Organising against appropriation. How self-employed workers in the creative industries make things work

Boukje Cnossen

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisScientific

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Abstract

Although larger firms have several advantages when it comes to operating in competitive markets, western economies have a growing number of one-person firms or individual entrepreneurs. This creates new relevance for the question of how selfemployed workers can organise themselves in order to capture some of the benefits that come with being part of an organisation. This dissertation looks at this question by using three qualitative case studies, each zooming in on a particular setting where self-employed workers share space and work together. It employs a practicebased approach to organising and borrows from literature on labour in the creative and cultural industries across various disciplines, such as sociology, anthropology, and management.
The main theoretical approach adopted in this dissertation sees organisations as temporary results of communicative practices. Such practices are explored in the context of two creative spaces and a network-like organisation of community artists in Amsterdam. Countering the widely-held idea that organisations must have a clear identity, or display unity in how they present themselves to the outside world, it is argued that the organising and organisations discussed in this dissertation all rely on selective modes of appropriation. This term is put forward to capture the fact that the organisations and the modes of organising discussed, make no attempt to appropriate the artistic and creative content their members produce. It is theorized that this allows for flexible modes of membership negotiation and institutional positioning, which better serves the members’ fluctuating strategic needs.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Tilburg University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • van Witteloostuijn, Arjen, Promotor
  • Sergi, Viviane, Co-promotor, External person
Award date16 Jan 2018
Place of PublicationTilburg
Publisher
Print ISBNs978 90 5668 545 4
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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cultural economy
earning a doctorate
worker
firm
entrepreneur
artist
anthropology
sociology
labor
economy
human being
industry
market
management
community

Cite this

Cnossen, Boukje. / Organising against appropriation. How self-employed workers in the creative industries make things work. Tilburg : CentER, Center for Economic Research, 2018. 136 p.
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Cnossen, B 2018, 'Organising against appropriation. How self-employed workers in the creative industries make things work', Doctor of Philosophy, Tilburg University, Tilburg.

Organising against appropriation. How self-employed workers in the creative industries make things work. / Cnossen, Boukje.

Tilburg : CentER, Center for Economic Research, 2018. 136 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisScientific

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AB - Although larger firms have several advantages when it comes to operating in competitive markets, western economies have a growing number of one-person firms or individual entrepreneurs. This creates new relevance for the question of how selfemployed workers can organise themselves in order to capture some of the benefits that come with being part of an organisation. This dissertation looks at this question by using three qualitative case studies, each zooming in on a particular setting where self-employed workers share space and work together. It employs a practicebased approach to organising and borrows from literature on labour in the creative and cultural industries across various disciplines, such as sociology, anthropology, and management.The main theoretical approach adopted in this dissertation sees organisations as temporary results of communicative practices. Such practices are explored in the context of two creative spaces and a network-like organisation of community artists in Amsterdam. Countering the widely-held idea that organisations must have a clear identity, or display unity in how they present themselves to the outside world, it is argued that the organising and organisations discussed in this dissertation all rely on selective modes of appropriation. This term is put forward to capture the fact that the organisations and the modes of organising discussed, make no attempt to appropriate the artistic and creative content their members produce. It is theorized that this allows for flexible modes of membership negotiation and institutional positioning, which better serves the members’ fluctuating strategic needs.

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Cnossen B. Organising against appropriation. How self-employed workers in the creative industries make things work. Tilburg: CentER, Center for Economic Research, 2018. 136 p. (CentER Dissertation Series).