Exploring Entrepreneurial Thinking and Action
Edited by Frederic Bill, Björn Bjerke and Anders W. Johansson
Chapter 5: Entrepreneurial Successes and Failures in the Arts
Katja Lindqvist Artists and art professionals1 should be ideal protagonists of postindustrial society given the contemporary demand for innovators and creative entrepreneurs, as they are visionary, independent, innovative and highly committed to their projects. But instead of occupying centre stage, artists are largely marginalized in public discourse and space, except for when it comes to scandals. Even successful art enterprises initiated by artists or arts professionals seem to downplay the role of artistic innovativeness, independence, vision and commitment as time passes. Sometimes, as presented in three Swedish cases in this chapter, entrepreneurs founding successful art enterprises are actually contested and even taken action against. These cases recount the stories of how three entrepreneurs in the arts field are successful in resource mobilization for their enterprises, but over time face resource demobilization, including disaffiliation of themselves from their founded enterprises. Why do these conflicts occur, and are they unavoidable? These two questions will be addressed in this chapter. THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ART ENTREPRENEURSHIP Trying to understand entrepreneurs in the field of the arts better, there are a number of different perspectives from which to view actions which are here described as entrepreneurial. When trying to describe entrepreneurial behaviour, commitment seems vital, something which is related to the personal link between a founder of an enterprise and the enterprise itself. Also, a founder of an enterprise needs to be able to manage the enterprise through its first phase of existence and to have the skills to play a constructive role in the...
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