UK Film Companies: Project-Based Organizations Lacking Entrepreneurship and Innovativeness?
8 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2006
The growth of project-based forms of organization has been interpreted as a response to rapidly changing technological and market environments. Companies operating in this way are assumed to be inherently innovative, continually breaking up and reconfiguring teams of workers whose highly developed skills enable them to multi-task and apply their knowledge in novel situations, in which new technology is swiftly assimilated and deployed. Project workers, who may engage in repeat contracting with different employers, belong to technical communities wherein knowledge is developed and resides. The transformation from vertical integration to project-based working in the film industry would thus appear to privilege innovation. However, in the UK film industry at least, this study suggests that, in spite of freelance working, crew and technicians follow highly specialized, hierarchical careers, and that the organization of production is virtually the same as it was at the height of the Hollywood Studio System. Furthermore, it will be argued that the informal, reputational networks that operate in the UK industry may act as a barrier to development rather than as an engine of change.
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