Managing Organisational Success in the Arts: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Managing Organisational Success in the Arts

1st Edition

Edited by David Stevenson


174 pages | 6 B/W Illus.

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The creative and cultural industries are a dynamic and rapidly expanding field of enterprise. Yet all too often the dominant narrative about arts organisations is one of crisis, collapse, and closure. This edited collection seeks to challenge that narrative through pursuing a focus on organisational success in the management of creative and cultural organisations.

This book offers a robust and in-depth analysis of nine international case studies exploring how different organisations have achieved their objectives through effectively managing their resources. Spanning a broad cross section of the cultural sector including Theatres; Multi-Arts Venues; Performing Arts Companies; Museums and Galleries; and Festivals and Events, these cases highlight the importance of examining an individual organisation’s success in relation to its environmental context, revealing not only how arts organisations work in practice, but also providing inspiration and encouragement for those wishing to emulate such success.

With an explicit focus on examining theory in practice, this unique collection will be of great interest to students, academics, and practitioners alike. While traditional approaches have often been overly theoretical, this pragmatic approach will help students to gain a richer understanding of how to manage cultural and creative organisations more effectively.


'At last, a book courageously equating arts institutional success with vibrant and visionary leadership, and rejecting the frequent rationalizations for failure on an uncontrollable external environment.'

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director Ojai Music Festival, former Chief Executive The Cleveland Orchestra and Boston Symphony

‘Focused on real-life examples, this book applies a critical lens to the practices of arts management. Readers will not only learn what approaches were taken and why, but are given the space to question what viewpoints, ideologies and traditions have shaped the decisions that were made.’

Dr Victoria Durrer, Lecturer in Arts Management and Cultural Policy, Queen's University, Belfast

Table of Contents

Introduction: In defence of good management in the arts, David Stevenson. 1. Feeding tomorrow: The Case of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati, USA, Travis Newton. 2. Taking charge of change: The Case of Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center, Colorado, USA, Constance DeVereaux & Jim Richerson. 3. That’s all very well in practice, but what about the theory? The Case of Glasgow Life, Glasgow, Scotland, Mark O’Neill & Robert Rogerson. 4. Purpose, place, people and passion: The Case of the Lammermuir Festival, East Lothian, Scotland, David Stevenson. 5. Breaking ground without breaking stride: The Case of Mesa Arts Center and Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Mesa and Kansas City, USA, Patrick Donnelly. 6. Contingency and context in strategic planning for success: The Case of Northern Ireland Opera, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Steven Hadley. 7. Attractiveness through mystique: The Case of The Culture Yard, Helsingør, Denmark, Konstantinos Karatzias & Katja Lindqvist. 8. Global PR that works: The Case of the State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia, Natalia Grincheva. 9. Episodic volunteer management at festivals: The case of Valletta Film Festival, Valetta, Malta, Lesley-Ann Dickson

About the Editor

David Stevenson is Head of the Division of Media, Communication and Performing Arts at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. Drawing on his academic research alongside 10 years of management experience in the public and private sector, David teaches at both undergraduate and postgraduate level in the fields of Arts Management and Cultural Policy.

About the Series

Routledge Research in the Creative and Cultural Industries

This series brings together book-length original research in cultural and creative industries from a range of perspectives. Charting developments in contemporary cultural and creative industries thinking around the world, the series aims to shape the research agenda to reflect the expanding significance of the creative sector in a globalised world.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Nonprofit Organizations & Charities / Management & Leadership
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Organizational Development
PERFORMING ARTS / Business Aspects