Ecologies of Innovation: Symbolic Aspects of Cross-Organizational Linkages in the Design Sector in an Australian Inner-City Area

Adkins, Barbara A., Foth, Marcus, Summerville, Jennifer A., & Higgs, Peter L. (2007) Ecologies of Innovation: Symbolic Aspects of Cross-Organizational Linkages in the Design Sector in an Australian Inner-City Area. American Behavioral Scientist, 50(7), pp. 922-934.

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The roles of proximity and locale have been the subject of a growing literature on cross-organisational linkages in the field of Creative Industries. Research to date points to the importance of both community and network dynamics in these practices and their role in fostering group and individual creativity and innovation (e.g., Neff, 2004; Maskell and Lorenzen, 2004; Drake, 2003) This paper seeks to locate these practices in the broader conceptual framework emphasizing the "embeddedness" of these practices (Ganovetter). For this reason it does not focus on the self-evidence of imperatives associated with creativity and innovation, but rather returns to an economic sociology framework to open up questions of what is at stake in these collaborations. We report on a qualitative study of the linking and networking practices and rationales of the design sector collocated in an inner-city area in Brisbane, Australia. The study suggests that the locale was important in both community and network level relationships, but also that these should be understood in relation to symbolic representation in the field (Bourdieu, 1984) of design. The paper argues that the innovative potential of interorganisational linkages need to be understood in the context of layers of symbolic identifications at the level of the field of design, the symbolic community associated with the locale and the awareness space (Grabher) of networks that is required in the context of project and collaboration imperatives.

Impact and interest:

13 citations in Scopus
7 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 3916
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: creative industries, design industry, professional networks, communities of practice, innovation
DOI: 10.1177/0002764206298317
ISSN: 0002-7642
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ECONOMICS (140000) > APPLIED ECONOMICS (140200)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Social Change Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > QUT Carseldine - Humanities & Human Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Sage Publications
Copyright Statement: The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, American Behavioral Scientist 50(7):pp. 922-934. © <SAGE Publications Ltd
Deposited On: 16 Feb 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:39

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