Fitness determinants in creative industries: A longitudinal study on the Hollywood film-making industry, 1992–2003

  • Simone Ferriani
  • Gino Cattani
  • Charles Baden-Fuller


It is often overlooked that fitness is a multidimensional concept, and that its components are context-specific. The multifaceted nature of fitness is most evident in cultural/creative industries, because firms are confronted with the challenge of balancing seemingly conflicting needs: artistic performance and commercial imperatives have to be satisfied for long term survival. In this study we examine two important component-traits that make up the fitness function for the Hollywood motion picture industry, which we argue are human capital and network capital. Although many studies have recognized the critical role of ‘creative’ human capital — which is typically embedded in individuals and groups — and network capital — that is, inter-organizational networks — we do not have many studies that empirically analyze their complex relationships using large scale data sets. We situate the analysis within the period 1992–2003, one in which we have good data and the industry appears relatively stable and very productive. While still exploratory, our paper shows how such human capital and network resources interact with the structure of the industry and influence different dimensions of the fitness function. We show how the traits work differently on the different dimensions of fitness to create a dynamic tension between creativity and performance.


Fitness Human capital Network resources Commercial and artistic performance 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simone Ferriani
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gino Cattani
    • 3
  • Charles Baden-Fuller
    • 4
  1. 1.Marie Curie Research Fellow, Cass Business SchoolCity UniversityLondonUK
  2. 2.Management DepartmentUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Management & OrganizationsThe Stern School — NYUNew York
  4. 4.Cass Business SchoolCity UniversityLondonUK

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