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The managerialization of the arts in the era of creativity. The case of an Italian opera house

Author

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  • Paola Trevisan

    (Dept. of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venice)

Abstract

This paper investigates how management discourses developed in the arts industry. The theoretical background applied to answer this question, is rooted in the deep discussion on the role of managerial thinking in capitalistic societies which is provided in Boltanski and ChiapelloÕs ÒThe new spirit of capitalismÓ (2005; first version in French ÒLe nouvel esprit du capitalismeÓ, 1999), and it is enlarged by a discussion on how managerial discourses have affected the creative and the arts sector in more recent times. The theorizing provided in this paper is based on the analysis of the managerialization process of an Italian opera house. The case study is described by reporting both the Òofficial versionÓ and less official voices, putting particular emphasis on the role played by managerial discourses. The results show how the vocabulary of management is used internally to justify the managerialization process, and externally to communicate with potential investors of the private sector. However it is contrasted internally by some Òvoices out of tuneÓ which see management principles as conflicting with the artistic mission of the opera house, and their application as detrimental for the artistic quality and as source of frustration for artists and creative professionals. After the analysis of the case study, I provide a discussion of what seems to be a managerialization process investing the arts sector, in contrast to the artification of management which is undergoing in the profit-seeking creative sectors. Following Boltansky and ChiapelloÕs reasoning, I conclude by questioning about the possibility of a revival of the artistic critique in the cultural sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Paola Trevisan, 2017. "The managerialization of the arts in the era of creativity. The case of an Italian opera house," Working Papers 01, Department of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia.
  • Handle: RePEc:vnm:wpdman:134
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gherardi, Silvia & Jacobsson, Bengt, 2000. "Managerialese as the Latin of our times: reforming Italian public sector organizations," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 349-355, December.
    2. Joseph Lampel & Theresa Lant & Jamal Shamsie, 2000. "Balancing Act: Learning from Organizing Practices in Cultural Industries," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 11(3), pages 263-269, June.
    3. Eve Chiapello & Luc Boltanski, 2005. "The New Spirit of Capitalism," Post-Print hal-00678024, HAL.
    4. Eve Chiapello & Luc Boltanski, 2005. "The New Spirit of Capitalism," Post-Print hal-00680089, HAL.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    arts management; managerialization; creativity.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • M40 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - General

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