Little attention, if any, has been paid to one of the most recent “branches” of entrepreneurship: cultural and creative entrepreneurship. Sometimes, correctly or wrongly confused with social entrepreneurship, creative and cultural entrepreneurship has emerged as an independent research field in the last decades.
From the pioneering article by Paul DiMaggio in 1982, cultural and creative entrepreneurship as a research and teaching field has developed significantly in the last thirty years. In the Netherlands, and in many parts of continental Europe, in North America and Australia, cultural and creative entrepreneurship has flourished and degrees or specific courses are now part of the regular educational offerings by arts, social sciences and business faculties. As an academic field, cultural and creative entrepreneurship knowledge circulates in many well-known international conferences (EURAM, EGOS, IECER, among others) and academic journals are devoting special attention on this nascent field. Looking back at these developments we wish to invite contributions that reflect upon the academic journey of this recent field.
This special issue seeks to identify the epistemological development of cultural and creative entrepreneurship over time. More specifically, the objective is to detect the paradigmatic shifts in this field, to gain an understanding of its evolution, trajectory changes, present state and possible future developments.
The development of the concept of cultural and creative entrepreneurship during the last decades occurred at different levels: intergovernmental or policy and academic level. The United Nations, as well as the European Parliament and European Commission, have all focused on the emergence of a new paradigm in which entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation represent the key drivers of the economy (UNESCO/PNUD Report on the creative economy, 2013, European Parliament, 2013, European Commission, 2010). This specific focus on the creative and cultural activities as a blueprint of the new entrepreneurial dynamics may be explained as a way to understand better the effects of creativity on entrepreneurship and innovation and its relationship to the social, cultural and geographical context. Moreover, it implies the recognition of the role of the cultural and creative entrepreneur to the vitality and health of economies at national and international levels as well.
Richard Caves’s work published in 2000 on creative industries opened up the stream on entrepreneurship studies within the cultural and creative sectors. Several conceptual/theoretical articles (among others, Ellmeier, 2003; Rae, 2005; Swedberg, 2006, Klamer, 2011; Mokyr, 2013; Essig, 2015) and some books (Henry, 2008; HKU, 2010; Henry and De Bruyn, 2011, Lazzeretti, 2013; Kuhlke et al. 2015) have been published on these topics since then. However, looking at this existing literature, we can observe a very fragmented production in which it is hardly possible to discern clear focuses, orientations and approaches. Single pieces focusing on specific - but relevant - aspects are there but the skeleton of the discipline seems to be weak and fragile. Presently, limited knowledge is produced about the emergence, development and current state of cultural entrepreneurship research today (Hausmann and Heinze 2014).
Applying Linneo’s approach, we have species but no clear nomenclature of creative and cultural entrepreneurship. This “nomenclature” and its development in paradigms should be thoroughly investigated first to understand the genealogy, dynamics and implications of this new discipline and second to be able to trace some possible feature developments. Therefore, the purpose of this special issue is to develop a critical reflection on the state of the art of this discipline and understand where we actually are: “As a body of literature develops, it is useful to stop occasionally, take inventory for the work that has been done, and identify new directions and challenges for the future” (Low and MacMillan, 1998, p. 139).
Bearing this in mind, we aim to initiate constructive discussions on selected issues concerning cultural and creative entrepreneurship, which will frame the future research agenda. Moreover, we want to have an interdisciplinary approach including contributions from entrepreneurship and management, sociology, psychology, innovation and creative and cultural industries. We wish to invite contributions that reflect on two main areas: theories and concepts, and education in cultural and creative entrepreneurship.
Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Theories and Concepts: Is there a theoretical core in cultural and creative entrepreneurship? Are the theories that are used and taught simply re-contextualised entrepreneurship theories? Are there some main ideas and concepts that have emerged over the last decades that could point to an emerging differentiation and a distinct identity for cultural and creative entrepreneurship? To what extent do cultural and creative entrepreneurship differ from other varieties of entrepreneurship? What are the shared grounds of cultural and creative entrepreneurship with the other varieties of entrepreneurship? Focusing on the last two decades, what research themes and trends have been most consistent within the field of cultural and creative entrepreneurship? Why and how can we explain their consistency?
- Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship Education: How has the cultural and creative entrepreneurship curriculum developed over the last two decades? Are the existing programs capturing the specificity of culture and creativity entrepreneurship or simply reproducing the formats adopted in business school environments for teaching entrepreneurship? Are there significant changes? From an historical perspective, what can we say about the paradigms in cultural and creative entrepreneurship education so far? Are there any relevant links between the theory and the education practice?
Submission of manuscripts: 31 August, 2017