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Knowledge centricity and organizational performance: an empirical study of the performing arts

Neville Vakharia (Department of Arts & Entertainment Enterprise, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA)
Marilena Vecco (Department of Management Organisation and Entrepreneurship, CEREN, EA 7477, Burgundy School of Business – Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Dijon, France)
Andrej Srakar (Institute for Economic Research, Ljubljana Slovenia; Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia and Editor-in-chief, Review of Economics and Economic Methodology (REEM), University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Divya Janardhan (Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 13 March 2018

Issue publication date: 15 June 2018




This paper explores the concepts of knowledge-centric organizations in the performing arts sector to understand how specific organizational practices relate to measures of financial and operational performance.


A quantitative analysis of 368 small and mid-sized nonprofit performing arts organizations in the USA was undertaken via primary data on organizational practices and secondary data on performance metrics. Structural equation modeling was used to validate the latent construct of knowledge centricity and to test hypotheses on how knowledge centricity impacts financial and operational performance, and is influenced by firm-level demographic variables.


Results show several distinct performance metrics that are statistically associated with knowledge-centric practices of the organizations analyzed.

Research limitations/implications

This article investigates the knowledge centricity of organizations, a relatively nascent theoretical concept, which is of significant relevance in today’s knowledge-driven economy. The findings can serve as a basis to further investigate strategic approaches that arts organizations can undertake to remain sustainable and operate effectively in a knowledge-driven society.


It provides critical insights into management practices and approaches that can be instituted to drive improved organizational performance.


Building on the extant literature, this article develops a conceptual framework of knowledge centricity and defines a knowledge-centric organization. It thoroughly investigates the latent construct of knowledge centricity, identifies how knowledge centricity impacts financial and operational performance of nonprofit performing arts organizations, and provides grounding for future studies.



Funding: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.


Vakharia, N., Vecco, M., Srakar, A. and Janardhan, D. (2018), "Knowledge centricity and organizational performance: an empirical study of the performing arts", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 22 No. 5, pp. 1124-1152.



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