Quality, service level, or empire: which is the objective of the nonprofit arts firm?
In this article, we examine the objectives of nonprofit arts firms. We approach this problem from both theoretical and empirical angles, building a structural model of arts nonprofit utility that distinguishes between the maximization of quality, the organization’s level of service, and its budget. We then construct an empirical method for testing which objective is evident in firm-level data. As an example application, we test the objectives of the managers of American public radio stations in the 1990s, finding that about half of stations have discernible objectives. The data show service is not an objective for about 30% of the stations; quality can be ruled out for 49%; and budget is rejected for 69%. In addition, large stations are harder to classify by objective than small ones are. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007
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