Managing Real Utopias: Artistic and Creative Visions and Implementation

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In the profit-making world, strategic management focuses on the pursuit of goals such as low costs and powerful market positions. Whereas the ultimate goal for business management is to increase profit, this is not as simple for nonprofit arts organizations. However, many cultural and creative organizations are limited by administrative and other constraints that make it difficult for them to be more visionary.

This study applies Erik Olin Wright’s sociological concept of “real utopia” on six selected urban case studies in the field of arts and culture by exploring how much his three degrees of visionary thinking desirability, viability, and achievability occur. Two of the studied initiatives pursue utopian visions (desirability), two have succumbed to the pragmatic need of overcoming everyday obstacles (achievability), and two have a hybrid position between utopian desirability and pragmatic achievability. The degree of bureaucratization appears to have a strong impact on the visionary imagination. An initiative with a strong bureaucratic structure tends to refrain from visions and mostly copes with everyday barriers and constraints (achievability). An initiate with a non-bureaucratic and entrepreneurial format encourages the discussion of utopian visions (desirability). An initiative with a variegated format, which opposes bureaucratic structures for more flexibility but still performs levels of central control, gravitates towards achievability in its bureaucratic tract but towards desirability in its creative tract.
Translated title of the contributionReale Utopien managen: Künstlerische und kreative Visionen und Umsetzungen
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArts and Cultural Management : Sense And Sensibilities in The State Of The Field
EditorsConstance DeVereaux
Number of pages21
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Publication date01.09.2018
ISBN (print)978-1-138-04844-7
ISBN (electronic)978-1-315-16420-5
Publication statusPublished - 01.09.2018