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Project Organization, Embeddedness and Risk in Magazine Publishing


  • Carol Ekinsmyth


This paper focuses on the relationship between project forms of organization and new forms of employment, risk and exploitation in magazine publishing, and the ways in which these are embedded in place and social networks. It considers the organizational practices of the industry arguing that they represent a form of 'neo-industrial organizing', where, at the blurred boundaries of the 'firm', production is organized as 'project'. Evidence from interviews with 41 magazine industry workers reveals that key amongst the foundational mechanisms of this project form of organization are constructions of project workers as simultaneously highly responsible and insecure. This is brought about through the interplay of asymmetric power relations in highly socialized networks, geographical clustering and the transfer of risk from capital to labour at the margins of the firm. Cet article focalise sur le rapport entre l'organisation de projet et les nouvelles formes d'emplois, de risque et d'exploitation dans l'edition de revues, et la facon dont elles se voient ancrer dans des reseaux geographiques et sociaux. On considere les pratiques organisationnelles de l'industrie, tout en soutenant qu'elles representent une forme d'organisation 'neo-industrielle', ou la production est organise sous forme d'un projet aux limites indistinctes de 'l'entreprise'. Il ressort des preuves provenant des interviews aupres de 41 salaries des maisons d'edition de revues que le mecanisme de base cle de cette forme d'organisation de projet c'est l'interpretation des salaries de projet comme a la fois responsables et instables. Cela s'explique par l'interaction du degre d'influence asymetrique au sein des reseaux hautement socialises, le regroupement geographique et le transfert du risque apartir du capital a l'emploi en marge de l'entreprise. Dieser Aufsatz untersucht die Beziehungen zwischen Projektorganisation und neuen Formen der Erwerbstatigkeit, Risiken und Ausbeutung, sowie der Art und Weisen, wie diese in lokale und gesellschaftliche Netzwerke eingebettet sind. Er betrachtet die organisatorischen Praktiken in der untersuchten Branche als eine Form 'neo-industrieller Organisation' in der Produktion in 'Projekten' die Unternehmensgrenzen zunehmend verwischt. Interviews mit 41 Beschaftigten der Zeitschriftenindustrie zeigen, dass--als konstitutives Moment dieser projektformigen Organisation--die Projektmitarbeiter als hoch verantwortlich und zugleich hochst unsicher betrachtet werden. Dies resultiert aus dem Zusammenspiel von asymmetrischen Machtverhaltnissen in stark vergesellschafteten Netzwerken, raumlicher Konzentration und der Verlagerung von Risiko von Kapital zu Arbeit an den Grenzlinien der Unternehmen.

Suggested Citation

  • Carol Ekinsmyth, 2002. "Project Organization, Embeddedness and Risk in Magazine Publishing," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(3), pages 229-243.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:36:y:2002:i:3:p:229-243
    DOI: 10.1080/00343400220122043

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Allen J. Scott, 1997. "The Cultural Economy of Cities," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(2), pages 323-339, June.
    2. Bjørn T. Asheim, 2007. "Industrial Districts as ‘Learning Regions’: A Condition for Prosperity," Chapters,in: The Learning Region, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. Roberta Comunian & Alessandra Faggian & Qian Cher Li, 2010. "Unrewarded careers in the creative class: The strange case of bohemian graduates," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 89(2), pages 389-410, June.
    2. Tara Vinodrai, 2011. "Understanding Canada’s Evolving Design Economy," Chapters,in: Handbook of Creative Cities, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Ibert, Oliver, 2004. "Projects and firms as discordant complements: organisational learning in the Munich software ecology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1529-1546, December.
    4. Mark Lorenzen & Lars Frederiksen, 2005. "On the Economics of Innovation Projects Product Experimentation in the Music Industry," DRUID Working Papers 05-23, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    5. Maria Abreu & Alessandra Faggian & Roberta Comunian & Philip McCann, 2012. "“Life is short, art is long”: the persistent wage gap between Bohemian and non-Bohemian graduates," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 49(2), pages 305-321, October.
    6. Allen J Scott, 2005. "Cultural-Products Industries And Urban Economic Development: Prospects For Growth And Market Contestation In Global Context," Urban/Regional 0511005, University Library of Munich, Germany.


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