Institutional Logics as orchestras’ strategic dilemma

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In many societies, professional orchestras serve cultural, educational, entertaining, and economic functions, and they aim high: they aim to be artistically excellent. Pursuing partly cultural, social and economic goals, orchestras are exposed simultaneously to respective institutional logics. These logics provide a framework for relevant actors (state, benefactors, audiences) to support orchestras. Changing logics coupled with drastic changes in audiences afford to classical orchestras the challenge of developing strategies in order to survive. While Germany with its high number of orchestras per habitants experiences particularly high pressure to walk new paths, strategic development will become a more urgent topic in other countries as well since each performance begs for recognition in the big and increasing panoply of culture, education, and entertainment. Based on historical developments and an empirical study of German audiences we discuss two directions for strategic development, here for orchestras in Germany: a) the combination of elements from different logics, and b) the development of audiences.

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