated marketing systems, must also be acknowledged as knowledge economy indicators (Hearn and Rooney, 2008; Mudambi, 2008). Mudambi (2008) in fact suggests the fundamental feature of knowledge-intensive industries is that they are built on intangible assets, not only via legally defensible rents (patents, copyrights and brands), but also through ways of organizing these intellectual resources via inimitable organizational structures and inter-organizational relationships.

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Greg Hearn and Thomas Mandeville

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Greg Hearn and Marion McCutcheon

Aesthetic, expressive and design capabilities are the sin qua non of creative work, and are needed across the whole economy, not just in the media, art and design sectors. The future of this creative economy is affected by increasing global investment in intangible assets such as research and development, designs, patents, creative works, software, platforms, brands, and business methodologies. Intangible assets are easy to move, can be scaled with low costs, and rapidly accelerate competitive advantage for early movers. These characteristics create the conditions for dominant global companies to emerge that eliminate or fractionate creative work into low-paid jobs. But the creation, combination and deployment of intangible assets has high up-front costs, and demands diverse creative workers with very high levels of skill. This creates growth in some categories of creative work. This techno-social evolution is changing how, where, when, for whom, and with what conditions, creative work occurs.

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Edited by David Rooney, Greg Hearn and Tim Kastelle

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David Rooney, Greg Hearn and Tim Kastelle

Activities directed at harnessing knowledge for economic and social development have grown since the original edition of the Handbook on the Knowledge Economy (Rooney et al., 2005) was published. Politicians, the world’s news media and key people in the Blogosphere now use the terms knowledge economy and knowledge- based economy as part of their normal chatter. More governments are now investing greater amounts of money and time in creating policies to address their knowledge economy goals. The World Bank, the European Union, national governments across the Middle East, Africa, Asia (South Korea, China and India in particular), Australia and the Pacific, Europe and many provincial and local governments are now engaged in knowledge economy policy development.

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Edited by David Rooney, Greg Hearn and Tim Kastelle

Readers with interests in managing knowledge- and innovation-intensive businesses and those who are seeking new insights about how knowledge economies work will find this book an invaluable reference tool. Chapters deal with issues such as open innovation, wellbeing, and digital work that managers and policymakers are increasingly asked to respond to. Contributors to the Handbook are globally recognised experts in their fields providing valuable guidance.