Between Anxiety and Hope: The Hidden Side of Global Intellectual Property Regulation

Intellectual Property Regulation (IPR) has been expanding globally over the past decades. IPR increasingly impacts issues in other public policy domains, such as access to medicines, food security and use of digital content. Less is known about how global IPR hits the ground when actors, building on the achievements on others, seek to develop new products and engage in creative endeavors. A recently published article by Centre Director Sigrid Quack with Leonhard Dobusch, Konstantin Hondros, and Katharina Zangerle, ‘Between Anxiety and Hope? How Actors Experience Regulatory Uncertainty in Creative Processes in Music and Pharma’, published in Research in the Sociology of Organizations, points towards the hitherto neglected role of emotions in dealing with the uncertainties involved in the application of IPR. These findings foreground the hidden side of global IPR that should be taken into account when assessing its enabling but also limiting effects on creativity and innovation.



Uncertainty about Intellectual Property Regulations (IPR) is prevalent in today’s knowledge-based and creative industries. While prior literature indicates that regulatory uncertainty affects creative processes, studies that systematically analyze the effects of IPR on the experiencing of involved actors in creative processes across fields are rare. We ask how core professional actor groups including creators, legal professionals and managers involved in creative processes experience regulatory uncertainty in the fields of music and pharma. By studying practices of engaging with, circumventing and avoiding regulatory uncertainty about IPR, we show how creative processes in both the music and pharma fields are entrenched with emotional-cognitive experiences such as anxiety, indifference and hope that vary by professional group. Our findings point toward managers and legal professionals observing, exposing and cultivating emotions by ascribing experiences to other actor groups. We conclude that comparing regulation-related emotions of involved actors across fields helps to develop a deeper understanding of the dynamics of creative processes.

Dobusch, Leonhard, Hondros, Konstantin, Quack, Sigrid and Zangerle, Katharina (2021). ‘Between Anxiety and Hope? How Actors Experience Regulatory Uncertainty in Creative Processes in Music and Pharma’, in ‘Organizing Creativity in the Innovation Journey’, Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Volume 75, Emerald Publishing, 137-160. doi:10.1108/S0733-558X20210000075012

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