Economic and Cultural Synergies
This chapter presents an analysis of synergistic processes within Hollywood production and circulation. Drawing on Janet Wasko’s (1994) distinction between economic and cultural synergy, the chapter proposes an argument concerning the homology and interaction of these modes and how they have developed from an intensive to an extensive form.
The analysis combines theoretical perspectives from the political economy of culture and cultural analysis with film studies. It also notes how the study of the synergistic process has been somewhat neglected within management theory as well as in media studies more generally.
A typology is proposed that conceptualizes how synergy is organized and deployed variously within cultural production and circulation. Economic synergy, it is argued, operates both at the level of the firm and at the level of the industry. In addition to synergy at the level of the firm via flexible business networks and interfirm networking, Hollywood functions holistically as an industry and increasingly in co-ordination with cultural industries in general. In effect, such economic synergy is both intensive – that is, at the level of the firm – and extensive – that is, at the level of the industry and interindustry relations.
Additionally, there is a discernible homology between economic synergy and cultural synergy insofar as the meanings of cultural properties are exploited intensively and extensively. Intertextuality ...