A case study of a creative start-up: governance, communities and knowledge management

Par Thierry Burger-Helmchen, Patrick Llerena
This work is an empirical illustration of the changing nature of governance structure in a small creative firm. The governance structure co-evolves with the division of knowledge and the division of labour. The paper is organised as follows: first we present the distinction between division of knowledge and division of labour in a knowledge-based framework and highlight some specificities of the knowledge worker. Then, in a second section, we present a case study of a creative SME in the sector of video games for mobile phones. This case study allows us to represent four different governance phases that we observed over a four-year time span. We then link these four governance phases with the evolution of the relation between the firm and different types of communities (communities of practice in which programmers from other firms participate, user communities ...). We show that the evolution of the governance structure has commonalities with the evolution of relations with the different communities and that those relations influence the division of knowledge and division of labour.
JEL Codes: M13, L29, D80, B25, G34
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