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Disruptive technologies and institutional processes in the creative industries: evidence from the fields of trade book publishing, academic publishing and music

Marquez-Gallardo, S. L. (2018). Disruptive technologies and institutional processes in the creative industries: evidence from the fields of trade book publishing, academic publishing and music. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)

Abstract

This thesis explores an important yet underexplored aspect of management studies, which is field-level responses to the entrance of a disruptive technology in an institutional field. Despite the relevance of digital technologies (such as the 3D printer) that not only improve competitive advantage of organisations but also alter consolidated settlements in the distribution, appropriation and use of resources within a field (for example, user-generated objects), current studies of institutional theory and technology have overlooked how actors respond to technologies that could potentially weaken their positions. Instead, existing studies have focused on how actors embed their interests in new technologies. Using qualitative methods in three empirical standalone papers, this dissertation explores three cases of how actors respond to the entrance of a disruptive technology in an institutional field. In Paper 1, co-authored with my thesis supervisors, we explore technology’s affordances as integral to threats of disruption to institutional settlement in the light of the introduction of the electronic book in the field of trade book publishing. In this case, we found that incumbents used rules/affordances bundles to temper the disruptive potential of the technology. In Paper 2, I explore the case of scholarly book publishing in which the possibilities afforded by Internet technologies make research available in Open Access, thus threatening to disrupt established institutional settlements (commercial publishers’ business models that are in place). In this case, the incumbents (the commercial publishers) address threats to undermine their privileged positions and interests effectively when they are not in a position to oppose a reconfiguration of current arrangements. In the third paper, I explore the case of the introduction of digital technologies into the music industry, in which unorganised and non-strategic actors - consumers - catalyse institutional change that organised actors adopt later. The dissertation’s main contribution is to the literature on institutional theory. The three empirical papers generated insights into how, despite the arrival of technologies with disruptive potential, changes driven by the search for a new settlement between conflicting interests led the incumbents and organised actors to responses that co-opted the disruptive potential of the technology, leading to alternative explanations to straight processes of institutional change. Instead of explaining straight processes of institutional change, I put forward the three following accounts: the dialectal interaction between opposing frames as driven by the dual forces of material interests and social positioning, the co-existence between institutional change and stability, and the accommodation between opposing interests.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4050 Electronic information resources
Departments: Cass Business School
Cass Business School > Management
Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses > Cass Doctoral Theses
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/22271
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