Strategic Management in Cultural Value Creation: A Critical Case Study of Art Center Copenhagen Contemporary

Andrea Saric

Student thesis: Master thesis


This paper tackled the complexity of cultural value and the issue of its creation within arts organizations through management intervention. The interest in this study was to expand the instrumentalist focus that discourse of creative industries prescribes to arts organizations towards a more appropriate rationale for governance, management and evaluation of its efforts. The aim of the research was to critically reflect upon existing management theory in arts, as the research problem highlighted lack of consideration regarding the extent to which management approach in arts encompasses intangible elements of cultural value. Choice of paradigm position in this inquiry was critical theory oriented towards critique and transformation of arts management and it implied a combination of philosophy and empirical study. This paradigm position dictated methodology of the study and selection of data collection and analysis techniques. Case-study research of art center Copenhagen Contemporary was performed. Required qualitative data was collected through methods of observation, archive and interview in order to gain perspective on management within the art center. Obtained data was then analyzed through a two-cycle process of coding, supplemented by jotting and memoing. Major findings exposed that not all of the selected management theories applied within the chosen art center successfully encompassed the absolute complexity of cultural value. Established management theories which explicitly define value through economic rationale remarkably failed to address important intrinsic aspects of cultural value. Implications reached through the theoretical discussion stated possible correlation between application of “softer” management theory discourse and contribution to the full-scale of cultural value creation, as this discourse expands the narrow focus from the technical rational choices about the efficiency to self-consciously rational choices about alternative ends. Therefore, not only easily quantifiable indicators of cultural value can be placed in focus, but conjointly the effects of culture that are equally important but difficult or impossible to measure.

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages73
SupervisorsSøren Friis Møller