'Match Seller or Sparkplug? The Human Sciences and Business’

Cunningham, Stuart D. (2005) 'Match Seller or Sparkplug? The Human Sciences and Business’. B-HERT Newsletter, pp. 8-10.

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The topic of the humanities and business irresistibly conjures up the image of the little match seller (‘le petite marchande des allumettes’); nose pressed to the window pane, looking in on the grand life within. The humanities (and the rest of the human sciences, which include the creative arts and the social sciences) are thought to operate as a kind of handmaiden to the R&D powerhouses of science, engineering and technology, which in turn feed the growth businesses which deliver rising standards of living and consequential social benefits. In this view, the human sciences at best might help us to understand and manage the consequences of moving to a knowledge-based economy, but they could never be the sparkplug that ignites business growth and opportunity.

But this handmaiden model is patently inadequate to capture the growing contribution of the content and creative industries and the social phenomena that have rapidly grown around them in contemporary societies. Creative production and cultural consumption are an increasingly integral part of the growth economy, not merely part of analysing and managing it. The human sciences that undergird them should be seen as similarly central.

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ID Code: 2444
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Humanities, Business, Creative industries
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > JOURNALISM AND PROFESSIONAL WRITING (190300)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 BHERT
Copyright Statement: The contents of this journal can be freely accessed online via the journal’s web page (see link).
Deposited On: 20 Feb 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:28

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