Employment Practices and Institutional Inertia in the Arts Sector: The Roles and Skills of Arts Managers in Building Organizational Capacity and Creating Public Value

ISSN/ISBN : 1480-8986
Pages : 21-35

Product: Article

$21.00 CA

Anne Kershaw, Hilary Glow, Kim Goodwin

Anne Kershaw is a senior lecturer at Deakin University in the Arts and Cultural Management Program. Her research interests are audience development and organizational change in cultural organizations.
Hilary Glow is a professor at Deakin University in the Arts and Cultural Management Program. Her research is in the areas of audience engagement and arts and cultural policies. 
Kim Goodwin is a teaching associate and research assistant at the University of Melbourne. Her research interests are leadership and career development in the arts and culture sector.

This article examines what the arts sector needs from arts managers to build capacity in order to respond to the changing external environment. The authors investigate employment practices that help organizations to be strategic and sustainable and to deliver public value. Through a survey of Australian arts organizations and peak bodies, they identify the workforce challenges facing the sector and the arts management skills prioritized by employers. They compare these findings with the skills and capabilities identified in the literature. Their analysis reveals that employers look for a disappointingly narrow set of skills to meet immediate demands and reach short-term solutions. Rather than building resilience, the sector is manifesting resistance to change and inertia in the face of uncertainty. The authors argue that workforce employment strategies need to allow for the valuing of more creative, diverse, and entrepreneurial skills and for the arts/cultural workforce to be understood by employers as a critical constituent of its dynamic capabilities.

Arts/cultural sector workforce, organizational change, institutional theory, dynamic capabilities, public value theory, arts management