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Purpose of this case study:
-clarify some RBV concepts (in the process the roots of Hirst's success should get clearer) differentiate between end products & core competences (think back how long we debated the artworks at the beginning, until somebody pointed out that it was not the art work which was central to his success) some key concepts from RBV clearly apply to Hirst's success: - causal ambiguity (luck?) - co-specialisation (notice how strategically he uses alliances, compare that with Hamel & Prahalad's description of tech companies building core competences) - validation as an artist is a socially-complex good - he creates art for a market that no one previously realised was there (biomatter in art, nouveau-riche, institutional or speculative investors, new collectors sidelined by intransparent art market => some of these become only relevant once he has achieved validation)
Some of you asked how to apply Peteraf's model could be applied here. Her model is theoretically based, so the management model that is more commonly used is VRIN (Value, Rarity, Inimitability, Non-substitutability) => but one has to be clear that this applies to the competency, no the end products (Hirst's art is now all of those four, but wasn't at the beginning nor is it inherently special without the brand). What the VRIN model does not necessarily clarify is the sources of value, rarity, etc. So if we did apply Peteraf's model, I would suggest that it would look like this: Hetereogeneity:
Hirst's art is unique in including "biomatter", different in his knowledge of consumers (socially complex good) However his knowledge of the market is not unique, just sufficiently different
Ex ante competition
No competition for biomatter in art No competition of other young artists aggressively targeting the curator role
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Uniqueness of his exploration of wealth, death & decay cannot be transferred to another brand (can be executed by assistants, but that different) High visibility that derives from its shock value makes copying or imitation difficult Co-specialised assets: alliance with Saatchi (Who makes the mistake thinking that Hirst is his co-specialised asset - Hirst: "I'm not his barrel-organ monkey" - which leads Hirst to try and realise value elsewhere, again with cospecialisation. While with Saatchi he emphasised shock value - that's what Saatchi had come
less-preferred investors (new collectors. Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum (medieval & renaissance art) co-specialisation with Sotheby's auction house: challenging established distribution networks All of these are socially complex & hard to imitate. and by creating scarcity through discontinuing lines.. as he holds 1/3 of all of Hirst's art production. Ex post competition • • • • having built a brand for this type of art. art galleries. Even Saatchi reinforces this (unsuprisingly..) by talking him up as one of the leading artists of the twentieth century. and having gained validation through Saatchi. speculators) => especially through his exhibition at the Rijksmuseum he proves his art has timeless value. contemporary art museums.• • • to embody in advertising . as well as capturing the market of non-traditional. which allow him to co-specialise with traditional high art museums outside the contemporary scene) co-specialisation with White Cube gallery. even the Rijksmuseum (almost unheard of to have contemporary art exhibited in a museum of this type & standing). investors. making his art a valuable asset class. any new artist would have to gain similar "validation" time lag of several years at minimum to match Hirst's brand more difficult to capture a similar position in terms of alliances and distribution.he now works with the White Cube curator & connects his art to more traditional themes. Most of this is inimitable & nonsubstitutable .