Arts and cultural organisations and Creative Industries (GIOCA) Group

The Department is active in the field of management and innovation of arts and cultural organizations and the creative economy. The group’s aim is to add a critical management view to debates in the cultural and creative fields, which are usually dominated by macro-economic, sociological, juridical, and strictly professional approaches.

Moreover, the study of arts, cultural, and creative organizations and their “anomalies” can contribute to managerial knowledge. The group’s papers have been published in both heritage journals and general management and accounting outlets. The department’s research in this field comprises a specific (albeit not exclusive) focus on cultural heritage management and creative industries. Both streams are strongly interconnected to the teaching activities of the GIOCA master’s programme and other training initiatives at the executive level.


Cultural heritage management

In the past 20 years, the GIOCA Research Centre has been actively involved in the study of the management and organization of arts and heritage institutions in different countries (Italy, China, Turkey, Peru, France). The aim is to investigate how similar trends in terms of reduction of public resources, differentiation of revenue streams, and the introduction of visitor-oriented logics unfold in institutional contexts that differ from the more often analyzed Anglo-Saxon ones.

This approach has been shared by more recent and ongoing research projects in the department. Planning and sustainability of cultural policies and management practices have been recently analyzed in the context of the 11th and 12th five-year plans in China. Moreover, one project looked at governance and business model change in conservation management within the transition from communism to market economy in Poland. Among ongoing projects, the group is analyzing the distinctive organizational features of university museums by reconstructing the administrative history of university museums in Bologna, Oxford, and Padua. The project is being carried out in collaboration with the Said School of Business at Oxford. The group is also investigating the controversial practice of heritage valuation for financial reporting purposes among museums in Australia and Italy. An ongoing project problematizes the lack of managerial investigation in the field of industrial heritage and explores a set of case studies in this area. Lastly, a recently started research project aims to update case studies developed in the first 20 years of activity of the research group.


Creative industries

Some faculty members are investigating such industries as comics, advertising, motion pictures, fashion, and wine-making to contribute to broader conversations in management studies, with a particular interest in the social structure of creativity, network management, and interfirm relationships. Researchers who have been focusing on the social structure of creativity have developed a combination of experimental designs and network analytic methods to examine the network and cognitive bases of recognition and creativity in cultural fields. Likewise, some researchers have used both qualitative and social network analysis to understand how network relationships develop and coevolve in relation to management actions to cope with uncertainty and creativity. Lastly, researchers have investigated the role of interfirm relationships in the development of creative projects (e.g., brand extensions via licensing in the fashion industry), and the determinants of the expansion of mature relationships.


Teaching and training

Most faculty members interested in cultural and creative industries are actively involved in the GIOCA programme (Graduate degree in Innovation and Organization of Culture and the Arts). The innovative programme is designed to help students attain the management skills they need to work in cultural organizations, focusing on extensive managerial knowledge and using a strong interdisciplinary and international approach. The GIOCA research group has been active in the field of executive training, designing an “Intensive Seminar on Cultural Heritage Management,” which was offered in Lecce in 2012 and Buenos Aires in 2014. More recently, the group has organized and delivered a course in “Cultural Entrepreneurship” within the Erasmus+ project EMPHOS (Empowering Museum Professionals and Heritage Organizations Staff).