Knowledge and the Internet: Lessons from Cultural Industries

Chong Ju Choi
Anastasios Karmanos

Judge Institute of Management Studies
University of Cambridge
Cambridge, UK


This chapter links up knowledge management and Internet research, relying on parallel analysis from research on cultural industries. We especially focus on the issue of valuation of internet/cultural industries in the marketplace. Our main thesis is that the uncertainty of value of such products shifts the focus of valuation away from the products themselves towards how the socio-economic environment identifies certain actors in the business and certifies their products.

We show that conventions legitimise value and provide identification in the market for certain actors. Conventions are primarily established through focal points which are socially reinforced signals that carry some inherent evidence that the image projected is true. These are called indices of exchange value identification and we identify families of indices: precedent, salience and positive predisposition. We posit that indices distort perfect competition and identified actors become selected and enjoy disproportionate success.

To appear in "Strategic Management of Intellectual Capital and Organizational Knowledge" edited by Nick Bontis & Chun Wei Choo (Oxford University Press).