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From the Critics' Corner: Logic Blending, Discursive Change and Authenticity in a Cultural Production System


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  • Mary Ann Glynn
  • Michael Lounsbury
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    Drawing on an analysis of critics' reviews of Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) performances, we investigate how broader shifts in institutional logics shape the discourse of critics and their judgment of performances. We highlight how the aesthetic logic that traditionally informs the practices of the symphony yielded, in the face of declining orchestral resources, to a more commercially oriented market logic. As institutionalists have argued, shifts in logics are often catalysed by exogenous shocks. In the ASO, this blending of aesthetic and market logics became salient in the wake of a pivotal organizational event, the 1996 musicians' strike. Qualitatively comparing pre- and post-strike reviews of ASO performances, we find that the discourse of critics shifted to capture the changing logic of the symphony: post-strike reviews were more attuned to market than aesthetic aspects of the symphony. Nonetheless, their reviews suggested that judgments based on notions of cultural authenticity were virtually unaffected. Although our results echo existing claims that art world critics often act in a ritualistic fashion, serving as gatekeepers for the authenticity of cultural genres, we extend scholarship by highlighting how critics' stories are embedded in broader discursive fields that reveal how they patrol the boundaries of genres. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2005.

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    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Management Studies.

    Volume (Year): 42 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 5 (07)
    Pages: 1031-1055

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:42:y:2005:i:5:p:1031-1055

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    Cited by:
    1. Joris Ebbers & Nachoem Wijnberg, 2012. "The effects of having more than one good reputation on distributor investments in the film industry," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 227-248, August.
    2. Sarasini, Steven, 2013. "Institutional work and climate change: Corporate political action in the Swedish electricity industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 480-489.
    3. Krista Bondy & Jeremy Moon & Dirk Matten, 2012. "An Institution of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Multi-National Corporations (MNCs): Form and Implications," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 111(2), pages 281-299, December.
    4. Koene, B.A.S. & Ansari, S.M., 2013. "Entrepreneurs, institutional entrepreneurship and institutional change. Contextualizing the changing role of actors in the institutionalization of temporary work in the Netherlands from 1960 to 2008," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2013-009-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus Uni.
    5. Wright, April L. & Zammuto, Raymond F., 2013. "Creating opportunities for institutional entrepreneurship: The Colonel and the Cup in English County Cricket," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 51-68.


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