Cultural Entrepreneurship

Management Summary: The attached paper is a literature study on the subject: Cultural entrepreneurship – Summary of selected literary contributions in view of an interdisciplinary concept. By answering the research question of what cultural entrepreneurship means in the studied literature this paper aims to present selected literary contributions to the concept of cultural entrepreneurship.

Source: Borghoff, Birgitta (2005). Cultural Entrepreneurship: Summary of selected literary contributions in view of an interdisciplinary concept. Master thesis in the postgraduate course Arts Management (unpublished). Winterthur: ZHAW School of Management & Law, Center for Arts Management

Download master thesis “Cultural Entrepreneurship (German language)

(German titel of the thesis: Cultural Entrepreneurship: Zusammenfassende Darstellung ausgewählter Literaturbeiträge zu einem interdisziplinären Konzept. Diplomarbeit im Nachdiplomstudiengang Kulturmanagement (unveröffentlicht). Winterthur: ZHAW School of Management & Law, Zentrum für Kulturmanagement.)

Based on the findings from entrepreneurship research, the author investigates the following thesis: Entrepreneurship research is interdisciplinary in content and method. Immediate economic and practical aspects can be transferred to the cultural sector. From this point of view work in the cultural sector and entrepreneurship are not contradictory.

The work is divided into 5 chapters. Following the introduction, the conceptual basis for understanding culture and entrepreneurship is given in chapter 2. The underlying research question is examined in chapters 3 and 4. When answering the question, the author examines the concrete faculty areas of the respective authors, as well as the scientific, societal and political-social contexts the written texts are embedded in. This is followed by a description of the method in order to summarize the relevant contents of the concept of cultural entrepreneurship. Finally, the author investigates the respective goals and intentions of the authors whilst writing down their contributions. Chapter 5 reflects on the results and concludes with an outlook.

In the following, the key findings of the study will be summarized. Entrepreneurship is primarily not a question of acquired specialist and management knowledge. In contrast qualities such as a good intuition and perception, innovation, risk-taking and networking skills have an influence on the success of a (cultural) company as well as the understanding of one’s own biographical experiences. The self-responsibility for one’s own ideas, as well as entrepreneurial thinking and acting in harmony with the social values, are other important aspects of cultural entrepreneurship.

Due to the scarcity of public funds, new cultural offers are being developed with regard to their social legitimacy, before a financial guarantee can be granted. For this reason, leaders or managers of cultural institutions must develop entrepreneurial skills and abilities to succeed in the marketplace. An innovative marketing approach combined with an efficient marketing strategy that implies targeted visitor and target group analyses, might lead to an increase in audience numbers. Also the entering of strategic partnerships and increased involvement in communities can foster to positively influence and create a positive image of a cultural enterprise, an thus enthral important stakeholders.

Due to the inadequate economic knowledge of artists and directors of cultural institutions, an integration of university teaching and practice is required; this is entrepreneurship in artistic, humanistic and cultural education. The aim is to prepare young people for the challenges in the private sector, in the cultural and educational life whilst taking the initiative and establish themselves as cultural entrepreneurs in the market. In return, entrepreneurship research has to consider the cultural and symbolic dimensions of entrepreneurship, allowing for the development of a company in the first place. In future, these have to be strongly integrated into theory and practice.

In the eyes of the author the development of a theoretically and practically sound model of cultural entrepreneurship as well as the development of case studies on cultural entrepreneurs in cultural and business enterprises is crucial to contribute to the removal of barriers between the various disciplines. Thus, culture will be given a proper place within the economy as well as economy takes its place within the cultural sector. By presenting different views on the concept of cultural entrepreneurship, the present literature study offers a basis for further scientific research activities for the development of a model of cultural entrepreneurship.

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