Strategic management in Saint Petersburg’s contemporary dance community : a case study of organizations and individual professionals on a journey to define their mission

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Title: Strategic management in Saint Petersburg’s contemporary dance community : a case study of organizations and individual professionals on a journey to define their mission
Author: Byström, Vilja
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Humanistinen tiedekunta
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Arts
Helsingfors universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2020
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Degree program: Venäjän tutkimuksen maisteriohjelma
Master's Programme in Russian Studies
Magisterprogrammet i ryska studier
Specialisation: ei opintosuuntaa
no specialization
ingen studieinriktning
Abstract: This thesis investigates strategy formation and its use in the Saint Petersburg contemporary dance community. In Russia the 1920s was the golden era of contemporary dance, however, this period only lasted for a few years. As the development of the industries, modern and contemporary forms were hindered by political and societal changes. During these ambiguous times, only classical ballet and folk dance were widely accepted in the country. Still today, there is inequality in the Russian dance field between different genres since classical ballet as well as folk dance are provided government support both financially and through educational opportunities. As a result, restrictive policies and uncertainty appear in the everyday life of contemporary dance practitioners and they are part of a somewhat divided community. The main research question of this thesis is ‘How do actors in the Saint Petersburg contemporary dance industry understand their mission and what kind of strategies do they have in their use to pursue this?’. This study aims to understand their strategic planning processes; to identify the community’s current engagements in strategic management and how the actors utilize operational tools such as SWOT analysis or the inspection of goals and mission statements within the organizations. In addition, the study analyzes how these objectives can be transformed for the benefit of the industry. This research is a qualitative case study and its primary data are five semi-structured interviews conducted in Saint Petersburg in July 2019 with local contemporary dance practitioners and professionals. The materials are analyzed using applied thematic analysis and grounded theory. This study contributes to the theoretical discussions of strategic management in arts organizations and oversees how the power of a mission statement is understood and operational planning tools are used. There is still a need for actions in building sustainable infrastructure in order to ensure the continuation of financial support for contemporary dance. The main results of this research suggest that the organizations have become aware of the tools they need to use to influence and ensure the future of contemporary dance in Russia. An objective of the dance community is to increase individual engagement of contemporary dance in order to elevate this visibility of the discipline amongst decision-makers and new audiences. By not focusing on internal competition, the actors in Saint Petersburg can turn their skills into resources for the whole industry. This thesis will help to demonstrate the attempts of these professionals and the whole community and lastly, bring new topics of advocacy into discussion among the actors in the Saint Petersburg contemporary dance community, institutions and the whole cultural and creative sector in Russia.
Subject: Arts and culture organizations
Contemporary dance
Mission statement
Strategic management
SWOT analysis
Saint Petersburg
Subject (yso): nykytanssi
moderni tanssi
tanssi (taiteet)
strateginen johtaminen
strateginen suunnittelu

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