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Edited by David Rooney, Greg Hearn and Abraham Ninan
Chapter 8: The Organization of Creativity in Knowledge Economics: Exploring Strategic Issues
8 The organization of creativity in knowledge economies: exploring strategic issues Paul Jeffcutt Introduction This chapter examines creativity in a broad organizational field of knowledge relationships and transactions (much in the way that innovation has recently become discussed). In considering key issues and debates across this complex field, the chapter concentrates on the key generic problems of investigating, understanding and influencing this cultural economy. A rich mix of problems and opportunities is considered and assessed, via a discussion of a pioneering in-depth study of the creative industries in a region of the UK. The chapter concludes with several key challenges for research and policy in the building of situated and strategic knowledge on cultural economies. Creativity in the contemporary economy Creativity has recently become a popular term with both the public policy and business communities. In one sense, this attention is obvious – which person, group, firm, city or region would aspire to be ‘uncreative’? However, the recent enthusiasm for creativity needs to be put in context and, in particular, connected to a set of government and corporate strategic responses to competitive and globalized challenges (Porter 1990) in the contemporary economy. Such responses typically have two alternative cycles. In the first, competitiveness can be maintained by downward pressure on costs that are either met by labour substitution, by the substitution of labour by technology, or by cheaper labour (usually in a different region or nationstate). In the second cycle, competitiveness can be maintained through innovation in products and services. The focus...
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