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Functions of intermediaries in arts-based cooperations

Berit Sandberg (HTW Berlin – University of Applied Sciences, Berlin, Germany)

Arts and the Market

ISSN: 2056-4945

Article publication date: 2 May 2017




Arts-based cooperations between business and the arts create innovative solutions for companies by introducing artistic practices. Cooperations of this nature are predominantly prepared and implemented by intermediaries who act as “matchmakers” and bridge the cultural clash. The paper aims to discuss these issues.


For the present study on the function of such intermediaries, qualitative data material from interviews and case studies on arts-based cooperations was collected and analysed.


This paper analyses the results from an institutional economics perspective. By drawing on transaction cost theory and information economics, the findings are transformed into an intermediation theory of arts-based cooperations. The theory postulates that intermediaries are able to reduce transaction costs as well as the risks which are contingent on asymmetric information. Involving an intermediary produces cost advantages compared to direct contact between companies and artists.


The analysis illuminates an important but heretofore neglected aspect of arts-based initiatives thus providing an indication for their successful implementation.



Sandberg, B. (2017), "Functions of intermediaries in arts-based cooperations", Arts and the Market, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 13-31.



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