Since 2004 the creative industries are recognized as one of the key performing sectors in the Netherlands. In 2011 these industries were officially labelled as one of the ten Dutch economic top sectors. Since the creative industries has specific characteristics, it is important to look beyond price mechanisms. This research presents in-depth insights by valorizing perceptions of firm performance of 14 CEOs of creative enterprises with two objectives: Firstly, it generates insides of the needs for creative firms towards internationalization and can help to optimize instruments from a policy perspective. Secondly, this research will give practical process insights and can potentially motivate creative enterprises that have the aim to expand internationally but do not have the know-how. The question of this research is: What can both the Ministry of Economic Affairs and creative entrepreneurs who have the ambition to expand internationally learn from the behavior of CEOs of creative firms who already have international success? A qualitative matched pair design method is used as the methodology of this research, which allows the researcher to compare the two cases within seven sub-sectors as well as compare across all 14 cases of all sub-sectors in order to find out possible differences, similarities and patterns. This research unravels the process of international contract making and makes clear that symbolic capital is of major importance and is used as a signal of quality to reduce demand uncertainties, but comes with opportunity costs. Our extended study presents the Rhineland model as the used business orientation of the firms under scope, and shows that they strive for a balance between doing business and making an impact. The data of this study shows that growth and internationalization are two different aims, and digitization used as comparative advantage is influencing the CEOs mindset on firm performance. Also, the study demonstrates that generic trade missions are not of an added value; we explain why this is the case and provide with alternatives that could be more effective.

, , , , , , , ,
E.M.M.P. Loots, P. Bhansing
Cultural Economics and Entrepreneurship , Master Arts, Culture & Society
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

S.L. van Bennekom. (2017, October 2). Striving for impact. Master Arts, Culture & Society. Retrieved from