In recent years there has been increased emphasis, in both academic and political arenas, on the economic importance of the creative industries (CIs). As a result, policymakers are increasingly looking to the CIs as a source of potential growth. The literature on CIs suggests that these industries are predominantly content based rather than market based, with artistic priorities taking precedence over business concerns. This research examines growth strategies in the CIs using qualitative and quantitative methods. An in-depth case study of 23 firms in CIs suggests that these firms tend to view growth as a secondary goal compared to the goal of creative output. The case study further yields the proposition that firms in the CIs can benefit from adopting what we refer to as an accordion growth strategy, in which firms grow and shrink to accommodate artistic content as well as in response to external forces. Statistical analysis of survey data confirms that firms in the CIs are less likely to have ambitions to grow and more likely to adopt an accordion growth strategy than firms in technology industries. These findings suggest that the policy emphasis on growth in the CIs might be misguided and should allow for alternating periods of growth and shrinkage.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Part of the funding for this work has been provided from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 324448. The qualitative data were collected as part of a government initiative to map the business environment of the creative industries.
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd