What are the roles of networks and clusters in the operation of an industry? The case of Queensland music

Ninan, Abraham (2005) What are the roles of networks and clusters in the operation of an industry? The case of Queensland music. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


The doctoral thesis examines Queensland's music industry in terms of concepts derived from cluster and network theories in the context of literature discussing creative industries. To this end, the thesis is conceived as one case study incorporating quantitative surveys, convergent interviews and document analyses as its units of investigation. This is necessary because it is the industry as a whole that is the object of theorizing (in terms of Porter and network theory). The 357 firms surveyed represent the creative content producers, distributors and suppliers that comprise Queensland's music industry. The sample for the survey was randomly selected from a universe of 10977 individuals and/or organisations involved in the following sectors of Queensland's music business: music publishing, record companies and distributors, recorded music retailing, other performing arts/music and theatre productions, music composition, and music performance. The data was analysed to understand and describe the nature of firms in the industry and investigate cluster and network dynamics in the operation of the industry. Twenty convergent interviews were also undertaken to further elaborate the qualitative dimensions of cluster and network dynamics in the industry, with particular attention to understanding how the factor input conditions of Porter's cluster model work in practice in the industry, as well as elucidating network effects not adequately addressed by Porter's theory. Policy and industry documents relating to Queensland's music industry were used to contextualise the findings. The conclusions articulate how Queensland's music industry operates as a cluster, and how innovation and creativity are facilitated. The thesis finds Porter's model insufficient to describe some key aspects of this industry's operation. Face-to-face communication, trust and informal networks combine explicit and tacit knowledge to bring about innovation. Thus the industry should be conceived of as a cluster of networks. Furthermore, the findings problematise the notion of distance in cluster and network theories. Traditionally, distance has been conceived in geographic terms; the findings suggest that in the music industry, distance must be understood as cognitive and cultural as well as geographic. The findings provide a detailed set of theoretical modifications to cluster and network theories. Implications are discussed for industry development and policy in Queensland's music industry.

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ID Code: 16090
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Hearn, Gregory & Stevenson, Herbert
Keywords: Cluster, Cluster of networks, Cognitive distance, Communicative distance, Explicit knowledge, Geographic distance, Informal networks, Music industry, Networks, Policy, Queensland, Tacit knowledge, Theory of optimum distance
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Department: Creative Industries Faculty
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Abraham Ninan
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:56
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:43

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