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Personal networks theory and the arts : a literature review with special reference to entrepreneurial popular musicians
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Arthur JacksonArthur Jackson, AR Oliver
The importance of entrepeneurship in developing and advancing institutionalized economic markets by way of "creative destruction" or "innovation" is well documented (Hindle and Legge 1997; Outcalt 2000, Timmons 1998). However, although the significant socioeconomic imapct of entrepreneurship is widely understood, individual entrepreneurs and their networks are not. Traditionally, entrepreneurs have been perceived as "atomistic" - that is, independently operating units. Consequently, scholars have employed trait and personality models to develop a "typical" profile of the entrepreneur (Brown and Butler 1993; Shaver 1995; Timmons 1998). The failure of entrepreneurship scholars to develop a typical entrepreneurial profile suggests that network theory should be used. Network theory, or social exchange theory, contends that interdependent relationships, comprised of proactive social actors, are the appropriate organizational system for the entrepreneurial process. The use of network theory has been prominent in attempts to understand entrepreneurship withing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) (Granovetter 1985; Johannisson, Alexanderson and Senneseth 1994). However, Johannisson (1998), for example, criticixes the theoretical models used to study entrepreneurial networking for using vague definitions of key constructs. He proposes that "social" networks would be appropriately labelled "personal" networks, a category that he further divides into "social" and "business" (Johannisson 1998). It has become folkloric, and widely accepted as axiomatic, that the popular music industry (like most of the arts and entertainment business) relies heavily on alliances, networks, and networking. However, other than regular industry reference to the importance on "contacts", "relationships" and "schmoozing", not much scholarly attention has been given to network theory and its usefulness for understanding the popular music industry. In this article we intend to help fill this theoretical gap.