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'Imagined Outcomes': Contrasting Patterns of Opportunity, Capability and Innovation in British Musical Instrument Manufacturing, 1930-1985

Blundel, Richard K. and Smith, David J. (2018). 'Imagined Outcomes': Contrasting Patterns of Opportunity, Capability and Innovation in British Musical Instrument Manufacturing, 1930-1985. Enterprise & Society, 19(3) pp. 661–701.

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By the mid-twentieth century in the United Kingdom, musical instrument manufacturing had become an increasingly mechanized activity. Craft skills had been displaced in many areas, yet remained a vital source of competitive advantage in local and international markets and were particularly valued by professional musicians. This article examines the contrasting experiences of two British musical instrument manufacturers, tracing the unfolding relationship between their pursuit of entrepreneurial opportunities and capability development. Boosey & Hawkes, a large, well-established manufacturing and publishing company, was an early pioneer, while Paxman Bros., a small musical retailer, transformed itself into one of the world’s most respected specialist manufacturers. The narrative probes the factors that shaped decision making in these companies as they developed a series of design innovations for one of the more complex brass instruments: the French horn. It draws on relevant theoretical insights to examine how a dynamic interaction between opportunity and capability, coupled with unanticipated contingencies, contributed to divergent outcomes for each company.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2017 Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 1467-2235
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Funding received by external co-author (not OU)Small Research Grant SG130887British Academy/ Leverhulme Trust
Keywords: innovation; entrepreneurs; musical instrument manufacturing; craft production
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business > Department for Public Leadership and Social Enterprise
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
Research Group: International Development & Inclusive Innovation
Innovation, Knowledge & Development research centre (IKD)
Related URLs:
Item ID: 51624
Depositing User: Richard Blundel
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2017 08:50
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2020 00:35
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