Entrepreneurial Orientation among Arts Managers in Western Australia
Keywords:Corporate Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurial Orientation, Arts Management, Collaboration, Western Australia
As a region, Western Australia is the largest and most isolated state in Australia, and supports a community of vibrant Arts Organisations. The Arts is widely recognised for its creativity and innovation, but what about the managers of these organisations, are they equally innovative, or entrepreneurial? Rusak (2016) explored this question and found that their Entrepreneurial Orientation (EO) matched the three core dimensions of Innovativeness, Pro-activeness, and Risk-taking, but the study did not include the other two EO dimensions of Autonomy and Competitive Aggressiveness. It did however observe that "arts companies don’t generally try to take offensive postures or aggressive responses to competitive threats and rather work collaboratively, as this sample shows". This assertion was not the focus of the article, nor was it explored in any depth in that paper.
There are at least two possibilities here: it could be a passive aversion to competitive aggression, or a more deliberate counter-behaviour of collaboration. Either of these would appear to contradict the EO construct, in particular the expectation that all EO dimensions covary, which makes it interesting from a theory perspective. This paper explores this challenge to the EO theory in some detail, using software-aided analysis to tease out the finer nuances in this dimension of Competitive Aggressiveness. While the sample size and its geographical confines limit the generalisations that can be made, there is solid evidence that in this sample of Arts Managers, the Arts acts as a powerful contextual modifier to the expectations of EO theory. The dimension of Competitive Aggressiveness has not simply been altered or toned-down by this context, it has been replaced by a polar opposite.