UCL School of Management is delighted to welcome Professor Frédéric Godart, INSEAD, to host a research seminar discussing ‘Mobility Shocks and Organizational Creativity: The Benefits of Cultural Toolkits with Highly Affiliated Elements’.
Producers in the creative industries thrive on generating innovative ideas and products, and as such they are constantly searching for ways to boost their ability to do so. We suggest that the conventional network approach to creativity that focuses on how producers are positioned amongst other producers can be advanced by examining how the cultural elements with which they work (i.e., the underlying ideas with which they create) relate to and are positioned amongst each other. The network structure of elements may contain some which are particularly effective in recombining with many other elements, providing an alternative mechanism for explaining high creativity. We show that cultural elements that are connected with many other elements increase producers’ creativity. They are particularly important in transitions to new creative leadership, a key moment in the lives of creative leaders. We show that active toolkits rich in such highly affiliated cultural elements mitigate the possible disruption and creative discount associated with the hiring of new creative directors, in fact boosting creative performance. We test our hypotheses using a recent dataset of high-fashion houses, their stylistic elements, and their creative leadership transitions.