Entrepreneurial Orientation among Arts Managers in Western Australia





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 The dimension of Competitive Aggressiveness has not simply been altered or toned-down by this context, it has been replaced by a polar opposite.

Author Biographies

Alistair Campbell, Edith Cown University

Dr. Alistair Campbell lectures across a range of subjects in the School of Business and Law at Edith Cowan University, with a focus on entrepreneurship and innovation. He has has teaching and research experience spanning more than twenty years at universities in Australia and overseas. His research has ventured into a number fields (innovation, project management, systems engineering, not-for-profit ventures, education) but an abiding interest is the nonlinear thinking and relational worldview that entrepreneurs use in creating new products and services. Before entering academia, Dr. Campbell spent twelve years in industry, first in project management for the South African Railways and then running his own industrial electronics business.

Helen Rusak, Edith Cowan University

Dr. Rusak studied musicology and arts management in Australia. She has worked as a music teacher, academic, and concerts and festivals manager. She has broad experience in arts management practice and has held senior government advisory roles. She is currently course coordinator for arts management at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and was previously program director for arts and cultural management, UniSA. She has won funding for research on the effects of YouTube and social networking on the music industry, regional arts activity in Western Australia, and the effect of COVID-19 on the arts industry. She has presented at international conferences and published on cultural policy, music, and new media.


Three people standing in a hallway in a blue hallway in the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX. The room at the end of the hall appears yellow and frames two people walking in, while the third stands a few feet away turned toward them. The ceiling and floor appear black and the people appear framed by brackets of white light.




How to Cite

Campbell, A., & Rusak, H. (2021). Entrepreneurial Orientation among Arts Managers in Western Australia. Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts, 10(2). https://doi.org/10.34053/artivate.10.2.151