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date: 10 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Building on socio-structural explanations, this article elaborates on the tension between individual actors’ positions along the core-periphery continuum of the social field and their ability to gain legitimacy for their creative work. Peripheral actors are less constrained by the field’s normative pressures and free to experiment with un-conventional ideas and solutions, but they may struggle to mobilize attention and harness the symbolic and material resources needed to legitimate their work. By contrast, core players are more effective at leveraging networks to build consensus, but they often exhibit a propensity toward more incremental work due to their higher levels of assimilation into the conventions of the field. To resolve this tension this article advances a strategy which we term optimal network structuration strategy. This strategy implies forming ties that link the two ends of the core-periphery spectrum, in the attempt to increase the likelihood of generating novelty while also enhancing the ability to make such novelty manifest and visible to the field. The theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.

Keywords: creative industries, creativity, social networks, core-periphery structure, legitimacy

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