Role of emotions in the production of literature: an exploration of Edinburgh's creative entrepreneurial ecosystem
Item statusRestricted Access
Embargo end date30/11/2021
Bernal Valencia, Marta
The main objective of this three-paper thesis is to explore the role of emotions in the production of culture, examining how books and writers are selected to be part of the production of literature. It focuses on small companies and entrepreneurs because they are the most common type of organisation in the creative industries, and also because of the high level of involvement they have with their ventures. These circumstances provide this thesis with a context in which social interactions and networks are as important as the business ideas and opportunities identified as compatible with the ethos of these micro and small organisations. This dissertation reflects the interdisciplinarity needed to understand the complex relationship between entrepreneurship, creative industries and emotions, whose different facets are arguably best studied adopting different theoretical lenses. The three papers of this thesis show the evolution, as the dissertation moves from the initial research questions to the last ones, of the framework developed to achieve a holistic view of the role of emotions in the selection and production of cultural goods. This thesis adopts a qualitative approach to map out the most relevant networks and actors of a creative entrepreneurial ecosystem. The data collection consisted of historical data, policy reports, participant and non-participant observation of professional events and 33 semi-structured interviews with professionals belonging to the different networks of Edinburgh’s publishing industry. The first paper is based at the individual level and it considers the psychological factors influencing the selection of creative goals and the creative processes of entrepreneurs, making a series of propositions within which the concept of emotional innovation is developed to explain the socio-emotional features of the production of culture. The second paper explores a creative entrepreneurial ecosystem, as opposed to the dominant literature on high tech entrepreneurial ecosystems. It focuses on the macro-level, investigating its socio-emotional characteristics and how emotions influence the way in which entrepreneurs engage in social interaction to access resources and knowledge. In the third empirical paper of this dissertation, the processes of social interaction between stakeholders of the publishing industry are examined in depth by unpacking the development of a literary festival. This study is based at the meso-level of analysis and examines how stakeholders capitalise on their emotions and personal connections to mobilise resources, engaging in entrepreneurial activities beyond the political arena of the festival. The thesis concludes reflecting on the theoretical contributions and findings, the under-researched areas that may be explored in the future, the limitations of this research and the implications it has for practitioners and policymakers. The inclusion of emotions as part of the framework that explains how creative goals are selected by creative industries’ entrepreneurs, allows us to unpack a key entrepreneurial process that remains under-theorised. It is important to recognise the inevitable weight emotions have on the recognition of business opportunities and also as part of the soft skills that allow entrepreneurs to materialise these creative projects. Along the same lines, the study of social interaction would benefit from a more nuanced view on emotions, linked to specific entrepreneurial processes, to reach a better understanding of our situated activities and contribute to the advances of the literature on creative industries entrepreneurship. Finally, acknowledging the socio-emotional characteristics of creative entrepreneurial ecosystems would enable a more nuanced view of the collaborative relations among its different elements and networks. It will help understand the importance of its local characteristics, target public support and potential opportunities to improve professional practices.