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Organizational Learning under Organizational Impermanence: Collaborative Ties in Film Project Firms

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  • Simone Ferriani

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  • Raffaele Corrado
  • Carlo Boschetti

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. Copyright Springer 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Simone Ferriani & Raffaele Corrado & Carlo Boschetti, 2005. "Organizational Learning under Organizational Impermanence: Collaborative Ties in Film Project Firms," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 9(3), pages 257-285, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jmgtgv:v:9:y:2005:i:3:p:257-285 DOI: 10.1007/s10997-005-7422-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nobuyuki Hanaki & Alexander Peterhansl & Peter S. Dodds & Duncan J. Watts, 2007. "Cooperation in Evolving Social Networks," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(7), pages 1036-1050, July.
    2. Franco Malerba & Richard Nelson & Luigi Orsenigo & Sidney G. Winter, 2001. "History-Friendly Models: an Overview of the Case of the Computer Industry," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 4(3), pages 1-6.
    3. Malerba, Franco, et al, 1999. "'History-Friendly' Models of Industry Evolution: The Computer Industry," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(1), pages 3-40, March.
    4. Robert Axtell, 1999. "The Emergence of Firms in a Population of Agents," Working Papers 99-03-019, Santa Fe Institute.
    5. Joshua M. Epstein & Robert L. Axtell, 1996. "Growing Artificial Societies: Social Science from the Bottom Up," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262550253, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Charlie Karlsson & Robert G. Picard, 2011. "Media Clusters: What Makes them Unique?," Chapters,in: Media Clusters, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Karlsson, Charlie & Rouchy, Philippe, 2013. "Media clusters and metropolitan knowledge economy," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 328, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    3. Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay, 2010. "Montreal’s Technological and Cultural Clusters Strategy: The Case of the Multimedia, and Film and Audiovisual Production," Chapters,in: Economic Strategies for Mature Industrial Economies, chapter 3 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Karl Breunig & Katja Hydle, 2013. "Remote control: measuring performance for value creation and governance of globally distributed knowledge work," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 17(3), pages 559-582, August.
    5. Ferriani, Simone & Cattani, Gino & Baden-Fuller, Charles, 2009. "The relational antecedents of project-entrepreneurship: Network centrality, team composition and project performance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1545-1558, December.

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