Article

Playing across the Playground: Paradoxes of knowledge creation in the video-game industry1

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Abstract

This contribution aims at highlighting how a video-game firm copes in managing creativity and expression of artistic values, while meeting the constraints of the economics of mass entertainment. The research is based on an ethnographic study in one of the largest video game studios in the world located in Montréal. The approach considers that the creative units of the firms are the "communities of specialists" (game developers, software programmers, etc…). Each of these communities, which has found in Montreal a fertile soil that nurtures their creative potential, is focused on both exploration and exploitation of a given domain of knowledge. In order to valorize these sources of creativity, the integration forces implemented by the managers of the firm in order to bind the creative units together for achieving commercial successes reveal a hybrid form of project management which combines decentralized modular platforms, with strict constraints on time, and a specific management of space that favours informal interactions. However, we suggest that the integration forces put forwards by the firm are not just for harnessing creative units: they generate also "creative slacks" for further expansion of creativity.

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... A creative project can therefore incorporate new ideas, innovative suggestions and all these micro-creative inputs that materialize from the day-to-day activities or that are drawn from the soil of the creative city. It has been argued that, thanks to the creative role of communities, innovative firms can accumulate a "creative slack", which is one of the main sources of growth for the firm (Cohendet and Simon, 2007). Thus, it is as if these innovative firms of the upperground, while concentrating internally on the formation and exploitation of creative slack as their key internal core competence, delegate the building of creative capabilities of the communities to the local milieu of the city. ...
... Overall, this rich ecosystem has widely added to the cluster's dynamism, and to the emergence of an increasing interest for video game development inside the underground. In many ways, Ubisoft has benefited from the growing experience of this local creative workforce, well trained in computer science, cinema, fine arts, literature, theatre, management and marketing (Cohendet and Simon, 2007). ...
... These places (which could be café s, restaurants, squares, public areas, old warehouses, etc.) are recipients, combiners and transmitters of traveling or circulating knowledge (Zukin, 1995;Mommas, 2004). Accordingly, these "playgrounds for creativity" (Cohendet and Simon, 2007) give an opportunity for individuals to meet and gather around a common creative platform from which unexpected projects can arise. They activate the existence of relationships where people are able to internalize shared understanding or are able to translate particular performances on the basis of their own tacit and codified knowledge. ...
Article
The aim of this contribution is to depict and analyze the dynamics of situated creativity by presenting an anatomy of the creative city and an understanding of the emergence and formation of creative processes in these particular local ecologies of knowledge. We propose to study the anatomy of the creative city by defining three different layers—the upperground, the middleground and the underground—as the basic components of the creative processes in local innovative milieus. Each one of these layers intervenes with specific characteristics in the creative process, and enables new knowledge to transit from an informal micro-level to a formal macro-level. In order to illustrate this point of view, the creative city of Montreal is analyzed through two main case studies: Ubisoft and the Cirque du Soleil.
... Or as Knight and Harvey (2015) explain: 'At the heart of managing creative organizations is reconciling these competing demands of flexibility and efficiency' (810). Another example of this tension is represented as two groups sharing opposite values, who need to cohabit, in Cohendet and Simon (2007)'s research. The same tension was noted by March (1991) between exploration and exploitation in organizations many years ago. ...
... Alvesson (1994) Advertising agencies Management of identities in advertising agencies Cohendet and Simon (2007) Video game Interactions of managers and creative workers through project management Eikhof and Haunschild (2007) Theatre Logics of artistic and economic practices in theatre Eikhof and Haunschild (2006) Theatre Lifestyle of workers in the creative industries Elsbach (2009) Toys design Professional identity of creative workers (signature style of creative workers) Gateau and Simon (2016) Circus industry Discovery, development, and engagement of the creative talents Hackley and Kover (2007) Advertising agencies Professional identity of creative workers in advertising agencies Haunschild and Eikhof (2009) Theatre German theatrical employment system (human resources management) Hodgson and Briand (2013) Video game Forms of control in a video game development studio Khodyakov (2007) Orchestra Control and trust in creative organizations Knight and Harvey (2015) Global media organization Paradox in creative organizations Teipen (2008) Video game Work and employment model of the creative industries Tuori and Vil en (2011) Video game, opera Discourses in creative organizations Zackariasson, Walfisz, and ...
Article
Creative organizations are characterized by a tension between creative work and business. Our research mobilizes Boltanski and Thévenot’s Economies of Worth framework to explore, through the concept of compromise, how this tension is accommodated in the management of creative workers. Based on our study of eleven small advertising agencies, we identify four profiles for the management of creative work: Versatile, Creator, Manager, and Technician. Each of those profiles deals differently with the tension between creative work and business. Drawing on Boltanski and Thévenot’s framework, every profile is analyzed in terms of compromises between orders of worth, that allow the agencies to properly manage the tension. Moreover, instead of seeing management as killing creative work, we show how it can foster it. Our research contributes to the literature by developing a typology for the management of creative work that suggests four viable ways to structure creative work in advertising agencies.
... As of fall 2011, Ubisoft Montreal studio is the largest videogame development studio in the world. This French-owned video game developer and editor established a studio in Montréal, in 1997 to benefit from substantial grants and tax credits offered by the provincial government , but also from the growing experience of the local creative workforce, well-trained in computer-science, cinema, fine arts, literature, theatre, management and marketing (Cohendet and Simon, 2007). The Montreal Studio hires employees mainly from Montreal (around 80 %), most of whom have been trained in the Montreal arts and computer schools, and in various university business programs. ...
... He emphasized the existence of a strong tendency to "reinvent the wheel" all around the organization. A study conducted at this point would show this position as slightly exaggerated, as specific active units would already intensely foster knowledge circulation and exploration: the "communities of specialists" (Cohendet and Simon, 2007). ...
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The aim of this contribution is to proceed to an in-depth exploration of the micro-context of the origin of routines and of their intimate link with organizational creativity. Our view is that organizational creativity orchestrates continuous interactions between different types of routines, operating at different levels of the organization. More precisely we propose distinguishing three types of routines: - First, the routines issued from formal structures or hierarchical working groups in the firm (functional groups, project teams, task force, etc.), for which the context of work and coordination of specialized tasks is defined ex ante by the hierarchy of the firm; - Second, the routines emerging from informal structures, the “knowing communities” which is a “generic term that defines different types of autonomous learning groups of individuals (communities of practice, epistemic communities, and other more or less informal learning groups) united by common beliefs and interests who voluntarily share their resources on a long term basis in order to create and diffuse knowledge” - Third, the routines that are inherently related to the organizational creativity of the firm, which are essentially corporate routines as expression of patterns of thinking, feeling and acting in the corporate culture. In essence they are the genes of collective identity, and take the shape of project management staging and gating principles and practices, framing collective divergent exploration and convergent production toward a creative goal. The contribution is based on an in-depth analysis of the organizational creativity in the world- leading videogame company, Ubisoft, with a special focus on the studio located in Montréal. To some extent, Ubisoft is one of the flagships of the “creative industries”, in which the clear imperative is to sustain creativity on a permanent basis. These reasons explain the choice we made to test our approach of organizational creativity and routines in this firm.
... As of fall 2011, Ubisoft Montreal studio is the largest videogame development studio in the world. This French-owned video game developer and editor established a studio in Montréal, in 1997 to benefit from substantial grants and tax credits offered by the provincial government , but also from the growing experience of the local creative workforce, well-trained in computer-science, cinema, fine arts, literature, theatre, management and marketing ( Cohendet and Simon, 2007). The Montreal Studio hires employees mainly from Montreal (around 80 %), most of whom have been trained in the Montreal arts and computer schools, and in various university business programs. ...
... He emphasized the existence of a strong tendency to "reinvent the wheel" all around the organization. A study conducted at this point would show this position as slightly exaggerated, as specific active units would already intensely foster knowledge circulation and exploration: the "communities of specialists" ( Cohendet and Simon, 2007). For the hierarchy, the recognition of the role of those communities as active units of knowledge creation and diffusion occurred through some research-action projects undertaken from 2003 to 2008. ...
Article
The aim of this contribution is to proceed to an in-depth exploration of the micro-context of the origin of routines and of their intimate link with organizational creativity. Our view is that organizational creativity orchestrates continuous interactions between different types of routines, operating at different levels of the organization. More precisely we propose distinguishing three types of routines: - First, the routines issued from formal structures or hierarchical working groups in the firm (functional groups, project teams, task force, etc.), for which the context of work and coordination of specialized tasks is defined ex ante by the hierarchy of the firm - Second, the routines emerging from informal structures, the “knowing communities” which is a “generic term that defines different types of autonomous learning groups of individuals (communities of practice, epistemic communities, and other more or less informal learning groups) united by common beliefs and interests who voluntarily share their resources on a long term basis in order to create and diffuse knowledge”; - Third, the routines that are inherently related to the organizational creativity of the firm, which are essentially corporate routines as expression of patterns of thinking, feeling and acting in the corporate culture. In essence they are the genes of collective identity, and take the shape of project management staging and gating principles and practices, framing collective divergent exploration and convergent production toward a creative goal. The contribution is based on an in-depth analysis of the organizational creativity in the worldleading videogame company, Ubisoft, with a special focus on the studio located in Montréal. To some extent, Ubisoft is one of the flagships of the “creative industries”, in which the clear imperative is to sustain creativity on a permanent basis. These reasons explain the choice we made to test our approach of organizational creativity and routines in this firm.
... Les communautés sont des lieux où se construisent en permanence des modèles locaux, des représentations partagées et des jargons (Amin et Cohendet, 2004). Devenant parfois centrales dans la dynamique de l'innovation, les communautés se voient chargées par des firmes du coeur de la production de nouvelles connaissances (Cohendet et Simon, 2007). C'est pour cette raison que l'engouement pour les communautés s'est développé. ...
Conference Paper
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Nous proposons de montrer que tous les groupes qui se forment dans des buts coopératifs et selon des modalités autonomes vis-à-vis des modèles économiques standards ne sont pas toujours des communautés. A l'heure actuelle, tout semble se passer comme si seulement deux modèles d'organisation de génération des connaissances pouvaient exister (firme et communauté). Pourtant, nous avons assisté depuis quelques années à l'émergence de collectifs au rôle économique et social déterminant. Un modèle présente de manière inédite les processus de socialisation et les processus de génération des connaissances. Nous démontrons deux points précis. Tout d'abord que communautés et collectifs partagent bien certains modèles de génération des connaissances. Ces deux formes de socialisation ne doivent pas être opposées de manière trop brutale. En complément, nous constatons que les processus de formation, les motivations à agir et les rapports à l'innovation se différencient en particulier en ce qui concerne leur temporalité de construction. Finalement, nous montrons que la logique affinitaire qui prévaut dans les collectifs est moins affectuelle que fondée sur des éléments de légitimité dans l'espace social investi. La constitution d'un collectif n'est pas une mise en commun, mais une sociation visant à la construction et la promotion de nouvelles valeurs. 2 Socialisation et génération des connaissances : distinguer les collectifs des communautés
... The relations between communities and management hierarchies constitute a delicate boundary construction. This is all the more the case when an organisation needs the expertise of an external community (Cohendet and Simon, 2007). In the video games industry, most companies entrust core knowledge production to external communities. ...
Data
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Purpose – Knowledge management is shot through with complex questions. This is certainly the case with regard to boundaries, as they constitute both a bounding line that has to be crossed if the knowledge required for innovation is to be diffused and a form of protection for scientific and technological organisations and institutions. This examination of boundaries leads to a state-of-the-art review that begins with the question of knowledge transfer. The authors start with foundations of the knowledge dynamic within organisations. Nevertheless, certain gaps were identified in the theory, as it did not seem so easy to carry out transfers. This led in turn to attempts to identify the boundaries that were causing difficulties and that had to be crossed. This led to an examination of the role of boundaries. What status could boundaries have when knowledge was expanding enormously within communities? Finally, the authors come face-to-face with knowledge management systems that have tended to redefine the forms that boundaries take. Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses a conceptual approach and is a meta analysis of the state-of-the-art review conducted to introduce the Special Issue “Knowledge Across Boundaries” JKM Volume 19, No. 5, 2015 (October). Findings – The notions of transfer and boundary demonstrated their usefulness in the development of a new theory, namely the knowledge-based view. These concepts were then critiqued, with reference, first, to the contexts in which communication takes place and, second, to the cognitive dimensions of the activity. Finally, studies showed that the cognitive and organisational approaches can be linked and that they shed light on many knowledge-sharing situations. Boundaries are no longer the object of attention, the focus having switched to the collective process of creating new concepts. Research limitations/implications – This state-of-the-art review is limited to the papers about Management Science. Practical implications – Knowledge hybridization is possible but must be referred to resources made available by the division of labour between disciplines (Shinn, 1997). Expansive learning (Engeström, 2010) is close to boundary construction (Holford, 2015) to indicate the dialectical view between instituting and instituted society (Castoriadis, 1975, 1987). We are now perhaps at the point of transition between the interest in “boundary spanners” and a new concern with “boundary construction”. Social implications – This paper introduces a methodology of knowledge transfer knowledge transfer in firms strategies of learning. Originality/value – The paper provides the concept (with examples) of ‘boundary construction’.
... Many innovative firms and institutions in creative cities are no longer based on functional departments, but rather concentrate internally on the governance of multi-project activities, which involve different communities of specialists (Cohendet & Simon, 2007). These projects provide an opportunity for the members of each community to meet and trade knowledge with other communities. ...
Article
Creativity in a city requires that new knowledge and innovative ideas transit permanently through three different layers of the city: the underground, the middleground and the upperground. The underground is comprised of creative individuals who are not immediately linked to the commercial and industrial world and whose culture lies outside the corporate logic of standardization. The upperground is the level of formal institutions or firms, whose specific role is to bring creative ideas to the market. The middleground is the level where the work of collectives and communities enables the necessary knowledge transmission that precedes innovation. Successful creative areas in cities are loci where the middleground plays a key role for the city as an important element of cultural creativity. When the middleground has not yet formed or has been neglected, major obstacles limit the emergence of creativity. To illustrate this viewpoint, we study and compare two specific districts in the cities of Barcelona and Montreal, to pinpoint and analyze the presence or absence of a rich middleground, to assess its critical role and to examine the practical measures that can be taken to rethink creativity in these urban environments.
... Game development organizations try to balance getting projects done on time and in budget with giving their employees the creative freedom they need to innovate. (Cohendet and Simon, 2007) However, few game development processes are well defined, and developers could benefit from improved project management processes. (Musil, Winkler and Biffl, 2010) One aspect of project management in particular, scope management, is difficult in all software development (Brooks, 1995;DeMarco and Lister, 2003;Yourdon, 1997), but more so in video game development because the non-utilitarian, experiential nature of the product makes a definition of "value" elusive. ...
... The different communities in the video game cluster in Montreal often rely on informal coordination mechanisms, which is why its members gather in specific places and spaces, where new ideas and forms are discussed, commented, analysed and validated (or not). What these places and spaces provide are specific playgrounds for creativity, where the underground and the upperground can interact together, find inspiration, as well as transfer new skills and ideas (COHENDET and SIMON, 2007). Projects and events, such as the Montreal International Game Summit or the Arcadia Festival, have widely contributed to weld the different actors of the video game industry on a local and global scale, therefore forming an open and ever-increasing space for new creative endeavours to emerge. ...
Article
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Grandadam D., Cohendet P. and Simon L. Places, spaces and the dynamics of creativity: the video game industry in Montreal, Regional Studies. The aim of this paper is to understand better the dynamics of situated creativity by reconsidering the formation of externalities in cities. What is suggested is that these externalities are not due to the proximity between institutions of the upperground' or between individuals of the underground', but rather they emerge from the articulation between places and spaces, which both contribute to fertilize a so-called middleground'. The case of the video game cluster in Montreal in Quebec, Canada, is analysed in order to illustrate this view.
... Les relations entre communautés et hiérarchie constituent une construction délicate de la frontière. La question l'est encore plus lorsqu'une organisation a besoin de l'expertise d'une communauté externe (Cohendet et Simon 2007). Dans l'industrie du jeu vidéo, la plupart des entreprises confient le coeur de la production de connaissances à des communautés externes. ...
... Prior studies show that the tension between artistic and commercial objectives is a major determinant of how organizations in cultural industries, such as the film industry, behave (eg. Caves, 2000; Cohendet and Simon, 2007;Holbrook and Addis, 2008). In many organizations in cultural industries there are leadership structures that reflect this dichotomy. ...
Article
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Project-based organizations in the film industry usually have a dual-leadership structure, based on a division of tasks between the dual leaders – the director and the producer – in which the former is predominantly responsible for the artistic and the latter for the commercial aspects of the film. These organizations also have a role hierarchically below and between the dual leaders: the 1st assistant director. This organizational constellation is likely to lead to role conflict and role ambiguity experienced by the person occupying that particular role. Although prior studies found negative effects of role conflict and role ambiguity, this study shows they can also have beneficial effects because they create space for defining the role expansively that, in turn, can be facilitated by the dual leaders defining their own roles more narrowly. In a more general sense, this study also shows the usefulness of analyzing the antecedents and consequences of roles, role definition, and role crafting in connection to the behavior of occupants of adjacent roles.
... Game development is a long, complex process that demands creative, interdisciplinary, and well-educated teams (Cadin and Guérin, 2006;Cohendet and Simon, 2007;Gaume, 2006), though it is largely similar across systems (Perry and DeMaria, 2009;Schell, 2008). Game developers' and publishers' experience thus is critical for producing successful games. ...
... Prior studies show that the tension between artistic and commercial objectives is a major determinant of how organizations in cultural industries, such as the film industry, behave (eg. Caves, 2000; Cohendet and Simon, 2007;Holbrook and Addis, 2008). In many organizations in cultural industries there are leadership structures that reflect this dichotomy. ...
Article
Full-text available
Role crafting denotes the behavior of individuals who, on their own initiative, change the tasks and responsibilities associated with their role. Organizational faultlines can potentially divide groups and negatively influence collaboration. In dual leadership structures the main faultline runs through the whole organization, right up to the top where each of the dual leaders is primarily responsibility for what is on their side of the faultline. Crisscrossing actors occupy a role right on the main organizational faultline. As a result, crisscrossing actors experience role conflict and role ambiguity that are usually assumed to have negative effects. This study argues the opposite; role conflict and role ambiguity provide space for role crafting by increasing the associated resources and demands. In addition, the more dual executives keep to their side of the faultline, or engage in contractive role crafting, the more space crisscrossing actors have to expansively craft their role. Our empirical case focuses on 1st Assistant Directors (1st ADs) in film production. First ADs are positioned exactly on the main faultline between art and commerce, hierarchically below the director and the producer, and accountable to both.
... and management hierarchies constitute a delicate boundary construction. This is all the more the case when an organisation needs the expertise of an external community (Cohendet and Simon, 2007). In the video games industry, most companies entrust core knowledge production to external communities. ...
... Ce slack est distribué en partie dans la base de connaissance formalisée des firmes et en partie dans le fonctionnement cognitif des communautés de connaissance. Dans le cas des industries créatives (Cohendet et Simon, 2007), le slack créatif exerce un rôle structurant qui guide particulièrement la définition et le choix des nouveaux projets. Ces décisions créatives ne résultent pas du seul choix de la hiérarchie des firmes, elles résultent aussi essentiellement du slack créatif porté par les différentes communautés de connaissance. ...
Conference Paper
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La communication propose une analyse typologique des identités des communautés créatives. Plus particulièrement, elle remet en cause l'apparente homogénéité des communautés épistémiques et des communautés de connaissance en procédant, d'une part, au moyen de comparaison entre différents programmes de recherche développés en sociologie des sciences et du politique, d'autre part, en conduisant une analyse sociolinguistique des énoncés lexicaux issus des auto-présentation des communautés. Cette analyse critique aboutit à segmenter l'ensemble des groupes créatifs en deux familles : les communautés au profil stable et régulier et à visée scientifique ou technique, et les collectifs au profil foisonnant et instable et à visée de transformation sociale.
... The relations between communities and management hierarchies constitute a delicate boundary construction. This is all the more the case when an organisation needs the expertise of an external community (Cohendet and Simon, 2007). In the video games industry, most companies entrust core knowledge production to external communities. ...
Article
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This challenge was taken into account by a large community of scholars. A recent international meeting has tried to deepen the question. Thus, the current issue is based on papers and discussions from the GeCSO International Conference on Cognitive Dynamics and Social Change (GeCSO 2014), held at Aix-en-Provence, France, from 4-6 June 2014. During the conference organised with Aix-Marseille University, AGeCSO (Association for Knowledge Management in Society and Organisations) and the LEST, Institute of Labour Economics and Industrial Sociology, UMR CNRS 7,317, the topic of boundary has emerged and been developed by several authors.
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Firms manufacturing video games and player communities enjoying the games are closely related, not only in a producer-user way, but also in co-development, testing and diffusion activities. This paper explores these tight relationships. The interaction between firms and user communities in this industry has drastically increased in intensity and quality with the introduction and development of social software. However, Social software has simultaneously raised new managerial challenges. Based on a theoretical discussion and empirical material we propose a typology of users in the video game industry. These communities have different reactions to incentives coming from firms producing games and therefore have to be approached and harnessed with specific community management practices and social software devices.
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Focusing on the Swedish film industry, this article departs from the proposition that film production and the film industry are governed by institutional arrangements that produce and reproduce gender and gender relations. The article is based on interviews with directors and producers and analyses how Swedish directors and producers describe their roles and relationship, relating this to how these roles are shaped by the law, film policy and financial arrangements. The article argues that the Swedish film industry rests on a gendered division of labour, that the professions of director and producer are constructed in relation to masculinity and that the gender equality measures undertaken are not sufficient to come to grips with the gender inequalities in the industry. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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OVERVIEW: Drawing on a case study at Ubisoft, a major creative firm in the videogame industry, this article shows how a firm can nurture and engage with its knowing communities to fuel the front end of innovation. Actions taken by management can catalyze four types of knowing community activities: unscripted internal activities, which are emergent, spontaneous activities internal to the firm whose content and output are not directed by management; unscripted external activities, which take place outside the firm’s boundaries; scripted internal activities, which are knowledge creation activities within the firm that are prescribed by management; and scripted external activities, which occur outside the firm. The findings provide insight that can help managers better understand how to foster those activities in which knowing communities can engage in order to bolster creativity and innovation.
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Various streams of organizational research have examined the relationship between creativity and leadership, albeit using slightly different names such as “creative leadership”, “leading for creativity and innovation,” and “managing creatives.” In this article we review this dispersed body of knowledge and synthesize it under a global construct of creative leadership, which refers to leading others towards the attainment of a creative outcome. Under this unifying construct we classify three more narrow conceptualizations that we observe in the literature: facilitating employee creativity; directing the materialization of a leader’s creative vision; and integrating heterogeneous creative contributions. After examining the contextual characteristics associated with the three conceptualizations, we suggest that they represent three distinct collaborative contexts of creative leadership. We discuss the theoretical implications of a multi-context framework of creative leadership, especially in terms of resolving three persisting problems in the extant literature: lack of definitional clarity, shortage of nuanced theories, and low contextual sensitivity.
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La R&D globalisée des firmes multinationales comporte un risque intrinsèque de dispersion cognitive et stratégique. Fort souvent, ce problème est analysé au travers des difficultés à faire circuler les connaissances dans les organisations. Estimant cette approche insuffisante, nous proposons une approche en termes de cognition située. La firme multinationale est alors définie comme une organisation qui met en place des dispositifs de partage des connaissances. En complément, des situations de gestion des connaissances prennent place en fonction des comportements des acteurs qui cherchent à résoudre des problèmes de coordination. Nous montrons que les dispositifs sont des instruments de gouvernement alors que les situations sont des espaces d’autonomie et d’incertitude. Cette approche est illustrée par la comparaison de deux firmes multinationales implantées en France. Ces deux cas permettent d’illustrer la réalisation d’une régulation dynamique entre dispositifs et situations de gestion des connaissances.
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D’un milieu favorable à la fertilisation du territoire des sciences du vivant à Dehli
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The growth of the global video game industry has resulted in an inflow of new entrants who aspire to create novel video games and preferably new video game genres. From an empiricist perspective presented by Gilles Deleuze, a video game is an agencement that materialize on the basis of the relations between the elements included in the game (e.g. computer code, game design ideas, the narrative structure of the game, interface design, etc.). A study of indie video game developers examines how the video game as agencement is composed of technical and narrative elements, and how the subject-formation process of the developer is bound up with the creation of video games. That is, indie video game developers are part of the creative work to develop new digital artefacts that per se are relational and composite in nature, as premised by the concept of agencement.
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This study examines the discourse style of managers, developers, engineers, and artists working for an independent game development studio. Fourteen employees were interviewed and then the results were coded and analyzed using an exploratory, single-case case study methodology. The authors argue that the texts, tactics, and technologies used by these professionals reveal insights into both the practical, outcome-oriented dimensions of technical communication within the games industry as well as deeper cultural characteristics of this community.
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Currently, there is a lack of systems development methodologies (SDMs) suitable for the development of location-based games. This research introduced a newly developed SDM to aid in the development process of location-based games, called the developmental methodology for location-based games (DMLBG). The DMLBG was based on SDMs most often used for developing mobile applications, as well as mobile and traditional games. Four case studies were used to test the DMLBG. During the case studies, independent games development teams used the DMLBG extensively to test the feasibility of the SDM. The results showed that the SDM did aid all four of the teams to successfully develop a location-based game. The teams documented the development process and gave critical feedback on their experiences. This feedback was used to revise and improve the SDM. The DMLBG addressed the lack of an SDM that is suitable for the development of location-based games.
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The aim of this paper is to analyze one paradox of creativity that involves balancing novelty and conformity. Using a social identity perspective, we differentiate between organizational and expertise identities to understand how different types of identities impact the creative process in terms of novelty generation as well as conformity in the context of franchising. Franchise systems are a specific organizational context in which tensions between different identities may arise and ideas are selected by multiple audiences. Furthermore, because franchising is based on standardization, franchisors need to find a balance between maintaining the uniformity of the system through conformity and enhancing new idea deployment in the network for the purpose of adaptation. We conduct a comparative case study analysis of 17 franchise systems based on 20 narrations. The findings from our qualitative empirical study show that identification plays a major role in the creative process. Social control, which may be exerted by manipulating the group identity, is an efficient lever to increase both the diffusion of an idea and its variation from existing standards, which leads to important managerial implications. Networks of individuals can promote both idea generation and a uniform diffusion of those ideas by enhancing organizational identity with a strong entrepreneurship orientation or expertise identity based on occupation-specific knowledge acquired through experience.
Chapter
The Introduction discusses the epistemological and methodological issues pertaining to the external scholar’s capacity to describe a community, or more adequately, an epistemic community wherein he or she is not a member. Drawing on anthropological literature and the work of Claude Lévi-Strauss in particular, the current study is staged as an exploration of the video game development community, and more specifically the so-called indie community that produces digital artefacts that the author knows very little about. The study is thus introduced as an exploration of a domain of unfamiliar expertise and an idiosyncratic professional and community-based culture. The chapter presents the study design and the empirical data collection and data analysis activities, and describes the content of the volume.
Purpose Indie developers are part of the creative fringe of the video game industry, fashioning an identity for themselves as a community committed to the development of video games as a cultural expression and art form. In playing this role, money-making is ambiguous inasmuch as economic return is honorable if such interests remain unarticulated and execute minimal influence on the development work process, while the possibility of producing a successful commercial video game is simultaneously one of the primary motivations for new industry entrants. The paper aims to discuss this issue. Design/methodology/approach The paper reports on the empirical material drawn from a study of indie video game developers in Sweden, a leading country for video game development. Findings To reconcile tensions between video game development in terms of being both cultural/and artistic production and business activity, easily compromising the perceived authenticity of the subject in the eyes of audiences (e.g. hardcore gamers), indie developers distinguish between monetary motives ex ante and compensation ex post the release of the game. Indie developers thus emphasize the metonymic function of money as this not only indicates economic value and currency but also denotes a number of business practices that indie developers have otherwise avoided in their career planning as they believe these practices would restrain their creativity and skills. Originality/value The study contributes to the scholarship on video game development, the literature on creative industries, and the economic sociology literature examining the social meaning of money and how social norms and values are manifested in professional ideologies and practices.
Chapter
In this research anthology, inequality in Swedish working life in a Sweden marked by increased inequality, is studied. Racialised inequality, racism and discrimination in individual workplaces are focused, but inequalities based on class and gender are also studied. The concept of inequality regime is used by several of the authors to analyse work organizations. The workplaces studied are found in different sectors, not least in healthcare. The book also includes contributions that provide comparative international perspectives and studies of the development of inequality over time. The anthology contains 12 chapters based on empirical studies of working life, one chapter that analyses working life inequality from a political theory perspective, an introduction and a closing chapter that frames and draws conclusions from the different studies, as well as an afterword. The authors are 22 researchers from different social science disciplines.
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