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


  • Mary Ann Glynn
  • Michael Lounsbury


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Mary Ann Glynn & Michael Lounsbury, 2005. "From the Critics' Corner: Logic Blending, Discursive Change and Authenticity in a Cultural Production System," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(5), pages 1031-1055, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:42:y:2005:i:5:p:1031-1055

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Richard A. Peterson, 2005. "In Search of Authenticity," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(5), pages 1083-1098, July.
    2. Marek Korczynski & Ursula Ott, 2004. "When Production and Consumption Meet: Cultural Contradictions and the Enchanting Myth of Customer Sovereignty," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 575-599, June.
    3. Mary Ann Glynn, 2000. "When Cymbals Become Symbols: Conflict Over Organizational Identity Within a Symphony Orchestra," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 11(3), pages 285-298, June.
    4. N. Anand & Richard A. Peterson, 2000. "When Market Information Constitutes Fields: Sensemaking of Markets in the Commercial Music Industry," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 11(3), pages 270-284, June.
    5. Holbrook, Morris B, 1999. " Popular Appeal versus Expert Judgments of Motion Pictures," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(2), pages 144-155, September.
    6. Blake E. Ashforth & Ronald H. Humphrey, 1997. "The Ubiquity and Potency of Labeling in Organizations," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 8(1), pages 43-58, February.
    7. Rodolphe Durand & Hayagreeva Rao & Philippe Monin, 2003. "Institutional Change in Toque Ville: Nouvelle Cuisine as an Identity Movement in French Gastronomy," Post-Print hal-00480858, HAL.
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