The creation of temporary enterprises for project-based work has become an increasingly salient feature of the new economy. These project-based enterprises challenge several tenets of strategic management theory. Film making has a long tradition of project-based organizing. This article presents an intensive case study of a big-budget motion picture project which provides the context for identifying some paradoxical attributes of project-based enterprises. Each of the paradoxes challenges strategic management theory assumptions of a relatively permanent firm as the locus of learning, knowledge transfer, and competitive advantage. Findings from the film case suggest the importance of human and social capital that is embodied in individual free-agent careers and mobilized within communities of professional and industry practice.
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