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School of Business | Department of Marketing and Management | Marketing | 2010
Thesis number: 13521
The role of creatives' everyday work in the creation of a competitive advantage in the advertising industry
Author: Louhelainen, Karla
Title: The role of creatives' everyday work in the creation of a competitive advantage in the advertising industry
Year: 2010  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing and Management
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; kilpailuetu; competitive advantage; luovuus; creativity; mainonta; advertising; toimialat; business branches; mainostoimistot; advertising agencies
Pages: 75
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Key terms: marketing; markkinointi; strategy; strategia; advertising agencies; mainostoimistot; qualitative case study research; laadullinen tapaustutkimus; creativity; luovuus
Objective of the study:

This study aims at understanding which elements of the creative personnel’s everyday work contribute to creation of a competitive advantage of an advertising agency. To achieve this understanding, I will explore the employees’ individual and organizational creativity and ability to learn, the workers’ experience and personal characteristics, and their interaction with colleagues and clients. Since the study seeks to consider both the individual’s intent and cognition, and unconscious routinized practical action, the research combines elements of traditional strategy content research and practice theory.

Research method:

The study is a qualitative case study, a suitable method for understanding and describing complex social phenomena. The case study organization chosen is a medium-sized Finnish advertising agency. Six in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with the organization’s creative personnel, and ethnographic analysis was also incorporated. This data was analyzed using hermeneutics as an approach to interpreting the data. The goal of hermeneutics is to create meaning and achieve a sense of understanding, when simultaneously being aware and accountable of one’s history-specific preconceptions.


The main findings of the study are fivefold. First, creative workforce’s prior experience influences their work both unconsciously through habitus, and consciously as they aim at learning and developing themselves. Second, the creative personnel’s intrinsic motivation and creative self-efficacy contribute to the creation of a competitive advantage. Third, routinized practices appear to be the foundation of creative work. Fourth, organizational environment affects the performance of an advertising agency; interaction with one’s partner and other colleagues, and organizational support affect the quality of creative work. Fifth, cooperation with clients impacts the success of both the advertising agency and the client company.


Competitive advantage, resource-based view (RBV), practice theory, creativity, advertising
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