Management of project failures in the gaming industry : The normalization approach
Sammanfattning: In creative industries such as the gaming industry, the failure rate is typically higher in relation to many other industries. This is usually due to the constant need of innovation and the extreme competition in the industry of gaming. Firms in this industry take on multiple innovation projects, which inherently have a high rate of failure. Literature has previously stressed and focused on the importance of failure and how it can enhance learning that can be a crucial asset for any organization. However, failure brings along negative emotions that can slow down or block the learning process of an individual or an organization at large. In an industry where failure is common, it is important for the management to tackle this issue. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis is to explore the approach the management of small gaming firms take in order to normalize failure. In this study, the data has been collected qualitatively while using a thematic analysis to recognize consistent themes and patterns, which arise from the primary data that was collected. By conducting four semi-structured interviews with two different companies (2 interviews each), we found that both companies have a similar attitude regarding project failure. Both companies either expect failure to happen or even encourage it. One of our key findings was that both companies emphasize failing fast, which allows them to save time, money and resources as well as helps some members of the organization to react less emotionally to the termination of a project. Empirical results were then discussed and analyzed by judging whether the actions these companies took can be classified as a way of normalizing failure. We concluded that there was evidence for management employing various methods of action that would eventually lead to normalization of failure. Some of these actions included the fail fast attitude, failure supportive slogans and the thought of planning for failure beforehand.
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