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The creative industries: an entrepreneurial bricolage perspective

Saskia de Klerk (School of Management, University of New South Wales, Canberra, Australia, AND School of Business Management, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 18 May 2015




The idea of “creating something from nothing” resonates strongly with the creation process associated with artists. The Levi-Strauss and Baker and Nelson discussions also refer to entrepreneurial bricolage as something that entails a “make do with what is at hand”. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how artists utilise bricolage to create projects and develop their skills. Little is known of their perceptions of entrepreneurial behaviour and bricolage, and how they construct these bricolage networks. The tension between sharing, creating and to maintain a personal brand is negotiated by leveraging these bricolage relationships.


In-depth interviews with artists that actively make a living from their involvement in the creative industries were conducted. This provided insight into their perceptions on networking and bricolage. Since networking is such an individual and interchangeable process the interviews allowed the author to unravel these complexities of the relationships.


The findings produced two themes. The first, demonstrated the entrepreneurial behaviour of these artists and their unique contributions. The second theme involved the bricolage relationships formed to overcome resource constraints. The collaborative nature highlighted the co-creation relationships that are strategically formed to provide long-term opportunities and sustained working relationships.

Research limitations/implications

This study contributes to literature on bricolage, management, creative industries and entrepreneurship in non-traditional settings.

Practical implications

This study contributes to theory on bricolage and entrepreneurial behaviour in small enterprises and creative industries. Artists can benefit from the knowledge to build strategic networks to secure future work.

Social implications

Educators can use this information to prepare aspiring artists to create more independent and/or interdependent entrepreneurial projects.


This work encourages further cross-disciplinary research on the arts, entrepreneurship, networking and small business studies.



The author thanks Peter Hall and the reviewers for helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper.


de Klerk, S. (2015), "The creative industries: an entrepreneurial bricolage perspective", Management Decision, Vol. 53 No. 4, pp. 828-842.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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