This paper explores how gatekeepers in creative industries select creative workers as partners to commercialize creativity. Drawing on relational work proposed by Viviana Zelizer, we examine the effects of occupational differences and the evolution of those differences on partnership formation. We combine qualitative and quantitative data from the silk industry of Lyon in the 18th century to suggest that (i) gatekeepers engaged in both collaborative and in competitive social relations with silk designers, and that (ii) the locus of attention of these collaborative and competitive relations shifted with the professionalization of silk design.On the collaborative side, while partnership uncertainty was initially mitigated by kinship ties, the professionalization of silk design moved the emphasis to skill-based assessments. As for competition, the growing number and legitimacy of silk designers made merchants aware of them as a potential threat. While neighborhoods were initially considered the loci of this threat, the professionalization of silk design escalated competition to the level of the city as a whole. A quantitative analysis of 676 designers from 1700-1788 lend support to our hypotheses. The contributions of our work to the literature are extensively discussed.
王涛，法国里昂商学院博士，现任法国格勒诺布尔商学院助理教授。研究兴趣包括组织理论（制度理论、社会分类）、（负面）社会评价对组织的影响以及组织的回应策略、组织认同，以及企业的非市场战略。论文发表在《Academy of Management Journal》、《Socio-Economic Review》等商科一流期刊。