The Value of Arts for Business

Giovanni Schiuma (Faculty of Economics, University of Basilicata, Potenza, Italy.)

Measuring Business Excellence

ISSN: 1368-3047

Article publication date: 30 August 2011




Schiuma, G. (2011), "The Value of Arts for Business", Measuring Business Excellence, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 99-100.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

How arts‐based initiative can drive business excellence

What are the factors that will significantly drive the improvements of business performance and affect the excellence of organisations in the twenty‐first century business landscape?

The Value of Arts for Business discloses the relevance of the arts as a management means to enhance organisational value creation capacity and boost business performance. This book is based on the premise that the excellence of twenty‐first century organisations is based on the adoption of new management principles to be integrated with the traditional ones. The traditional view of the organisation considers the organisational components as dimensions of a system that has to be rationally defined and controlled according to a rational‐based approach. The fundamental assumption is that the excellence of an organisation results from its capacity to enhance over the time efficiency and make the system as much as possible predictable and controllable. This positivistic view of organisations is grounded in the paradigm of the Scientific Management. In fact, beginning with the definition of the principles of Scientific Management by Frederick Taylor, management, in both theory and practice, has been essentially focused on the application of the rational and engineering characteristics to shape business models and management systems. Thus the positivistic approach has dominated the development of modern management. One century on from the definition of the principles of Scientific Management, organisational management systems still appear strongly anchored in the rational‐based perspective. However, though this view has driven the business growth in the last century, in today's complex business age it shows some limitations to enhance organisational value creation capacity. In today's economy organisations have to face multiple and interdependent macro‐forces, from the increase of the innovation pace to the development of new industries and stakeholders' wants and needs, that are reshaping the competitive ecosystem.

In the new business age it is more and more difficult for organisations to plot a clear course to achieve the targeted business performance improvements objectives according to a specific business program. Nowadays organisations are continuously challenged to find new routes to accomplish the strategic business objectives and to deliver value to stakeholders. For this reason organisations need to become agile, intuitive, imaginative, flexible to change and innovative.

This means that organisations need to recognise the centrality of people in the definition and management of business models and value the strategic relevance of organisational aesthetic dimensions as fundamental factors to meet the complexity and turbulence of the new business age.

The new problem that management has to focus on and solve is not only the technical efficiency of the organisational processes, but rather the dynamic adaptability and resilience of organisations.

The Value of Arts for Business investigates why and how the arts, in the forms of Arts‐Based Initiatives (ABIs), can represent a powerful management tool for developing workforce and organisational infrastructure that can drive business performance improvement. This book explains the strategic relevance and contribution that the arts can offer for the development of twenty‐first century organisations. It proposes the arts as a new “territory” to innovate management systems and the ABIs are analysed as managerial instruments to manage the organisation's aesthetic dimensions with a positive impact on the development of organisational people and infrastructure. Examples can range from the use of art forms to entertain organisations' employees and clients, to the deployment of arts to develop “soft competencies” of people in the organisation, and may include the exploitation of the arts to create intangible value to be incorporated into products or to transform and enhance organisation's infrastructural assets such as, for instance, image, identity, reputation, culture and climate.

In particular, the book proposes three models that show how organisations can successfully implement and manage ABIs to impact on business performance. First, the Arts Value Matrix enables managers to see how organisational value‐drivers are affected by ABIs. Second, the Arts Benefits Constellation shows how to assess the benefits of using ABIs. Finally, the Arts Value Map shows how ABIs can be integrated and aligned with organisational strategy and operations.

This book makes a significant theoretical and practical contribution. From theory viewpoint it lays the foundations for a new research area exploring the links between arts and business. While, from practical point of view it helps managers and arts‐based organisations to better design, implement and assess ABIs that are fully incorporated into management systems and drive value creation dynamics.

The Value of Arts for Business draws on the research conducted by the author over the past decade on the key strategic intangible assets driving value creation and business excellence lays the conceptual foundations for a new research stream and provides insights for executives searching for the development of their management systems and business models.

Further information on the book and the author can be found at:‐value‐of‐arts/

Related articles