Keywords: JEL Classification: L23 - Organization for Production; L82 - Industry Studies: Entertainment and Media; R58 - Regional Development Planning and Policy.
Institutional actors at the national, regional or local level are increasingly focusing on the development of innovative industries in order to improve national and local competitiveness. However, research either focuses on the role of national institutions, local policies or the organization of work separately without taking the possible interactions between the three dimensions into account. On the basis of qualitative research on the locally clustered media sector in Cologne, Germany, this paper argues that a sectoral logic that relies strongly on the use of networks can hinder or divert the course of policies. The cases of infrastructure and education and vocational training polices carried out at the local level in the media industry illustrate that policies may produce unintended effects if the work organization in the sector is not taken seriously into account in policy design.