What are the determinants of change culture within a firm and how can they be explained in relation to organizational structure and industry context? Two relatively small cases from the creative industries.

Guro Røberg

Student thesis: Master thesis


Shared macro-industry context and generic firm commonalities would suggest that organizations would have similar approaches to change, but is that really the case? This assignment goes out to investigate change cultures within two firms from the creative industries. The aim is to identify the factors that shape how they deal with change and to understand what it is that makes them deal with change so differently. No change management model are perfectly predictive, and this assignment applies two complementary theories that differs in seeing organizational inertia as either central or peripheral, which accordingly deems change as either a necessary evil or naturally continuous. The analysis incorporates internal organizational factors and external environmental elements in order to provide a rich explanation of the determinants of change culture. Studying the music venue Jazz House and the publishing house The Danish Architectural Press provides insight into two small firms operating in niche fields within the creative industries. Despite their obvious similarities, i.e. small in absolute size, established macro-industry context, operating at minimum scale of efficiency and facing two-sided markets, they have significantly different change cultures. This study suggests that it is the micro-industry specificities that impacts firm size and structure the most, i.e. nature of the product, product life cycles and workflow, which indicates high levels of isomorphism. This is primarily due to both levels of microindustries building on traditional structures that are proven successful, and thus provide the template actors will model after, i.e. live music and magazine publishing respectively. Size and structure are seen as the central differentiating factors between the two cases and are regarded as highly determinant of change culture. Disregarding micro-industry differences the relative and discrete variances in size (4 at Jazz House versus 15 The Danish Architectural Press) cause the firms to be structured inversely. The larger firm generate a hierarchical firm with departmental structure relies more greatly on executive management and planned change, while the smaller firm produce a flat hierarchical firm with constant interaction among staff members, high transparency and shared commitments. The larger firm is seen as relatively more inertial than the smaller firm due to increased social and structural rigidities.

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2013
Number of pages120