How Overlapping Connections Between Groups Interact with Value Differences in Explaining Creativity?

Antti Gronow, Anssi Smedlund & Aasa Karimo

In: Lehtimäki, Hanna/Uusikylä, Petri/Smedlund, Anssi (eds.), Society as an Interaction Space, Singapore: Springer, pp. 135-159.

Abstract. We build on recent developments in network theory and the sociology of valuation, and we propose that the overlapping connections that groups have with each other (i.e., structural folds) and differences in within-group values are substitutes for explaining creativity (coming up with new ideas and practices). Thus, only groups that lack overlapping connections with other groups stand to benefit from within-group value differences. In order to test this proposition, we developed a scale to measure differences in values in organizational cliques. We constructed 280 cliques of 104 employees at a professional service firm on the basis of their advice relations and tested whether group overlaps and diverging values were positively associated with a group’s creativity and their joint effect. As expected, group overlaps only have a positive effect on creativity when values do not diverge. Furthermore, divergence of values contributes to creativity only when overlapping connections between groups are lacking. These findings are explained by presenting a compensatory theory of the function of overlapping group memberships and differences in values. The findings contribute both to the research on group processes and creativity in network theory as well as the effects of values in social sciences.

Extract. “In addition to pointing out beneficial structural properties of networks, the theory of structural folds also builds on ideas presented by the French school of thought known as the economics of convention (Boltanski and Thévenot 2006). Representatives of the economics of convention school maintain that “economic exchange is only possible to the extent to which there is a pre-existing understanding (a ‘convention’) on the ‘quality’ of the exchanged goods and on the cognitive instruments that allow that quality to be measured” (Vatin 2013: 35). This means that arriving at a basic agreement on what counts as being valuable is a prerequisite for economic exchange to take place. However, there are obviously also instances of disagreement on issues of valuation. For example, is nature valuable to the extent that it can be measured in economic terms, or does it contain some inherent values that do not come down to economic growth? Boltanski and Thévenot (2006) argued that, when people disagree on what is valuable, they tend to rely on six or seven kinds of justifications to make their point. These include justifications that rely on inspiration, fame, the market, the environment, or on domestic (as in the family), industrial, or civic issues as criteria for judging what is deemed valuable. We won’t go through these value traditions in detail, but Boltanski and Thévenot (2006) traced the roots of each logic of justification to the history of philosophy and their study has spurred empirical analyses which, for example, compare value-based justifications used in different countries (Moody and Thévenot 2000; Ylä-Anttila and Luhtakallio 2016).” (p. 138-139)

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Formation et dynamiques d’une catégorie de marché alternatif : une approche sociogénétique et ethnographique des musiques indépendantes

Boris Collet (2020)

Thèse en sciences de gestion, soutenue le 3 décembre 2020 à l’université de Rouen Normandie

Jury:
M. Éric RÉMY, Professeur / Université Toulouse III, Codirecteur de thèse
M. Renaud GARCIA-BARDIDIA, Professeur / Université de Rouen Normandie, Codirecteur de thèse
M. Philippe ROBERT-DEMONTROND, Professeur / Université de Rennes I, Rapporteur
Mme Dominique ROUX, Professeure / Université de Reims, Rapportrice
M. Baptiste CLERET, Maître de Conférences / Université de Rouen Normandie, Examinateur
Mme Delphine DION, Professeure / ESSEC Business School, Examinatrice
Mme Nil ÖZÇAĞLAR-TOULOUSE, Professeure / Université de Lille, Examinatrice
M. Joonas ROKKA, Professeur / EM Lyon Business School, Examinateur

Résumé. Au cours des dernières décennies, la notion d’indépendance s’est imposée dans un grand nombre de secteurs des industries culturelles et créatives. Dans cette thèse, nous nous intéressons à l’émergence de la catégorie indépendante au sein du marché musical et à ses dynamiques avec la catégorie dominante en mobilisant les apports théorico-méthodologiques de la sociologie pragmatique dans l’articulation de trois concepts interreliés – marché(s), intermédiation et valeurs. À cet effet, nous avons mené une ethnographie multi-située de quatre ans au contact des acteurs de la scène musicale afin de mettre au jour les principes sous-jacents, c’est-à-dire les fondements axiologiques, qui caractérisent l’indépendance en tant que catégorie culturelle, économique et artistique. En parallèle, nous avons procédé à une analyse sociohistorique afin de comprendre l’émergence et le développement de cette catégorie de marché et d’en établir une périodisation. Nos analyses permettent d’établir que l’indépendance est le lieu de tensions entre plusieurs représentations et d’affrontements idéologiques. De plus, elles confirment le rôle des intermédiaires et de leurs dispositifs dans la catégorisation des marchés et la valorisation des biens. En situant cette recherche au croisement des théories culturelles de la consommation (CCT) et du macromarketing, nous concluons en discutant de la marchandisation de la culture et des formes alternatives de marketization. Nous exposons également les implications pour les acteurs du marché et les institutions dans la mise en place de stratégies commerciales et de politiques culturelles en faisant valoir les spécificités de l’indépendance en tant que mode de production et de consommation alternatif. Cette recherche ouvre ainsi la voie à l’étude des perspectives éthiques de la consommation culturelle.

Extrait. “L’approche conventionnaliste des marchés dont nous nous inspirons fait le lien entre valeurs et marchés en s’intéressant à la variété de modes de coordination (Eymard-Duvernay, 2006). En parallèle, d’autres auteurs de ce courant mettent en avant le rôle des intermédiaires et des dispositifs dans la formation des marchés (e.g., Bessy et Chauvin, 2014 ; Chiapello et Godefroy, 2017 ; Karpik, 2007). En effet, les intermédiaires sont des acteurs centraux de la formation de catégories de marché (Durand et Thornton, 2018 ; Khaire, 2017b). L’intermédiation contribue ainsi à la fois à la création de nouveaux marchés et à définir de nouvelles conventions d’évaluation. L’objectif de cette recherche est donc de mieux comprendre la catégorie indépendante, ses conventions, les cadres d’évaluation qui la sous-tendent et le rôle joué par les différents acteurs et dispositifs du marché dans sa genèse, sa diffusion et sa stabilisation (Bessy et Chauvin, 2013). À ce titre, il est question de mettre au jour les principes axiologiques de l’indépendance à partir des apports théoriques et méthodologiques de la sociologie compréhensive et pragmatique des valeurs (Boltanski et Thévenot, 1991 ; Heinich, 2017a).”

Formation and dynamics of an alternative market category: a sociogenetic and ethnographic approach to independent music

PhD thesis. Rouen: University of Rouen

Abstract. Over the past few decades, the notion of independent has become established in many sectors of the cultural and creative industries. In this thesis, we examine the emergence of the independent category within the music market and its dynamics with the dominant category by mobilizing the theoretical-methodological contributions of pragmatic sociology in the articulation of three interrelated concepts – market(s), intermediation and values. To this end, we conducted a four-year multi-site ethnography in contact with actors of the music scene in order to uncover the underlying principles, i.e., the axiological foundations, that characterize independence as a cultural, economic, and artistic category. At the same time, we carried out a socio-historical analysis in order to understand the emergence and development of this market category and to establish its periodization. Our analyses allow us to establish that independence is the site of tensions between several representations and ideological confrontations. Moreover, they confirm the role of intermediaries and their devices in the categorization of markets and the valuation of goods. By situating this research at the crossroads of cultural theories of consumption (CCT) and macromarketing, we conclude by discussing the commodification of culture and alternative forms of marketization. We also outline the implications for market actors and institutions in the implementation of commercial strategies and cultural policies, highlighting the specificities of independence as an alternative mode of production and consumption. This research paves the way for the study of the ethical perspectives of cultural consumption. »

Extract. “The convention theorist approach to markets from which we draw inspiration links values and markets by looking at the variety of modes of coordination (Eymard-Duvernay, 2006). At the same time, other authors of this trend highlight the role of intermediaries and mechanisms in the formation of markets (e.g., Bessy and Chauvin, 2014; Chiapello and Godefroy, 2017; Karpik, 2007). Indeed, intermediaries are central actors in the formation of market categories (Durand and Thornton, 2018; Khaire, 2017b). Intermediation thus contributes both to the creation of new markets and to the definition of new evaluation conventions. The objective of this research is therefore to better understand the independent category, its conventions, the evaluation frameworks that underlie it and the role played by the different actors and devices in the market in its genesis, diffusion and stabilization (Bessy and Chauvin, 2013). As such, the axiological principles of independence are to be brought to light based on the theoretical and methodological contributions of the comprehensive and pragmatic sociology of values (Boltanski and Thévenot, 1991; Heinich, 2017a).”

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