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Project management and the film industry value chain: the impact of cognitive biases on value creation and learning

Finney, Angus (2014). Project management and the film industry value chain: the impact of cognitive biases on value creation and learning. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


This thesis applies an ethnographic, qualitative research approach to a central question: In what ways does the presence of cognitive biases impact negatively on project management decision-making in the film industry? Are there ways that biases can best be avoided or at least reduced? This thesis cites evidence that managers are consistently unable to devise ways of effectively escaping the impact of cognitive bias, and that the majority are unaware of potential negative bias. My study explores whether and in what ways a deep knowledge of cognitive bias helps surmount the apparent limitations it imposes. My findings suggest that strategies involving cognitive behavioural theory provide researchers with significant insights into our understanding of creative management strategies to manage projects. Building on an extensive body of literature focused on biases in decision-making and their impact on forecasting, implementation and strategy, my thesis explores the concept that deep-seated cognitive habits have a direct impact on entrepreneurs’ ability to manage creative projects successfully. Drawing on my ethnographic and participant observer data over two decades of film industry research and practitioner-derived experience, I examine how useful cognitive bias theory is from a practical perspective. The film industry provides a rich seam of research and an intriguing case site. It provides a relevant environment to interrogate because film companies are essentially organised around projects. I cite evidence that suggests that managers capable of ‘switching gears’ and who openly acknowledge and embrace the role cognition plays in the leadership process gain both a creative and a competitive advantage. By testing this concept through the lens of the value chain model, we can begin to develop a cognitive methodology that inspires practical tools capable of navigating uncertainty and capturing value and knowledge.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD61 Risk Management
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
Doctoral Theses
Bayes Business School > Bayes Business School Doctoral Theses
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