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In a creative industry, what pattern of creative influences increases the likelihood that an artist will pioneer a new market? This longitudinal research examines all major artists in the Popular Music Industry between 1950 and 2008 and their unique creative influences to examine if certain structural positions in the complete network of influences make one more or less likely to be a first mover in new markets. Since 1950, the Popular Music Industry has grown into a $8 billion dollar a year industry with wealth creation arising from the creation of 193 separate new markets. We apply network analysis to the social structure of the Popular Music Industry to see—do artists who pioneer new markets occupy and exploit distinct structural positions in the influences network? Applying Resource Dependency Theory, we examine each artist’s structural pattern of creative influences as an idiosyncratic resource base from which to fashion industry-shaping musical innovations. We find that artists who draw from centrally-positioned versus peripherally-positioned artists/creative influences are more likely to pioneer new markets.

Academic Division



Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations | Music