The Role of Resilience in the Reconfiguration of Organisational Communities:An Explorative Case Study of the Recorded Music and Motion Picture industries
Starre, B.T. van der
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This study investigates what determines the nature of reconfiguration in industries under changing environmental conditions. Analogous to recent results of empirical research and modelling in ecological literature, it postulates that regime change in industries is idiosyncratic and dependent on the resilience of that industry, in which resilience is defined as the capacity of a system to absorb shocks as to retain essentially the same function, structure, identity, and feedbacks. This resilience is determined by the interaction between environmental conditions and the particular characteristics of the industry. To analyse what industry characteristics influence resilience, industries are defined as organisational communities, which are networks of interacting organizational populations that are functionally integrated through interdependencies. Their reconfiguration is measured by change in its populations and the interdependencies between populations. To explore the relationship between these characteristics and resilience, this study constructs a historical narrative of two industries facing similar environmental conditions. The music and motion picture industry are organisational communities that both involve reproducible information goods with high uncertainty of market success. Both communities have a similar configuration in 1998. Both organisational communities have been reconfigured by the emergence of digital technologies with very different results. Based on the histories of these two communities it is proposed that community resilience is partially dependent on community structure. How dense and diverse a community’s populations are and how they are interdependent determines subsequent reconfigurations of the community. This study manages to discern patterns in community configuration that signal a high or low propensity to change. This provides a first indication of how community characteristics influence resilience and provides warning signs of changing resilience. The focus of devising policy for organisational communities may not necessarily lie in the reinforcement of stability of these communities, but rather consider its resilience related to the desired configuration.