A framework for the transformation of the creative industries in a digital age

  The cultural and creative industries face a constantly changing context, characterised by the speed of the development and deployment of digital information systems and Information Communications Technologies on a global scale. There is a huge 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, enterprises must evolve business and operational models and practices.

This thesis describes The AmbITion Approach to organisational change in the context of the cultural and creative sector in Scotland. Empirical studies demonstrate how organisations change as a result of using The Ambition Approach, and indicate that the approach might be effective in other sectors.

The literature reviewed reveals the organisational demands and challenges disruptive technologies create in business generally; and the specific disruptions digital technologies have had on the cultural and creative sector. It also reviews the currently destabilised policy landscape around organisational development. The review leads to the conclusion that a relevant framework for business transformation is needed to support the sector to adapt and change.
The AmbITion Approach is a set of concepts, methods, tools and processes to generate theoretical learning and practical knowing. It has been created to support enterprises to undertake change journeys, and digitally adapt.
Empirical work developed The AmbITion Approach into a framework for transformation: blending participatory action research methods, and modern management consultancy, design thinking, and creative practices. Digital research tools for inquiry were designed and prototyped, tested by a pilot study, and then embedded in a longitudinal study over two years of twenty-one participant organisations from Scotland’s creative industries. 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.
Empirical work also introduced to the framework Coghlan and Rashford’s (2006) change categories. These enabled the description of the extent to which organisations developed: whether they experienced first order (change), second order (adaptation) or third order (transformation) change.
The thesis describes how The AmbITion Approach has been improved, and tested. The results of studies on participants, and validation criteria applied to the results, have demonstrated it triggers second and third order change. It is suitable for the continuing landscape of digital disruption within the creative industries. However, all sectors face ongoing digital disruption, with enterprises of all scales, type, and operational model affected. Management consultancy practices, and strategy and enterprise and innovation academics have both called for new empirically tried and tested strategy development frameworks and toolkits fit for a continuously changing world (Webb, 2014). The cross-disciplinary concepts, methods, tools, and processes of The AmbITion Approach have been proved as a new framework for business transformation.

  • Dates:

    2011 to 2015

  • Qualification:

    Doctorate (PhD)

Project Team