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Unpacking social divisions of labor in markets: Generalized blockmodeling and the network boom in stock photography

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During the advent of digital technology, the market for stock photography has undergone radical transformations that have disrupted incumbent businesses and produced new divisions of labor. Picture agencies have responded to this challenge with a veritable proliferation of inter-firm alliances. In the attempt to understand this network boom, this paper develops a theoretical link between the concept of regular equivalence and its capacity to detect intra-industry divisions of labor. Based on a network survey of picture agencies in Germany, a prespecified generalized blockmodel yields a valid representation of an increasing functional specialization of new value stages that translates into an extended social and spatial division of labor in ways that challenge a dualist theory of the division of creative labor.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Social
Networks
47
(2016)
156–166
Contents
lists
available
at
ScienceDirect
Social
Networks
jo
u
r
n
al
hom
ep
age:
www.elsevier.com/locat
e/socnet
Unpacking
social
divisions
of
labor
in
markets:
Generalized
blockmodeling
and
the
network
boom
in
stock
photography
Johannes
Glückler,
Robert
Panitz
Institute
of
Geography,
Heidelberg
University,
Germany
a
r
t
i
c
l
e
i
n
f
o
Article
history:
Keywords:
Regular
equivalence
Generalized
blockmodeling
Inter-organizational
networks
Social
division
of
labor
Economic
geography
Stock
photography
a
b
s
t
r
a
c
t
During
the
advent
of
digital
technology,
the
market
for
stock
photography
has
undergone
radical
transfor-
mations
that
have
disrupted
incumbent
businesses
and
produced
new
divisions
of
labor.
Picture
agencies
have
responded
to
this
challenge
with
a
veritable
proliferation
of
inter-firm
alliances.
In
the
attempt
to
understand
this
network
boom,
this
paper
develops
a
theoretical
link
between
the
concept
of
regular
equivalence
and
its
capacity
to
detect
intra-industry
divisions
of
labor.
Based
on
a
network
survey
of
picture
agencies
in
Germany,
a
prespecified
generalized
blockmodel
yields
a
valid
representation
of
an
increasing
functional
specialization
of
new
value
stages
that
translates
into
an
extended
social
and
spatial
division
of
labor
in
ways
that
challenge
a
dualist
theory
of
the
division
of
creative
labor.
©
2016
Published
by
Elsevier
B.V.
“Every
good
politician
knows
that
a
picture
on
a
newspaper
front-page
is
worth
many
speeches
and
much
printed
text.
The
story
is
in
the
picture,
and
a
picture
is
easily
and
quickly
seen
and
absorbed.
An
article
or
a
reported
story
without
a
picture
is
often
skimmed
over,
if
at
all,
by
the
reader
and
all
the
effort
is
often
lost
.
.
.
We
live
in
a
society
of
images.”
(Inaugural
address
by
Dr.
Michael
Frendo,
President
of
Malta’s
Foreign
Affairs
Com-
mission,
CEPIC
Congress
in
Malta,
4
June
2008)
1.
Introduction
In
his
inaugural
address
to
the
annual
conference
of
the
Euro-
pean
association
of
picture
agencies
in
Malta,
Michael
Frendo
praises
the
symbolic
value
of
the
image
over
the
word:
“we
live
in
a
society
of
images”.
What
he
overlooks,
however,
is
the
fact
that
the
high
semiotic
value
of
photography
is
juxtaposed
by
the
atten-
uating
economic
value
of
the
picture
trade.
Although
ever
more
images
are
being
used
in
press,
print,
advertising,
and
film,
and
on
the
internet
and
mobile
devices,
etc.,
global
revenues
in
the
stock
photo
market
have
hardly
grown
since
the
1990s.
Instead,
this
industry
has
undergone
a
period
of
revenue
stagnation
and
profound
transformation
as
a
consequence
of
technological
and
organizational
innovations.
One
of
the
consequences
among
the
radical
reorganizations
of
this
creative
industry
has
been
a
proliferation
of
inter-firm
Corresponding
author.
E-mail
addresses:
glueckler@uni-heidelberg.de
(J.
Glückler),
panitz@uni-heidelberg.de
(R.
Panitz).
contractual
alliances
and
the
emergence
of
sales
partnerships
among
picture
agencies
at
a
subnational
scale,
i.e.,
within
their
domestic
markets,
which
had
not
existed
prior
to
digital
technol-
ogy
(Glückler,
2010).
Scholars
interested
in
the
social
and
spatial
organization
of
industries
appreciate
situations
of
technological
(Malecki,
1983;
Massey,
1984;
Scott,
1986;
Storper
and
Walker,
1989)
and
institutional
change
(Bathelt
and
Glückler,
2014;
Farole
et
al.,
2010;
Hollingsworth
and
Boyer,
1997;
Rodríguez-Pose
and
Storper,
2006;
Sayer
and
Walker,
1992)
as
occasions
in
which
estab-
lished
structures
of
interdependencies
are
loosened
or
converted
into
new
patterns
of
interrelations.
The
particular
spatio-temporal
realignment
of
inter-organizational
relations
in
stock
photography
serves
as
an
appropriate
case
to
empirically
examine
and
even-
tually
account
for
the
underlying
logic
of
interdependencies
and
exchanges
between
organizations.
This
paper
pursues
two
related
objectives:
first,
we
theorize
the
effects
of
digital
technology
on
the
changing
social
division
of
labor
in
a
digital
media
industry
and
develop
conjectures
about
the
underlying
structure
of
divided
labor
in
a
rapidly
growing
inter-organizational
network;
secondly,
we
employ
the
concept
of
regular
equivalence
to
pioneer
the
empirical
measurement
of
the
new
social
division
of
labor
in
the
stock
photo
industry.
To
achieve
this,
our
approach
applies
the
method
of
generalized
blockmodel-
ing
to
an
original
dataset
of
inter-organizational
strategic
alliances
between
picture
agencies
in
the
German
stock
photo
market.
To
our
knowledge,
this
is
the
first
time
the
concept
of
regular
equivalence
has
been
used
to
empirically
study
the
role
structure
of
an
orga-
nizational
network
and
its
inherent
divisions
of
labor.
From
the
perspective
of
geographical
organization
studies,
the
paper
does
not
aim
to
advance
the
methodology
per
se
rather
to
fill
a
gap
from
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socnet.2016.07.002
0378-8733/©
2016
Published
by
Elsevier
B.V.
J.
Glückler,
R.
Panitz
/
Social
Networks
47
(2016)
156–166
157
Fig.
1.
Stages
in
the
evolution
of
a
social
division
of
labor
in
stock
photography.
an
applied
perspective
that
has
been
neglected
for
a
long
time.
By
providing
a
strong
empirical
case,
we
aim
at
valorizing
the
analytic
utility
of
regular
equivalence
for
both
theorizing
and
unpacking
inter-organizational
divisions
of
labor
in
specific
industries
and
markets.
We
begin
by
reconstructing
the
historical
stages
of
the
divi-
sion
of
labor
in
the
stock
photo
trade,
and
we
identify
an
emergent
alliance
boom
among
photo
agencies
as
the
specific
phenomenon
in
need
of
explanation.
Based
on
the
deep-cutting
transformations
in
photography
(Benner,
2008;
Munir,
2005),
but
particularly
in
the
stock
photo
industry
(Frosh,
2001,
2003;
Glückler,
2005;
Glückler
and
Sánchez
Hernández,
2014),
we
investigate
this
alliance
boom
as
a
process
of
creating
a
new
social
and
geographical
division
of
labor.
In
Section
3,
we
distinguish
vertical
and
horizontal
divisions
of
labor
and
hypothesize
distinct
roles
within
a
structure
of
divi-
sions
of
labor
in
contemporary
stock
photography.
In
Section
4,
we
translate
the
concept
of
division
of
labor
into
the
language
of
regular
equivalence
and
develop
a
prespecified
generalized
block-
model
(Doreian
et
al.,
2005)
which
discovers
elements
of
old
and
new
social
divisions
of
labor.
In
Sections
5
and
6,
we
test
our
model
empirically
on
the
network
of
sales
alliances
in
the
German
stock
photography
market
and
discuss
each
role1in
detail.
In
addition,
we
find
cues
consistent,
though
moderate
of
a
beginning
spatial
decentralization
of
the
photo
industry
and
discuss
potential
drivers
of
such
centrifugal
effects.
2.
Changing
divisions
of
labor
in
stock
photography
The
stock
photo
industry
is
the
business
of
licensing
prepro-
duced
visual
content
for
specific
uses
and
includes
image
creators
(e.g.,
photographers)
and
picture
agencies
that
operate
in
the
1In
network
theory,
the
concepts
of
position
and
role
are
defined
in
method-
ological
terms
(Faust
and
Wasserman,
1992):
While
positions
are
“collections
of
actors
who
are
similar
in
their
relations
with
others”,
roles
refer
to
relational
sett-
ings
in
“systems
of
relations
among
actors
or
among
positons”
(p.
6).
A
role,
then,
describes
the
particular
set
of
relations
of
a
position
vis-à-vis
all
other
positions.
In
the
case
of
kinship
relations,
for
instance,
the
combination
of
“mother
of”
and
“sister
of”
leads
to
the
relationship
“mother‘s
sister”
and
is
labeled
as
“aunt”.
Unlike
this
technical
nomenclature,
a
more
sociological
concept
of
role
stresses
the
social
meaning
of
the
particular
relations
or
expectations
associated
with
a
position
or
status
(Linton,
1936):
a
role
“represents
the
dynamic
aspect
of
a
status.
The
indi-
vidual
is
socially
assigned
to
a
status
and
occupies
it
with
relation
to
other
statuses.
When
he
puts
the
rights
and
duties
which
constitute
the
status
into
effect,
he
is
per-
forming
a
role”
(p.
114).
This
comprehensive
understanding
captures
the
network
theoretical
notion
of
the
specific
pattern
of
relations
with
other
positions
(Faust
and
Wasserman,
1992),
and
it
also
includes
the
social
meaning
of
role
performance
in
a
specific
social
context.
Accordingly,
whenever
we
refer
to
the
term
position,
we
refer
to
the
classification
of
nodes
into
clusters
of
generalized
equivalence
in
the
net-
work.
Thus,
‘position’
is
a
cluster
of
nodes
in
a
given
network.
In
turn,
whenever
we
use
the
term
‘role’,
we
follow
a
broader
understanding
corresponding
with
Linton
(1936),
among
others,
to
denote
the
meaning
of
a
structural
position
in
relation
to
other
positions
and
in
the
particular
social
context.
commercial
trade
of
usage
rights
in
return
for
royalty
payments
to
image
users.
Stock
photos
are
used
for
books,
magazines,
internet
pages,
advertising
campaigns,
exhibitions,
and
business
commu-
nication.
In
the
relatively
short
history
of
photography
as
an
‘organizational
field’
(Battani,
1999;
DiMaggio
and
Powell,
1983),
three
major
stages
albeit
rather
simplified
in
the
evolution
of
the
social
division
of
labor
can
be
delineated:
the
creation,
expansion,
and
recent
shakeout
of
the
field.
These
stages
are
characterized
by
profound
technical,
organizational,
regulatory,
and
economic
changes
that
have
broken
old
business
models
and
generated
new
models
and
forms
of
interactions.
These
forms
coexist
in
the
current
market
structure
(Fig.
1).
2.1.
Field
creation:
the
birth
of
the
intermediary
Ever
after
the
invention
of
photography
by
Louis
Daguerre
(the
Daguerrotype)
and
the
development
of
the
negative
by
W.H.
Fox
Talbot
in
1840,
which
established
the
basis
for
photographic
repro-
ductions,
the
development
of
photography
has
been
intimately
tied
to
technological
change.
Once
transmission
technologies
were
established
around
the
1920s,
the
improved
availability
of
photog-
raphy
met
a
vastly
growing
demand
by
publishers,
newspapers,
magazines
etc.
The
increasing
demand
gave
birth
to
the
inter-
mediation
between
image
creators
and
image
users:
Newspapers,
magazines,
and
photographers
who
at
first
had
only
stored
their
material
in
archives
progressively
turned
into
independent
pic-
ture
agencies
by
marketing
their
pictures.
Thus,
the
first
generation
of
picture
agencies
was
created
parallel
to
news
agencies
like
AFP
(1835),
AP
(1848),
and
Reuters
(1851)
and
delivered
photos
mainly
for
editorial
use.
This
stage
of
early
specialization
was
character-
ized
by
local
catchment
areas
and
close
proximity
to
large
news
companies
and
publishers.
While
there
was
little
or
no
formal
col-
laboration
within
a
domestic
market,
the
provision
of
international
images
over
long
distances
was
mainly
accomplished
through
early
international
sales
agreements,
for
the
most
part
with
exclusive
marketing
rights
(Wilkinson,
1997).
This
early
stage
characterizes
the
ideal
type
of
editorial
agency
as
one
that
focuses
on
the
timely
supply
of
topical
content
to
media
publishers
and
which
is
still
in
existence
today.
2.2.
Field
expansion:
market
growth
and
the
ascendance
of
the
brand
agency
The
economic
crisis
of
the
early
1970s
marked
a
new
develop-
ment
phase
labeled
‘the
golden
age’
of
the
stock
photo
business
(Frosh,
2003).
Due
to
budget
cuts
in
publishing
and
particularly
in
advertising,
stock
photography
became
an
attractive
alternative
to
expensive
photo
productions,
and
the
industry
expanded
from
its
predominantly
editorial
use
to
the
commercial
sector.
In
addition,
the
1978
U.S.
Copyright
Law,
which
asserted
that
an
image
was
the
158
J.
Glückler,
R.
Panitz
/
Social
Networks
47
(2016)
156–166
photographer’s
rather
than
the
client’s
property,
provided
an
insti-
tutional
guarantee
for
photographers
to
exploit
stock
photography
as
an
additional
business
opportunity
(Frosh,
2001).
Moreover,
pic-
ture
agencies
adopted
the
subtle
and
highly
differentiated
licensing
system
of
rights-managed
content
(RM),
allowing
them
to
propel
repeated
and
upscale
sales
of
the
usage
rights
of
the
same
picture
and
thus
increase
revenues
per
picture
to
an
unprecedented
extent
(Rich,
1994).
In
sum,
the
combination
of
the
legal
assignment
of
copyright
to
the
image
creator,
the
invention
of
the
RM
licensing
system
along
with
its
sophisticated
fee
structure,
and
the
efforts
of
agencies
to
establish
themselves
as
brands
for
high-quality
visual
content
were
important
changes
that
raised
the
demand
for
cre-
ative
content
in
advertising.
Picture
agencies
thus
managed
to
professionalize
their
business
model,
capture
more
value
through
the
RM
licensing
system,
and
consolidate
as
legitimate
commercial
intermediaries
between
image
creators
and
image
users.
In
this
consolidated
division
of
labor,
the
relations
with
pho-
tographers
were
usually
based
on
exclusive
contracts
as
to
ensure
the
collection
of
unique
picture
archives.
Client
relations
contin-
ued
to
be
very
local
and
personalized.
In
effect,
the
stock
photo
industry
had
become
highly
concentrated
in
the
major
metropoli-
tan
cities:
In
the
U.S.,
85
percent
of
all
picture
editors
(picture
buyers)
were
located
within
core
metropolitan
regions
(Kjemtrup,
1997),
and
half
of
all
agencies
covered
by
a
broad
European
sur-
vey
were
located
in
only
11
European
cities
(CEPIC,
2008).
We
define
the
brand
agency
as
the
classic
agency
because
it
solidifies
and
valorizes
its
role
as
a
specialized
intermediary
between
image
creators
upward
the
value
chain
and
a
much
broader
base
of
edito-
rial
and
commercial
image
users
down
the
value
chain.
Due
to
the
branding
strategy
and
exclusive
contracts
with
image
creators,
the
classic
agency
typically
collaborates
only
with
international
part-
ners
to
expand
its
global
distribution
but
not
with
partners
inside
the
domestic
market.
2.3.
Field
shakeout:
alliance
boom
and
the
creation
of
a
new
field
net
The
transition
from
analog
to
digital
photography,
both
in
pro-
duction
and
distribution,
has
been
a
disruptive
experience
for
many
established
players
in
the
market.
At
the
beginning,
the
opportu-
nities
presented
by
digital
technology
were
misconceived
or
even
ridiculed
in
camera
production
as
well
as
in
the
stock
photo
trade:
by
the
end
of
the
1990s,
photographers
completed
only
1.8%
of
their
jobs
in
digital
format
(Frosh,
2003),
and
in
Europe’s
largest
stock
photo
market,
the
UK,
not
a
single
picture
agency
offered
digital
imagery
before
1995.
This
situation
is
adequately
represented
in
the
statement
by
a
representative
of
the
British
Association
of
Pic-
ture
Libraries
and
Agencies,
“I
can’t
understand
why
any
picture
library
can
consider
going
online”
(Goddard,
1995),
showing
that
even
securities
analysts
underestimated
the
advance
of
digital
pho-
tography
(Benner,
2008).
In
contrast,
new
entrants
discovered
the
new
business
opportunities
opened
up
by
digital
technology.
Their
strategic
move
was
to
raise
both
the
reach
and
richness
of
visual
content
(Evans
and
Wurster,
1997).
The
two
leading
agencies,
Getty
Images
(founded
in
1995)
and
Corbis
(founded
in
1989)
made
major
investments
and
took
over
most
of
the
incumbent
brand
agencies
of
the
1980s
and
1990s.
Moreover,
they
pioneered
web
access
to
online
image
archives
and
created
e-commerce
interfaces
allowing
image
users
to
take
over
the
picture
search
themselves.
The
proliferation
of
visual
content,
the
dissolution
of
interper-
sonal
relations
with
customers,
and
the
trend
toward
non-exclusive
contracts
with
creators
has
led
to
an
excessive
supply
of
photogra-
phy,
unit
price
deterioration,
and
increased
competition
between
agencies.
In
response
to
this
changing
competitive
pressure,
agen-
cies
have
been
seeking
cooperation
gains
from
strategic
alliances
for
distributing
their
content.
A
sales
partnership
is
a
contractual
license
agreement,
in
which
one
firm
grants
the
usage
right
to
con-
tent
protected
by
intellectual
property
rights
to
another
firm
for
a
specified
time
and
use
in
return
for
a
royalty
payment
(Knoke,
2001).
Especially
under
conditions
of
increased
competition
and
unstable
market
conditions,
they
render
different
advantages
to
individual
organizations,
such
as
firm
survival,
improved
perfor-
mance,
or
possibilities
for
imitation
and
innovation
(Brass
et
al.,
2004).
Although
stock
photography
has
a
long
tradition
in
inter-
national
sales
cooperation
(Wilkinson,
1997),
the
alliance
behavior
has
been
changing
dramatically
over
the
last
twenty
years.
Apart
from
the
cumulative
growth
of
an
ever
more
densely
connected
global
network
(Panitz
and
Glückler,
2016).
One
geographical
consequence
of
the
profound
shift
in
technology,
licensing,
and
business
models
has
been
the
rapid
emergence
of
an
inter-firm
net-
work
at
a
subnational
geographical
scale
(CEPIC,
2008;
Glückler,
2010).
The
evidence
from
a
regional
case
study
in
Munich
and
qualitative
interviews
with
picture
agencies
suggest
that
the
pro-
liferation
of
sales
partnerships
within
a
national
market
reflects
a
process
of
intermediation
in
the
value
chain,
where
agencies
specialize
in
distinct
activities
such
as
the
collection
of
visual
con-
tent
on
the
one
hand
and
the
distribution
of
large
stocks
of
image
content
on
the
other
(Glückler,
2005).
Such
a
process
of
interme-
diation
would
correspond
to
a
deepening
of
the
social
division
of
labor
(Fig.
1).
This,
however,
has
not
been
investigated
and
confirmed
beyond
some
qualitative
evidence
and
demands
for
a
general
empirical
assessment
at
the
level
of
the
entire
market.
Given
the
fundamental
changes
highlighted
in
the
evolution
of
the
stock
photo
industry,
this
paper
inquires
whether
the
recent
alliance
boom
reflects
a
new
social
division
of
labor
among
pic-
ture
agencies
and
if
so,
whether
these
new
divisions
of
labor
also
affect
the
locational
geography
of
this
particular
media
industry.
Concretely,
we
pursue
two
research
questions:
First,
what
is
the
new
social
division
of
labor
in
the
market?
And
second,
what
is
the
new
spatial
division
of
labor?
The
two
questions
are
pursued
together
since
the
increasing
specialization
of
value
stages
poten-
tially
permits
each
new
network
position
to
respond
to
distinct
locational
advantages
and
thus
explain
a
new
locational
geogra-
phy
in
stock
photography.
We
aim
to
answer
these
questions
by
drawing
on
existing
expertise
and
knowledge
of
the
recent
histori-
cal
shifts
in
stock
photography
(Glückler,
2005,
2010;
Glückler
and
Panitz,
2015)
to
develop
a
set
of
propositions
on
the
contempo-
rary
social
and
spatial
division
of
labor.
This
contextual
knowledge
enables
us
to
endorse
a
research
design
of
prespecified
general-
ized
blockmodeling
(Doreian
et
al.,
2005),
which
is
discussed
in
the
following
sections
and
empirically
tested
in
the
German
stock
photography
market.
3.
Research
hypotheses
3.1.
Social
divisions
of
labor:
from
segmented
to
collaborative
specialization
The
division
of
labor
is
often
seen
as
one
of
the
key
principles
of
modern
economies
to
increase
productivity
by
specialization.
While
Adam
Smith
emphasized
the
limitations
of
the
social
division
of
labor
by
the
extent
of
the
market
(Smith,
1776),
an
increase
in
the
division
of
labor
may
also
be
the
result
of
declining
coordination
costs
and
increasing
knowledge
(Becker
and
Murphy,
1992;
Jacobs,
1969).
If
new
technologies,
new
forms
of
organization,
or
new
social
institutions
lead
to
a
relative
decline
in
coordination
costs
or
an
increase
in
knowledge,
the
division
of
labor
may
progress.
In
this
article,
we
argue
that
although
the
market
for
stock
photography
has
not
grown
for
many
years,2it
has
still
experienced
a
deepening
2In
default
of
solid
financial
statistics,
experts
estimated
global
revenues
of
$2.0b
in
1990
(Frosh,
2001),
the
Financial
Times
estimated
the
same
revenues
still
in
2005.
J.
Glückler,
R.
Panitz
/
Social
Networks
47
(2016)
156–166
159
in
the
division
of
labor.
Moreover,
we
distinguish
two
types
of
labor
divisions
that
we
expect
to
coexist
in
the
contemporary
stock
photo
market:
horizontal
and
vertical
specialization.
As
reconstructed
from
the
historical
evolution
of
the
stock
image
trade,
the
incumbent
division
of
labor
is
likely
to
represent
a
hori-
zontal
specialization,
i.e.,
a
segmentation
into
the
distinct
albeit
overlapping
market
niches
of
editorial
photography
(press,
news,
and
other
media)
on
the
one
hand
and
commercial
photography
(advertising)
on
the
other.
Although
both
of
these
specializations
have
evolved
at
different
times,
namely
the
phases
of
field
cre-
ation
and
field
expansion,
they
still
coexist
and
partly
overlap
today.
This
horizontal
division
of
labor
corresponds
to
the
claim
that
firms
seek
market
niches
to
minimize
competition
preferably
by
occupying
unique
market
positions
(White,
2002).
From
a
hori-
zontal
perspective
of
the
value
chain,
agencies
operate
at
the
same
value
stage
but
specialize
in
distinct
segments
of
products
and
customers.
Therefore,
we
expect
to
find
two
market
segments
(edi-
torial
agencies
and
classic
‘brand
agencies’)
with
no
interrelations
between
them.
In
addition,
we
expect
these
two
segments
to
pro-
duce
two
distinct
relational
positions
in
a
blockmodel
of
the
social
division
of
labor.
Compared
to
commercial
photography,
editorial
content
is
much
more
topical,
locally
specific,
and
short-termed.
Customers
of
editorial
agencies
are
typically
newspapers
and
mag-
azines
demanding
local
or
regional
content.
If
this
content
is
of
interest
to
other
regions,
this
leads
to
an
exchange
between
edito-
rial
picture
agencies.
Consequently,
editorial
agencies
depend
on
each
other
for
sourcing
and
sharing
detailed
visual
content
from
particular
regions
and
areas
of
interest
(e.g.,
cultural,
social,
sports,
or
political
events
etc.),
and
we
thus
expect
them
to
collaborate
with
each
other.
This
expectation
leads
to
the
first
proposition
on
an
incumbent
model
of
market
segmentation
as
a
horizontal
division
of
labor.
Proposition
1a.
In
the
incumbent
horizontal
division
of
labor,
edito-
rial
agencies
and
classic
agencies
focus
on
distinct
market
segments
editorial
and
commercial
image
users
with
no
interactions
between
them
but
with
editorials
that
sustain
horizontal
collaboration
with
each
other.
Starting
with
the
turbulent
period
of
field
shakeout
in
the
mid-1990s,
new
entrants
as
well
as
incumbent
picture
agencies
eventually
started
to
collaborate
with
each
other
even
within
their
domestic
markets.
Within
only
a
decade,
new
subnational
networks
of
sales
alliances
were
created
and
proliferated
over
the
years.
By
2007,
already
28
percent
of
partner
sales
were
purely
domestic
in
the
European
home
markets
(CEPIC,
2008).
It
is
this
new
phe-
nomenon
of
inter-agency
cooperation
at
subnational
scale
that
requires
an
original
explanation.
We
surmise
that
this
collaboration
is
an
expression
of
a
new
kind
of
vertical
division
of
labor.
From
a
vertical
perspective
of
the
value
chain,
specialization
enhances
the
productivity
of
the
respective
activity
through
accelerated
learning
curves,
economies
of
scale,
and
comparative
cost
advantages.
At
the
same
time,
however,
specialization
leads
to
interdependence.
Once
work
is
divided
between
specialists,
the
key
economic
ques-
tion
is
how
these
specialized
activities
can
be
connected
so
as
to
yield
an
effective
outcome.
Hence,
the
more
labor
is
divided,
by
necessity,
the
more
interactions
are
added
among
specialized
peo-
ple
or
organizations.
Indeed,
the
“organization
of
work
is
a
kind
of
technology
itself”
(Sayer
and
Walker,
1992,
p.
17).
The
growth
of
inter-agency
alliances
suggests
that
such
a
vertical
specializa-
tion
toward
the
differentiation
of
interdependent
value
stages
has
taken
place.
We
thus
expect
a
new
kind
of
vertical
specialization
along
the
supply
chain
where
some
agencies
(collectors)
focus
on
the
composition
of
content
from
image
creators
upward
the
sup-
ply
chain
and
cede
their
disposal
to
distribution
agencies
by
means
of
contractual
sales
agreements.
In
turn,
we
expect
other
agencies
(distributors)
to
focus
predominantly
on
selling
content
to
image
users
while
ceding
their
collection
to
their
suppliers.
Collector
and
distributor
agencies
are
hypothesized
to
create
and
occupy
a
new
set
of
roles
in
the
overall
division
of
labor
in
the
stock
photo
trade:
Proposition
1b.
In
the
emergent
vertical
division
of
labor,
there
are
two
interdependent
roles
characterized
by
unidirectional
sales
part-
nerships
from
collector
agencies
to
distributor
agencies
and
without
any
further
alliances
either
within
each
role
or
with
any
of
the
other
roles
(classics;
editorials).
3.2.
Spatial
division
of
creative
labor:
centrifugal
effects
for
labor
upward
the
value
chain
The
combination
of
digital
technology
and
the
commodifica-
tion
of
copyright-protected
imagery
through
new
license
models
has
facilitated
the
virtualization
of
business
transactions
between
agencies
and
image
users.
The
transformation
from
a
locally
bound,
relationship-based
business
to
digital
trade
has
enabled
clients,
first,
to
conduct
their
picture
searches
themselves
and,
second,
expand
their
search
to
global
reach.
Clients
can
browse
through
picture
archives
in
online
databases
completely
autonomously
and
without
traditional
service
charges.
In
addition,
shipping
and
ship-
ping
insurance
no
longer
have
any
bearing
either.
This
change
in
interaction
parameters
has
produced
what
seems
to
be
a
‘prox-
imity
paradox’
(Glückler
and
Sánchez
Hernández,
2014):
Despite
the
empirically
observed
dissociation
and
even
anonymization
of
the
relationship
between
agencies
and
their
clients,
the
main
part
of
the
picture
business
has
continued
to
be
concentrated
in
large
metropolitan
regions
(CEPIC,
2008).
Digital
technology
has
led
to
cost
reductions
in
modern
transport,
communication,
and
distribution
in
historically
unprecedented
ways
(World
Bank,
2005).
Instead
of
fulfilling
the
hopes
of
a
more
equal
dispersion
of
economic
activity
across
space,
however,
it
seems
to
have
rein-
forced
the
ongoing
process
of
urban
agglomeration
(Sassen,
1996;
Taylor,
2004),
especially
in
sectors
such
as
the
creative
indus-
tries
(Lazzeretti
et
al.,
2008;
Power,
2003;
Pratt,
2008;
UNCTAD,
2008).
The
combination
of
specialized
capabilities,
diverse
oppor-
tunities,
and
destabilizing
norms
is
said
to
lay
the
foundations
of
a
creative
field
(Scott,
1999,
2006)
in
which
new
ideas
and
prac-
tices
are
more
likely
to
succeed
than
in
non-metropolitan
contexts.
In
contrast
to
routine
labor,
which
can
be
performed
anywhere
and
communicated
through
information
and
communication
tech-
nologies,
the
kinds
of
knowledge
or
creative
work
that
are
related
to
‘specialized,
customized,
or
innovative
products’
(Leamer
and
Storper,
2001;
Storper
and
Salais,
1997)
require
rich
and
close
communication
that
is
best
facilitated
through
face-to-face
contact.
However,
over
the
last
decade,
the
glossiness
of
the
conven-
tional
theory
of
a
dualist
spatial
division
of
creative
labor
has
been
suffering
specks
of
doubt.
The
enthusiasm
for
metropolitan
bohemia,
ingenuity,
and
originality
has
led
to
overlook
and
under-
estimate
non-metro
locations
as
places
of
creative
labor
(Coe
and
Johns,
2004;
Leyshon,
2009;
Norcliffe
and
Rendace,
2003;
Scott,
2002).
Several
case
studies
on
segments
of
the
creative
industries
have
illustrated
how
neo-artisans
bear
or
even
seek
non-metro
places
to
perform
specialized
parts
of
creative
labor
in
globally
divided
value
chains
for
instance
studies
on
music
(Leyshon,
2001,
2009;
Leyshon
et
al.,
2005),
film
(Coe,
2000;
Cole,
2008;
Currah,
2006),
comics
(Norcliffe
and
Rendace,
2003),
mangas
(Lee,
2009),
or
journalism
(Currah,
2009;
Klinenberg,
2005).
In
order
to
enhance
the
value
of
formal
blockmodeling
for
theory
build-
ing
in
social
science,
this
paper
elaborates
on
a
second
research
question,
i.e.,
whether
a
new
social
division
also
translates
into
an
alternative
spatial
division
of
labor
in
which
non-metropolitan
regions
become
viable
destinations
for
creative
labor.
Following
the
line
of
argument
above,
we
expect
that
a
deepening
social
160
J.
Glückler,
R.
Panitz
/
Social
Networks
47
(2016)
156–166
division
of
labor
between
picture
agencies
increases
centrifugal
effects
for
the
location
of
certain
business
models
in
more
periph-
eral,
non-metropolitan
locations.
As
argued
before,
the
functional
specialization
on
content
collection
upward
the
supply
chain
(col-
lectors)
and
on
content
distribution
downward
the
supply
chain
(distributors)
reduces
the
necessity
for
collectors
to
keep
close
con-
tact
to
customers
in
urban
locations.
Instead,
their
relational
focus
on
spatially
dispersed
image
creators
and
the
ability
to
conduct
transactions
digitally
both
with
creators
and
collaborating
distri-
bution
partners
allows
these
agencies
to
avoid
the
high
costs
of
urban
locations
and
enjoy
the
spatial
latitude
to
locate
in
non-metro
places:
Proposition
2.
Picture
agencies
that
specialize
in
the
collection
of
content
from
image
creators
(collectors)
are
more
likely
to
locate
in
non-metro
locations
than
agencies
specializing
in
distribution
to
image
users
(distributors).
4.
Methodological
approach
to
assessing
divisions
of
labor
4.1.
Divisions
of
labor
as
positions
of
regular
equivalence
The
search
for
patterns
of
social
and
spatial
divisions
of
labor
within
an
industry
builds
on
the
notion
that
the
totality
of
players
in
the
field
can
be
assigned
to
a
specific
number
of
similar
positions
of
specialization
along
a
value
chain.
Placement
in
such
positions
can
be
conceived
in
at
least
two
ways:
as
a
membership
role
and
as
a
relational
role
(Nadel,
2004
[1962]).
A
membership
role
is
one
whose
members
share
the
same
role
because
of
similar
categorical
attributes
or
characteristics,
whereas
relational
roles
are
assigned
to
groups
of
actors
who
are
equivalent
due
to
the
similarity
of
their
connection
with
other
roles.
In
the
context
of
the
photo
trade,
two
agencies
that
both
sell
celebrity
photo
content
would
qualify
as
members
of
the
same
membership
role;
two
agencies
that
have
similar
relationships
to
similar
other
agencies
qualify
as
equiva-
lent
actors
in
the
same
relational
role.
While
membership
roles
are
easy
to
detect
with
conventional
survey
instruments,
identi-
fying
relational
roles
requires
relational
data
and
a
blockmodeling
approach.
The
concept
that
comes
closest
to
the
notion
of
relational
pos-
itions
in
a
social
division
of
labor
is
regular
equivalence.
This
concept
is
based
on
a
circular
definition:
two
actors
are
regu-
larly
equivalent
if
they
are
equally
related
to
equivalent
others.
Hence,
each
position
defines
a
unique
pattern
of
positional
rela-
tionships
with
other
positions
in
the
network
(Everett
and
Borgatti,
1994;
Reitz
and
White,
1989).
Regular
equivalence
has
only
scarcely
been
applied
to
empirical
observations.
The
few
examples
in
which
scholars
have
applied
regular
equivalence
to
empirical
data
are
either
applications
to
non-social
networks,
such
as
trophic
niches,
or
those
which
pursue
methodological
and
algorithmic
rather
than
conceptual
objectives
in
the
respective
field
of
inquiry
(Batagelj
et
al.,
1992;
Borgatti
and
Everett,
1993;
Boyd,
2002;
Doreian,
1987;
Luczkovich
et
al.,
2003;
Marx
and
Masuch,
2003;
Nordlund,
2007;
Sailer,
1978).
Another
exception
is
a
recent
stream
of
empirical
research
that
uses
regular
equivalence
and
the
REGE
algorithm
to
identify
center-periphery
structures
in
the
context
of
the
world
system
theory
(Alderson
and
Beckfield,
2004;
Mahutga
and
Smith,
2011;
Smith
and
White,
1992).
What
is
missing,
however,
is
an
empirical
demonstration
of
the
utility
of
regular
equivalence
to
understand
underlying
structures
of
social
and
organizational
networks
that,
in
turn,
help
to
theorize
the
relational
logic
in
each
socio-spatial
context.
Within
the
framework
of
this
research,
we
aim
to
explain
that
the
explosive
growth
in
the
number
of
strategic
sales
alliances
in
the
German
stock
photography
market
has
led
to
a
new
social
division
of
labor
among
a
set
of
different
roles
of
image
suppliers.
4.2.
The
German
stock
photo
market:
a
network
survey
The
population
of
picture
agencies
includes
commercial
firms
that
license
usage
rights
of
still
images
for
commission
paid
to
inde-
pendent
photographers.
This
explicitly
excludes
non-commercial
archives,
small-scale
sideline
businesses,
and
direct-marketing
activities
of
freelance
photographers.3The
German
stock
photog-
raphy
market
is
one
of
the
largest
in
Europe,
alongside
Great
Britain
(CEPIC,
2001,
2008).
As
there
is
no
official
registry
of
picture
agen-
cies
in
Germany
that
allow
us
to
identify
the
population,
we
used
a
comprehensive
database
provided
by
the
German
Association
of
Press
Photo
Agencies
(BVPA)
and
triangulated
it
with
an
intensive
internet
search
to
achieve
a
complete
coverage
of
the
German
stock
photo
market.
Data
were
collected
by
means
of
an
electronic
net-
work
survey
on
the
total
population
of
201
picture
agencies
that
operated
in
Germany
in
2005.
Each
agency
was
invited
to
indicate
the
contractual
sales
alliances
with
each
of
their
partner
agen-
cies
and
specify
the
type
of
content
exchanged,
the
direction
of
image
flow
(reception,
delivery
of
content,
or
both),
and
the
year
of
contract
conclusion.
Of
the
75
agencies
that
completed
the
ques-
tionnaire,
60
provided
information
on
contractual
sales
alliances
through
which
they
identified
another
29
picture
agencies.
The
final
sample
size
for
the
empirical
blockmodeling
thus
comprises
a
network
of
89
picture
agencies.
Out
of
these
89
agencies,
19
were
qualified
as
isolates
because
none
of
their
partnerships
fell
under
the
license
model
of
rights-managed
photography,
which
is
the
level
of
analysis
in
this
network.
As
many
medium
and
large
play-
ers
took
part
in
the
study
and
most
non-respondents
were
micro
businesses
that
often
had
only
one
self-employed
owner
and
were
unknown
to
the
national
business
association,
respondents
to
our
survey
represent
the
lion
share
of
the
actual
business
in
the
Ger-
man
market.
In
terms
of
real
market
share,
these
agencies
represent
over
80
percent
of
the
overall
revenues
as
estimated
on
the
basis
of
employment
size
categories
and
available
annual
reports
(Table
1).
The
network
is
an
asymmetrical
network
containing
infor-
mation
on
who
sends
and
receives
visual
content
from
whom
and
since
when.
Each
connection
in
the
network
represents
a
contractual
sales
agreement
and
the
respective
direction
of
image
supply
under
the
license
model
of
rights-managed
photography.
The
picture
agencies
in
the
sample
vary
in
size
and
specialization
(Table
2).
High
standard
deviations
for
many
firm
attributes
such
as
the
size
of
photo
stock,
size
of
content
from
partners,
and
the
number
of
supplying
photographers
illustrate
the
heterogeneity
of
the
German
stock
photo
market.
Furthermore,
Table
2
shows
that
not
all
variables
are
available
for
the
whole
network
population.
Three
quarters
of
all
picture
libraries
within
the
German
market
as
well
as
within
our
network
were
located
in
one
of
the
largest
five
metropolitan
regions:
Hamburg,
Munich,
Berlin,
Frankfurt,
and
Cologne.
4.3.
Analytic
design
of
the
prespecified
blockmodel
Our
analytical
strategy
follows
the
approach
of
deductive
gen-
eralized
blockmodeling
(Doreian
et
al.,
2005),
which
enables
the
researcher
to
include
existing
expertise
in
a
field
of
study
and
thus
to
conduct
a
more
mature
analysis
than
a
mechanical
data
3Whenever
an
image
supplier
is
involved
in
the
trade
of
visual
content
not
owned
by
himself,
we
treat
this
firm
as
an
agency
and
include
it
in
our
analysis.
Over
the
last
years,
agencies
have
begun
to
run
their
own
image
productions.
Conversely,
creators
(e.g.,
photographer
alliances)
as
well
as
archives
have
started
to
collect
content
from
external
creators
or
partner
suppliers
and
to
trade
this
content
to
image
users
or
partner
agencies.
We
capture
this
growing
hybridity
by
including
those
cooperatives
of
creators
and
archives
into
our
model
<