Upsetting and Settling-Down Genres: The role of organisation practice in the reproduction of cultural products
Sapsed, Jonathan, Mateos-Garcia, Juan and Grantham, Andrew (2008) Upsetting and Settling-Down Genres: The role of organisation practice in the reproduction of cultural products In: 24th EGOS Colloquium: Upsetting Organizations, 10-12 Jul 2008, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
This paper contributes to the organisation literature on genres in creative industries. Theoretically it draws on the path creation and path dependence literature, with its proclivity towards structuration theory. Empirically it analyses four case studies of video games developers, which are innovating within two distinct genres: First-Person Shooters and Social Games. The study shows how organisational practice and routines play an important role in supporting genre. They direct the nature and pace of innovation, while maintaining the genre’s constraints. Conversely, when starting new paths, disembedding from prior practice and replacing it is critical. Upsets and shocks that are associated with dysfunctional practice can guide decisions to start new paths and new genres. While developers are constrained by the expectations of publishers, users, and content owners, what they do in terms of management practice affects the received structures and contributes to the reproduction of genres.
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