How a small-town enterprise delivers “worldwide” services: a case from the music production industry


  • Tone Vold Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences
  • Ole Jørgen Ranglund Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Rena, Norway
  • Svein Bergum Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Lillehammer, Norway
  • Carl-Henrik Wahl Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Rena, Norway
  • Hanne Marit Haave Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Rena, Norway
  • Linda V. Kiønig Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Rena, Norway



innovation, entrepreneurial behaviour, music production camps


In Rena, a small town (approx. 2,500 inhabitants) in a small municipality (approx. 5,000 inhabitants), there is a rather small enterprise that has not only had a national impact, but also attracts international attention. The company has specialized in music production and developing singer/songwriters and are running a substantial number of “music camps” that are sessions lasting either a weekend or a week with different themes. With increasingly better equipment accessible to “everyone” and digital platforms with short access to the public, the competition regarding being spotted on the different music apps is high and increasing rapidly. In our paper, we have investigated how this company has made a living out of facilitating for the development of music. We have used qualitative methods, and primarily focussed on in-depth interviews with the employees and participants, as well as observations during sessions. Our results show that not only their business model, but also the structure and facilitation, is vital for developing products that may be published. The structure and facilitation have been developed over some time. During this time, the founder and colleagues have shown exceptional learning abilities, and not only developed as music producers, but also as facilitators. We have found some explanations for this success, not only from theory on innovation and entrepreneurship, but also in theory on Positive Deviance, which we will present in the paper. The combination of these directions has provided a richer understanding of how this small-town company has a worldwide customer database. The innovation capacity of the company has supported the development of the organization as they have been able to utilize their dynamic skills, hired staff with complimentary skills and through a leadership and management style managed to engage the staff by involving and including them in the strategic development of the organization and what they offer their customers. Their ability to attract and develop competency and their professionalism have contributed towards turning potential disadvantages to a part of what they offer the customers as a support and positive means to finish or enhance their products.