Negotiating conventions and creating community: the case of Cartoon and European animation

Alexander Cole; José David Barberá Tomás
Journal of Economic Geography

This article examines the processes of negotiation and institution building through which transnational networks of learning are fashioned. It does so by examining the case of the European animation industry and the activity of an association, Cartoon, which facilitated the development of common conventions supporting cooperation and learning in this industry. The case draws attention to how issues of institutional context can frustrate collaboration and limit the scope of learning; simultaneously, it illustrates interventions that permitted the negotiation between situated and context-specific understandings on the one hand and the development of shared understandings and common conventions for action within the industry on the other. In sum, the article sheds light on the institutional work required to mobilize situated forms of knowledge and the important bridging functions that institutional entrepreneurs can play in this process.