Organizational Learning under Organizational Impermanence: Collaborative Ties in Film Project Firms Article DOI:
Cite this article as: Ferriani, S., Corrado, R. & Boschetti, C. J Manage Governance (2005) 9: 257. doi:10.1007/s10997-005-7422-2 Abstract
In the last two decades a lot of research has been devoted to unveiling the processes through which organizations learn and store knowledge. This research is typically concerned with organizations lastingly engaged in the provision of goods or services. Permanency is usually presumed in order for the encoding of inferences from history to take place. But what if organizational permanency cannot be assumed ex-ante?
Project firms represent an interesting case in point. A project firm is a transient form of organization that ceases to exist as soon as its single target is achieved, as such it does not exhibit stable structures nor does it exhibit ostensible history-based paths upon which to build its choices and nurture its organizational knowledge. This apparent paradox can be resolved, in part, by extending the view from the isolated project to the relational context in which project firms operate. Using longitudinal data from the U.S. feature film industry, we show that the process of organizational formation and dissolution that characterizes this context is underpinned by patterns of enduring collaborations among interdependent industry participants. We build on these findings to speculate on processes of learning and remembering that interpenetrate project firms’ boundaries, by being embedded within a texture of stable interpersonal ties. Keywords film industry organizational impermanence organizational learning project firms repeated collaborations References Alvarez, J.L., Svejenova, S. 2002 Symbiotic Careers in Movie Making: Pedro and Agustin Almodovar Peiperl, M. Arthur, M. Anand, N. eds. Career Creativity: Explorations in the Remaking of Work Oxford University Press Oxford Google Scholar Argote, L. 1999Organizational Learning: Creating, Retaining, and Transferring Knowledge Kluwer Academic Boston Google Scholar Argote, L., Beckman, S.L., Epple, D. 1990 The Persistence and Transfer of Learning in Industrial Settings Management Science 36 140 155 Google Scholar Ascher, S., Pincus, E. 1999The Filmmaker’s Handbook A Comprehensive Guide for the Digital Age Plume Google Scholar Baker, W.E., Faulkner, R.R. 1991 Role as Resource in the Hollywood Film Industry American Journal of Sociology 97 279 309 CrossRef Google Scholar Balio, T. 1985The American Film Industry The University of Wisconsin Press Madison Google Scholar Berman, S., Down, J., Hill, C. 2002 Tacit Knowledge as a Source of Competitive Advantage in the National Basketball Association Academy of Management Journal 45 13 31 Google Scholar Blau, P. 1977Inequality and Heterogeneity Free Press New York Google Scholar Boschetti, C. 1998 Complementary Resources,Appropriability and Vertical Interfirm Relations in the Italian Movie Industry Journal of Management and Governance 2 37 70 CrossRef Google Scholar Brown Royal, S. 1994Overtones and Undertones: Reading Film Music University of California Press Berkeley Google Scholar Cartwright, D. 1968 The Nature of Group Cohesiveness Cartwright, D. Zander, A. eds. Group Dynamics: Research and Theory3 Tavistick Publications London Google Scholar Caves, R. 2000Creative Industries: Contracts between Art and Commerce Mass., Harvard Univ. Press Cambridge III IV Google Scholar
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