Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
The purpose of this research is to study the practice of networks in the crea- tive industries, which are thought to carry great economic, social and cultural po- tential inherent in them. The creative industries are said to be valuable especially for the development of a small and open economy like Finland. Networks, on the other hand, are identified as important in the business of micro entrepreneurial firms composing the creative industries, but the practice is still less researched. Thus, in order to better understand and support the needs of the creative industries regarding networks this thesis aims to identify best practices of networks in one specific creative industry of the small and open economy of Finland, the Finnish music industry.
Seven Finnish music industry professionals including both men and women and representing different roles, music genres, lengths of careers and aspects of the Finnish music industry are face-to-face interviewed according to the method of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) focusing on successes and positive aspects instead of weaknesses and limitations. That is, with AI the Finnish music industry profes- sionals were encouraged to discuss their networks as part of their lives and work as truthfully and naturally as possible without pushing them to list some sort of requirements or expectations.
A comprehensive list of best practices of networks is identified. Additional- ly, aspects of a great networking seminar are included in the list. Most important- ly, networks and relationships are said to mean everything to the Finnish music industry professionals interviewed in terms of developing their career and busi- ness as well as adding to their personal well-being. The findings discuss the ap- preciated aspects of and the appreciated elements received through networks. Al- so, the findings show how different practices of networks are needed in different situations in the lives of the Finnish music industry professionals interviewed and how different aspects of networks best serve their needs. To give an example, ap- preciated elements received through networks include information, ideas, advice, support, increase in happiness, facilitation of the work load, identification of new business opportunities, new opportunities through being recommended, progress business-wise, results, increase in the effectiveness of business, increase in the feeling of belonging to a community and new additional network contacts, and whereas the need to recognize new business opportunities, for example, is best satisfied with weak links, the need for support is better satisfied with strong ties.
Creative Economy, creative industries, Finnish music industry, network, relationship