Research Output
A framework for the transformation of the creative industries in a digital age
  The creative industries sector faces a constantly changing context characterised by the speed of the development and deployment of digital information systems and
Information Communications Technologies (ICT) on a global scale. This continuous digital disruption has had significant impact on the whole value chain of the sector: creation and production; discovery and distribution; and
consumption of cultural goods and services. As a result, creative enterprises must evolve business and operational models and practices to be sustainable. Enterprises of all scales, type, and operational model are affected, and all sectors face ongoing digital disruption. Management consultancy practitioners and business strategy academics have called for new strategy development frameworks and toolkits, fit for a continuously changing world. This thesis
investigates a novel approach to organisational change appropriate to the digital age, in the context of the creative sector in Scotland.
A set of concepts, methods, tools, and processes to generate theoretical learning and practical knowing was created to support enterprises to digitally adapt through undertaking journeys of change and organisational development. The framework is called The AmbITion Approach. It was developed by blending participatory action research (PAR) methods and modern management
consultancy, design, and creative practices. Empirical work also introduced to the framework Coghlan and Rashford’s change categories. These enabled the definition and description of the extent to which organisations developed:
whether they experienced first order (change), second order (adaptation) or third order (transformation) change. Digital research tools for inquiry were tested by a pilot study, and then embedded in a longitudinal study over two years of twentyone participant organisations from Scotland’s creative sector. The author applied and investigated the novel approach in a national digital development programme for Scotland’s creative industries. The programme was designed and delivered by the author and ran nationally between 2012-14. Detailed grounded thematic analysis of the data corpus was undertaken, along with analysis of rich media case studies produced by the organisations about their change journeys.
The results of studies on participants, and validation criteria applied to the results, demonstrated that the framework triggers second (adaptation) and third order
change (transformation) in creative industry enterprises. The AmbITion Approach framework is suitable for the continuing landscape of digital disruption within the
creative sector. The thesis contributes to practice the concepts, methods, tools, and processes of The AmbITion Approach, which have been empirically tested in the field, and validated as a new framework for business transformation in a digital age. The thesis contributes to knowledge a theoretical and conceptual framework with a specific set of constructs and criteria that define first, second, and third order change in creative enterprises, and a robust research and action framework for the analysis of the quality, validity and change achieved by action
research based development programmes. The thesis additionally contributes to the practice of research, adding to our understanding of the value of PAR and design thinking approaches and creative practices as methods for change.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    30 June 2015

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science

  • Funders:

    Creative Scotland; The National Lottery


Rudman, H. (2015). A framework for the transformation of the creative industries in a digital age. (Thesis). Edinburgh Napier University. Retrieved from



Creative industries; digital age; action research;

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