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Strategic Management in the Arts

By Lidia Varbanova, Routledge, Abingdon, 2012, 358 pp., ISBN 9780415530033

Strategic Management in the Arts looks at the unique characteristics of organisations in the arts and culture sector, and shows readers how to tailor a strategic plan to help these diverse organizations meet their objectives. Strategic management is an essential element that drives an organisation's success, still many cultural organizations have yet to apply strategic thinking and entrepreneurial actions within the management function.

Lidia Varbanova reviews the existing theories and models of strategic management and then relates these specifically to cultural organisations. Also included are sections on entrepreneurship and innovations in the arts, considering the concept of a 'learning organisation' – an organisation able to adapt its strategy within a constantly changing, complex environment.

The book is structured to walk the reader through each element of the strategic plan systematically. With a fresh approach, key questions, examples, international cases to connect theory with practice and suggestions for further reading, this book is designed to accompany arts management academic programmes and courses on strategic planning, cultural management or arts management.

As Anita Kangas, Professor from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, stresses, "this is an insightful introduction to strategic management in the arts and culture. It challenges students and art managers, researchers and decision makers to apply elements of strategic management in the art world - well conceptualized, and inclusive of concrete examples and pragmatic suggestions. The author makes a good point in emphasizing that skills are a necessary component in strategic arts management."