A majority of my research has been carried out in London, England based on preliminary ideas and professional work undertaken in Paris, France while working at UNESCO. The decision to relocate from Paris to London was spurred by several factors. First of all, the University of the Arts, EMCA programme proposed a structure and framework for pragmatically exploring the creative industry sector of the United Kingdom.
The mix of lectures and course work created a learning and research environment suitable to policy studies. With exceptional access to policy planners, libraries and the creative milieu of London a study of the international, regional and national effects was easily researched and more importantly, experienced.
As a participant observer I attempted to maintain an unbiased approach throughout the process. This approach proved difficult at times due to close personal bonds that ensued at the different levels of research. Remaining objective was always an important consideration while carrying out the primary interviews and participating in board meetings and strategy sessions of the case study sample.
A second consideration of adopting a participant observer research strategy was what can best be described as an effort to deliver “respectful criticism”. The strength of the action research, participant observer methodology is the ability to gain insider knowledge of national policy initiatives and issues. The difficulty lies in later expressing a critique of policy thoughts and ideas in the face of pioneers within the industry. The conclusions and recommendations are presented with the utmost institutional and personal respect of the persons who are considered architects of the creative economy movement.