Cracking creative tensions

For immediate release: Monday 19 April 2010

Conflict between creative and commercial interests is putting Scotland’s creative industries at risk, according to a recent study conducted by the University of Abertay Dundee.

The Dundee Business School research project,‘Supporting Small Firm Growth Strategies in the Digital Media Industries’ aimed to pinpoint the strategic and management issues which act as a barrier to growth. The initial results of the study will be presented and discussed at a free workshop this week, which also aims to gather further insights from industry figures.

The DBS study, funded through an ESRC Business Engagement Scheme, was conducted with a business partner, Denki, an SME from the computer games sector, and via interviews with various industry representatives.

Katherine Champion, Research Assistant said,“We found that business activity in the creative industries is underpinned by a tension between creative and commercial priorities. On one hand, businesses require to foster creativity yet also exploit and commercialise it, encourage employees to produce creative client solutions whilst working within client specifications, and manage innovation to generate IP and overall efficiency.

“In practice, these demands are often conflicting rather than complementary and such tensions require a sophisticated change in management capability and, in some cases, drastic organisational change. The effective management of these paradoxes requires high levels of managerial expertise, strategic vision, and effective organisational structures,” she added.

The free workshop this Wednesday will report the study findings to the sector and supporting public sector agencies, as well as students interested in undertaking a career within the creative industries. The workshop is designed to share, through practical tasks, knowledge generated to date but also to co-create knowledge through scenario-based tasks in relation to a fictitious case-study firm undergoing change.

The event will be held in the Dundee Business School, University of Abertay Dundee, Bell Street, Dundee from 12.30-1.45pm on Wednesday 21 April 2010.

To register, please contact Katherine Champion, Research Assistant, ESRC Business Engagement Project, Dundee Business School, University of Abertay Dundee– email


Media enquiries: Kevin Coe, tel 07850 904110, email

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