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One of the key issues in the arts as well as in the larger NFP arena concerns increasing pressures to adopt standard management practices.Concerns with efficiency and effectiveness along with the demands of funding agencies and donors for more coherent and transparent procedures have convinced many arts organizations to initiate reforms in their administrative apparatus.Arts management is a relatively new field in management research but one that is attracting increasing attention.
The first answer is affirmative because the arts as an industry have their own set of drivers and constraints just as banking, automobiles, and telecommunications do.
Indeed, one might argue that the context is even more distinctive since the products offered by the arts are more discretionary than those offered by banks, car companies, or telephone systems.
But is arts management really that different from management in other types of organization; are the challenges found in the arts industry and the context in which they operate specific enough to require a separate approach to understanding managerial experience?
From the limited literature available, the answers to this question appear to be yes, no, and yes.
For example, human resources must often deal with high profile performers who appear with the company for a short time under quite specific constraints.
Within any arts organization, a balance exists between administrative requirements, some of which may be imposed by outside bodies, and the aesthetic judgments inherent in presenting performances or exhibitions.
Although the level of government funding varies widely, the percentage of support coming from government bodies has generally decreased leading to greater reliance on revenue from admissions and sales, corporate support, and fundraising efforts.
Even where government funding is available, competition for these funds has sharpened considerably.
Although all but the smallest arts organizations recognize the need for more professional management, many are uncomfortable with the consequences of this shift.
Even larger organizations that have successfully adopted more managerial approaches regularly decry the compromises they have had to make.