City Research Online

A methodological essay on the application of social sequence analysis to the study of creative trajectories

Formilan, G., Ferriani, S. ORCID: 0000-0001-9669-3486 & Cattani, G. (2020). A methodological essay on the application of social sequence analysis to the study of creative trajectories. In: Dörfler, V. & Stierand, M. (Eds.), Handbook of Research Methods on Creativity. . Edward Elgar.


In this essay, we present and illustrate a few applications of social sequence analysis (SSA) to the study of creativity. Focusing on complete sequences of events rather than on localized situations, SSA enables the analytical treatment of creativity as a process that unfolds over time, offering a fuller representation of temporal dynamics of creativity than is typically possible with other methods such as event history analysis, repeated measures, or panel design methods. We suggest that SSA holds great promise for research on creative industries, as it is particularly well suited to detect similarities among diverse creative trajectories while at the same time preserving their singularities. To substantiate our suggestions we employ data from the underground electronic music field to examine trajectories of stylistic variation and illustrate how to implement sequence methods to augment and/or complement other research designs. Our purpose is to stimulate interest in SSA and encourage its application to the study of creativity at the individual, organizational and industry level.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This is a draft chapter. The final version is available in Handbook of Research Methods on Creativity edited by V. Dörfler & M. Stierand, to be published in 2019, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, The material cannot be used for any other purpose without further permission of the publisher, and is for private use only.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
[thumbnail of FFC - SSA & Creativity.pdf]
Text - Accepted Version
Download (1MB) | Preview
Official URL:


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login