Frederic Godart

Frederic Godart
INSEAD | INSEAD · Organisational Behaviour

PhD in Sociology, Columbia University

About

80
Publications
74,746
Reads
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1,194
Citations
Introduction
I study the dynamics of the creative industries with a focus on fashion and luxury (e.g., design, watchmaking, footwear). More specifically, I explore the impact of formal and informal social networks on creativity, as well as the role played by stylistic choices and brand dynamics in the formation of firms' and customers’ identities.
Additional affiliations
September 2018 - January 2020
HEC Paris
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
May 2014 - October 2014
University of Southern California
Position
  • Researcher
September 2011 - September 2018
INSEAD
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Education
September 2005 - June 2009
Columbia University
Field of study
  • Sociology
September 2001 - June 2002
University of Cambridge
Field of study
  • Social and Political Sciences
September 1998 - June 2001
Sciences Po Paris
Field of study
  • Management

Publications

Publications (80)
Article
Full-text available
This review integrates diverse characterizations of creativity from a sociological perspective with the goal of reinvigorating discussion of the sociology of creativity. We start by exploring relevant works of classical social theory to uncover key assumptions and principles, which are used as a theoretical basis for our proposed definition of crea...
Article
Full-text available
Research Summary We develop a framework for understanding how and when membership in a conglomerate affects a subsidiary’s creativity. Focusing on “sectoral” conglomerates with several subsidiaries in the same industry, we explain that the effect has two components: an imprinting effect at the time of affiliation, and a concurrent effect from ongoi...
Article
Full-text available
When organizations strategically adopt cultural elements-such as a name, a color, or a style-to create their products, they make crucial choices that position them in markets vis-à-vis competitors, audiences, and other stakeholders. However, while it is well understood how one specific cultural element gets adopted by actors and diffuses, it is not...
Article
Full-text available
Because we lack a usable definition of the concept of style to inform research on the creative industries, this chapter takes a first step toward developing a style-based perspective on them. The use of style in disciplines where the study of creative industries occupies a notable position (sociology, anthropology , cultural studies, and management...
Article
Project-based and short-term employment is widespread in the contemporary labor market, yet existing theories of social capital often rely on an organizationally bound model of work and careers. In this paper, we expand this perspective by examining the case of precarious employment in a creative industry to ask, what kinds of social ties promote o...
Preprint
Status constitutes a core research concept across the social sciences. However, its definition is still contested, and questions persist about its consequences. We begin with a flexible, provisional definition: status is a relational asset possessed by social actors insofar as they are highly regarded by highly-regarded others. Using this definitio...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The process and outcome of cultural stereotyping relies on a central paradox: while cultural stereotyping is often regarded as a maladaptive heuristic when applied indiscriminately, it may be effective at overcoming high levels of cultural distance in work relationships. We call this phenomenon the stereotype-as-heuristic paradox (SAHP). Drawing on...
Article
What can scholars learn from looking at how objects are interrelated in concrete social settings? We argue that even in the absence of directly observable materially-mediated relations between individuals, objects offer “traces” of institutional dynamics. More specifically, meaning-laden objects offer a window on the dynamics and intermingling of i...
Article
Full-text available
Diversification can be risky, as it extends a firm’s identity across multiple categories. This study examines cultural and symbolic strategies used to mitigate such risks by managing the emergence of multiple identities. A key strategic choice is “naming;” the parent’s name may be included in the new subsidiary’s name (“semantic seeding”) or not (“...
Chapter
Full-text available
The conception of markets as interfaces connecting semi-autonomous systems of producers and customers has led to an extensive use of social network analysis. So far, the network focus has been on connections among people, paying less attention to the crucial role played by connections between cultural elements (e.g., concepts, representations, idea...
Chapter
Can eco-sustainable fashion (i.e. fashion that is friendly to the environment during and after the production process) be also fashionable? While fashion is generally conceived as a process of recurrent change, eco-sustainable fashion implies fashion that lasts. This apparent contradiction in the definitions of fashion and eco-sustainability is mos...
Article
Full-text available
Losing key employees to competitors allows an organization to engage in external boundary-spanning activities. It may benefit the organization through access to external knowledge, but may also increase the risks of leaking knowledge to competitors. We propose that the destination of departed employees is a crucial contingency: benefits or risks on...
Article
Although it is often in the interest of individuals to implement networking strategies that erode their team’s social capital, it is unclear under what conditions such a social dilemma is more or less likely to occur. We focus on brokerage and closure as two dimensions of social structure where tension arises between individual networking strategie...
Article
Full-text available
Although it is often in the interest of individuals to implement networking strategies that erode their team’s social capital, it is unclear under what conditions such a social dilemma is more or less likely to occur. We focus on brokerage and closure as two dimensions of social structure where tension arises between individual networking strategie...
Article
Full-text available
This research explores whether the foreign professional experiences of influential executives predict firm-level creative output. We introduce a new theoretical model, the foreign experience model of creative innovations, to explain how three dimensions of executives' foreign work experiences—breadth, depth, and cultural distance—predict an organiz...
Conference Paper
In today’s creative economy, social capital is understood to play a crucial role in enabling the creativity and careers of individuals in an ever-changing environment. But what kind of networks—formal, informal, or other forms—are the best-suited for this type of context? To answer this question we look at the networks that sustain fashion models’...
Conference Paper
This paper brings the discussion of diversification into the symbolic-cognitive realm by examining how sub-category dynamics can be managed to enhance expert audiences’ creativity perception of the diversifier, or what we call perceptual creativity. We argue that when a parent firm’s tradeoff between legitimacy and distinctiveness in labeling offsp...
Conference Paper
The concept of style occupies a paradoxical position in management and strategy research. While it has been used fruitfully in exploring topics such as leadership or the impact of managers’ idiosyncrasies on organizations’ performance, it has neither been defined nor thoroughly operationalized. This paper examines the potential of the concept of st...
Conference Paper
When adopting cultural elements, for example when choosing which product categories to develop, or corporate values to adopt, organizations make choices that position them in markets vis-à-vis competitors, evaluating audiences, and other stakeholders. These choices are driven by multiple factors, and in turn drive the survival or demise of the said...
Chapter
Full-text available
Can eco-sustainable fashion (i.e. fashion that is friendly to the environment during and after the production process) be also fashionable? While fashion is generally conceived as a process of recurrent change, eco-sustainable fashion implies fashion that lasts. This apparent contradiction in the definitions of fashion and eco-sustainability is mos...
Article
Full-text available
Geography plays a crucial role in the fashion industry. For example, clothing brands are readily associated with specific countries and cities, and the apparel value chain is globalized in ways that have generated a lot of attention from social scientists, for example regarding outsourcing. In this article, the geographical perspective on fashion i...
Article
Full-text available
We examine the impact of key personnel’s loss to competition on their former employers’ creative performance. Using archival data on the career histories of designers and the creative performance of their fashion houses between 2000 and 2010, we find that a house’s outward centrality in the network of personnel mobility—resulting from personnel dep...
Chapter
Full-text available
Together with the other BRICS countries -Brazil, India, China, and South Africa -Russia demonstrates a high potential for luxury consumption. With a total population of approximately 143 million people, a growth in gross domestic product (GDP) of 4.3 per cent in 2011, and 3.4 per cent in 2012 (The World Bank 2013), the Russian market has attracted...
Chapter
Full-text available
Luxury plays a pivotai role in the traditional structure of Chinese society. In the Confucian tradition it is used to bind the different elements of the national community. For example, in a professional context, gift-giving is a way to honour one's superiors, peers, or subordinates on special occasions. In a family context, it is a way to show gra...
Chapter
Full-text available
Together with the other BRICS countries — Brazil, India, China, and South Africa — Russia demonstrates a high potential for luxury consumption. With a total population of approximately 143 million people, a growth in gross domestic product (GDP) of 4.3 per cent in 2011, and 3.4 per cent in 2012 (The World Bank 2013), the Russian market has attracte...
Chapter
Luxury plays a pivotal role in the traditional structure of Chinese society. In the Confucian tradition it is used to bind the different elements of the national community. For example, in a professional context, gift-giving is a way to honour one’s superiors, peers, or subordinates on special occasions. In a family context, it is a way to show gra...
Conference Paper
Research has shown that having a broader identity (that of a generalist) leads to decreased appreciation by social audiences because of a) an increased difficulty in evaluating such a widespread identity, b) a diminished ability on the part of the identity holder (the candidate) to simultaneously please various audiences. This, in turn, leads to an...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Could social actors’ network strategies be at odds with the interests of the broader collective entities to which they belong? We tackle this question through the lens of social dilemmas, and focus on brokerage and closure as two dimensions of social structure in which the tension between individual network strategies and collective outcomes takes...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we bring together the existing sociological knowledge on fashion, and the main part of the review is of classical and recent sociological work. To further the development of this largely interdisciplinary field, we also highlight the key points of research in other disciplines. We define fashion as an unplanned process of recurrent...
Article
Full-text available
Firms can be conceived as political entities in which various stakeholders struggle against each other to reach goals. From this standpoint, the organizational structure of a firm, together with the power relations and strategies deployed by stakeholders, constitute a governance regime. It is understood that the economic performance of a firm is im...
Chapter
Full-text available
Identities, which can be defined as “any source of action, any entity to which observers can attribute meaning not explicable from biophysical regularities” (White, 2008, p. 2), seek to reduce the turmoil of social and biophysical life through control, which includes, but is not limited to, domination or coercion. Identities, which can be of any le...
Article
Full-text available
In sociology, a key challenge is to comprehend the formation of aesthetic choices in the highly uncertain settings of the creative industries. The multidimensional proximity perspective – which goes beyond the geographical – developed in economic geography can be used to complement sociological approaches to the formation of choices in creative con...
Article
Full-text available
Review of: Patrik Aspers. Markets. Cambridge and Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2011, 202 pp. and Frederick F. Wherry. The Culture of Markets. Cambridge and Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2012, 158 pp.
Article
Although previous research has demonstrated that certain types of multicultural experiences facilitate creativity, most of this evidence has been limited to laboratory studies. The current research examines and refines these effects in a business context, the one where creative performance essentially defines success – the global fashion industry....
Chapter
In the early twenty-first century, fashion is so pervasive that it seems inherent to social and economic life, almost a “natural” thing that no one can escape. However, fashion as we know it — with its powerful industrial infrastructure, its widespread appeal as a career, and its media omnipresence — has not always been around. When and where did i...
Chapter
To most people, fashion can daze and confuse.1 On the one hand, fashion professionals often feel overwhelmed by the pace of change in the industry, as well as by the pressure exerted on them to squeeze a living out of an inherently creative process that is undoubtedly a form of artistic expression. In a recent (and rare) interview given to Le Monde...
Chapter
Fashion is a total social fact, a phenomenon where most spheres of social life intersect. It navigates between imitation and distinction, individuals and society. It is a set of institutions that produce garments laden with meanings, which individuals and groups use for infusing their identities with more or less conscious messages. The “fashion fo...
Chapter
The second principle that defines fashion as we know it today is the principle of convergence. This principle means that fashion is characterized by the existence of trends, a feature that is mysterious and must be accounted for. Trends seem to be a natural phenomenon, but they exist only through the actions of individuals and organizations, and ar...
Chapter
The fifth principle of fashion is an extension of the previous one — the personalization principle — because it generalizes the power of personal labels by embodying them in brands and emancipating them from the fashion designers as people. While the type of fashion created by Charles Frederick Worth was centered on specific individuals, fashion de...
Chapter
The third principle of fashion as we know it today is its autonomy as a creative endeavor. The emergence of the autonomy principle in dress fashion is recent and, as is the case for all of the other principles, the result of a long and intricate historical process. Symbolically, it is Queen Marie Antoinette of France (1755–1793) who made this princ...
Chapter
The founder of haute couture, and “contemporary” fashion in general, was Charles Frederick Worth (1825–1895), a British designer who opened his fashion house in Paris in the late 1850s. He introduced many innovations still in force in the early twenty-first century, such as biannual fashion shows, the use of living models, whom he called “sosies” (...
Chapter
This book offers both a deep look into the history of the fashion industry, and a birds-eye-view of the main academic and practical knowledge produced on this industry. In this sense, it is an exercise in “fashionology” at the crossroads of fashion as a significant economic activity, and as an intriguing research topic. It is a sketch of today’s fa...
Book
Proposing a comprehensive account of the global fashion industry this book aims to present fashion as a social and cultural fact. Drawing on six principles from the industry, Godart guides the reader through the economic, social and political arena of the world's most glamorous industry.
Article
Face a l’existence d’une forte incertitude dans les industries dites « de la creation », comment les producteurs culturels prennent-ils des decisions ? Nous abordons cette question en etudiant un cas particulier, la selection des mannequins par les maisons de mode pour leurs defiles dans les villes de New York, Londres, Milan et Paris. Les donnees...
Article
Full-text available
While structure and culture often are proclaimed dual and yet autonomous, this paper spells out a processual approach in which structure and culture are seen as intertwined and interdependent formations. To that end, we aim at understanding how meanings come to be, then build into process, and become integrated in a set of constructs of differing s...
Chapter
Full-text available
How are you exhibiting that you are acting in a market, or that instead you are caught up in internal affairs of a big hierarchical firm? And what would be the tangible evidences of your being in a different sort of context altogether, a Silicon Alley of network mobilizations among aficionados in some novel technical line of business or design? The...
Article
Full-text available
Faced with high uncertainty, how do producers in the cultural economy make creative decisions? We present a case study of the fashion modeling industry. Using participant observation, interviews and network analysis of the Spring/Summer 2007 Fashion Week collections, we explain how producers select models for fashion shows. While fashion producers...
Article
Full-text available
This article adapts and extends the 'network-domain' concept from Harrison White's Identity and Control in order to consider how social ties are interwoven with domains of meaning in organizations. Our interpretation claims that modalities of behaviour in organizations are consequences of identities' persistent movements among positions in network-...
Article
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Some see the development and execution of strategy as necessarily driving outcomes of organizational activity, thereby ignoring counter-actions, stochastic disturbances and unintended consequences. We suggest an alternative to these deterministic assumptions based on a broader view of social organization and illustrated through case examples. Strat...
Article
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Harrison White is a major figure of North American sociology and an important theorist of social network analysis. His book Identity and Control, first published in 1992 and currently being revised for a second edition, proposes a structural theory of social action that aims at substantially modifying our sociological imagination. This article sugg...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose – This paper aims to question the disappearance of sector-specific regulation in European electronic communications markets. Design/methodology/approach – To show that sector-specific regulation will remain, five arguments are developed based on different disciplines: law, economics, political science and sociology. Findings – It is found t...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
Study various aspects of fashion-as-change and the global fashion industry in general
Project
To study the factors that contribute to organizational creativity