Project management in the culture industry: balancing structure and creativity
by Alexander Styhre, Sofia Borjesson
International Journal of Project Organisation and Management (IJPOM), Vol. 3, No. 1, 2011

Abstract: The paper presents a study of the Swedish culture industry and emphasises the ability to structure the projects yet enabling openness for emergent properties in project work in the culture industry. While project management in conventional industry risks being routinised or even bureaucratised, the culture industry is demonstrating a persistent ability to navigate between complementary qualities, thereby maintaining a dynamic project management practice. This virtue is captured by the concept of play, based on the duality of rule-adherence and individual and collective creativity. In the culture industry, structured around a series of temporal 'productions' (e.g., a play, a series of concerts, etc.), uncertainty, complexity, and temporality are factors that influence the work. However, the ideology of the culture industry emphasising expression of ideas and creativity enables a project management practice affirmative of emergent conditions. Thus, the work never ossifies into being merely rule-governed procedures but is balancing the two qualities innate to all play.

Online publication date: Wed, 14-Jan-2015

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