What’s behind a definition? Netting the ‘slippery fish’!

Oxborrow, L. ORCID: 0000-0003-2795-8131 and Clarke, J., 2012. What’s behind a definition? Netting the ‘slippery fish’! In: Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland, November 2012.

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Objectives: The paper explains the process and problems of mapping a localised creative industry sector, contrasting the findings of secondary data with primary data from within the field; identifying implications for policy and innovation. Prior Work: Cunningham et al (2009) term creative industries and innovation as conceptually ‘slippery fish’ concurring with authors who espouse the difficulty of defining creative industries (Boggs, 2009; Galloway and Dunlop, 2007). Even though Flew et al (2010) suggest that there is increasing consensus about the size and scope of CIs, there remain obstacles to mapping creative clusters, an obstacles to policy making decisions (Vecco 2009, Boggs, 2009). Yet authors persist in suggesting that creative industries are dynamic laboratories of change and innovation, exploiting new technologies in production, distribution and markets (Flew et al, 2010). Approach: The research is based on the analysis of Official Statistics within a defined group of CIs, individual company data searches and a survey of 240 CI businesses in Nottingham, UK. The survey was administered electronically, with telephone follow-up. Questions related to business activity; age, size, turnover; markets and networks and respondents were mostly SMEs. Results: Official statistics declare some 2,400 creative businesses in Nottinghamshire, and some 18,900 people employed in the creative industries and related networks. The survey suggests that almost all creative industries businesses are small, but challenges some official statistics in terms of sectoral activity. There are good levels of international activity, and, contrary to expectations, a sizeable nucleus of mature, established businesses. Implications: The results reveal the scope for contrast between officially generated statistics and the observable activity within an industry, which in turn has policy implications. CIs demonstrate varying patterns of growth, business creation, innovation and market activity. While new businesses are being created, the longevity of others is an interesting finding. These are each areas worthy of further, more detailed exploration with scope for case studies to better understand business life-cycles and networks (after Cunningham 2011). Value: The paper questions current thinking on policy for creative industries, contrasting work by Potts et al (2008) that links CIs to new media and new markets. While this tendency exists, the maturity of other CI businesses and their role in rejuvenating traditional industries provides opportunity to enhance competitiveness through appropriate and targeted support. Meanwhile, understanding of business markets and networks needs to consider evolving business to business relationships as well as the emerging social media based business - consumers interface.

Item Type: Conference contribution
Creators: Oxborrow, L. and Clarke, J.
Date: 2012
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 25 Jan 2017 10:29
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 14:12
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/30010

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