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The management of participatory cultural initiatives: learning from the discourse on intellectual capital

Author

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  • Martin Piber

    (Universität Innsbruck)

  • Paola Demartini

    (Universität Innsbruck
    Università degli Studi Roma Tre)

  • Lucia Biondi

    (Universität Innsbruck
    Università degli Studi Roma Tre)

Abstract

Based on previous research that highlights some gaps in the study of the new phenomena of Participatory Cultural Initiatives (PCIs), this paper addresses the need to understand how the relevance of those initiatives is perceived, tentatively measured and communicated to strategic stakeholders. With this, we want to investigate a possible contribution of the discourse on Intellectual Capital (IC) and Intangible Assets for the cultural sector in general and PCIs in detail. The IC perspective is adopted as a boundary object to analyse the key actors’ behaviours concerning PCIs, following a performative approach. In doing so, this field research applies a case study method of analysis by investigating two PCIs in Italy: Big City Life, a street art district in Tor Marancia (Rome) and the project of Matera as European Capital of Culture 2019. Data have been gathered through both primary (interviews) and secondary (official documents, social media, websites and press releases) sources of evidence. The analysis is mainly developed at a micro (single organisation) and meso (district/city) level. Given the originality of the topic whose research is still at an infancy stage and without a well-grounded theory, we seek to gain significant insights into this new issue by applying an exploratory approach. Through the IC lens, it is possible to gain a better understanding of how the PCIs’ impact is assessed and communicated to its stakeholders. Evidence shows that narratives and visualisations play a crucial role by supporting comprehension of the PCIs’ key aspects and their interwoven relations. A condition for narratives and visualisations to be accepted as legitimation tools is the development of a trust relationship among stakeholders. As a result, the impact of PCIs has dimensions and interwoven aspects which are not amenable for traditional performance measures. In summary, it is possible to state that PCIs trigger a focus on talking and showing to understand, instead of a focus on measuring to understand. The paper discusses how the understanding and management of PCIs can improve with lessons learnt from the discourse on IC and with reference to Habermas’ theory of communicative action. Primarily, we focus on the use of narrative and visual representations by key actors to communicate with strategic stakeholders to gain trust and legitimation.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Piber & Paola Demartini & Lucia Biondi, 2019. "The management of participatory cultural initiatives: learning from the discourse on intellectual capital," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 23(2), pages 435-458, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jmgtgv:v:23:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s10997-018-9435-7
    DOI: 10.1007/s10997-018-9435-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Alla Sulyma, 2022. "Klasyfikacja barier komunikacyjnych z pokoleniem Z w miejscu pracy," Nowoczesne Systemy Zarządzania. Modern Management Systems, Military University of Technology, Faculty of Security, Logistics and Management, Institute of Organization and Management, issue 2, pages 13-28.
    4. Sandra Brosnan & David O’Donnell & Philip O’Regan, 2019. "A performative exploration of the lifeworlds of human capital and financial capital: an intellectual capital case vignette," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 23(2), pages 321-344, June.
    5. Adrián López-Balboa & Alicia Blanco-González & Francisco Díez-Martín & Camilo Prado-Román, 2021. "Macro Level Measuring of Organization Legitimacy: Its Implication for Open Innovation," JOItmC, MDPI, vol. 7(1), pages 1-14, February.
    6. Michela Magliacani, 2023. "How the sustainable development goals challenge public management. Action research on the cultural heritage of an Italian smart city," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 27(3), pages 987-1015, September.

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