Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Business and Management.

Publication Details

Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 34 Issue: 3, pp.24 - 32


Purpose – Reliance on individual talent and motivation renders creative professional service firms (PSFs) highly dependent on their ability to attract and mobilise the right individuals. This paper aims to build an integrated framework showing firstly how creative industry PSFs can differ in their strategy for growth, and secondly how these alternative strategies for growth can influence the firm's approach to organising and the type of talent required.

Design/methodology/approach – The findings are based on a series of interviews with managing directors, senior management and practitioners of architectural organisations in a single country, combined with an extensive literature review.

Findings – The authors' framework illustrates how the proposed growth strategies for creative PSFs are aligned to alternative professional talent profiles – a product portfolio strategy where the firm structures for efficiency aligned to a managerial talent profile, and an artistic competency strategy where the firm structures for creativity aligned to a technical talent profile.

Research limitations/implications – The usual limitations apply in terms of generalisability of findings from case studies.

Practical implications – The authors' proposed framework represents a novel attempt to help management of creative PSFs to align their growth strategies with human resource practice to achieve the firm's objectives, and provide valuable practical advice to managers on achieving this “fit”.

Originality/value – By linking the firm's strategy and structure to identify the organisation's human resource requirements, the authors provide a novel framework for how creative PSFs can attract and retain the type of talent profile and motivational characteristics best suited to perform consistently and contribute to achieving the firm objectives.