Cultural management

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Cultural management describes the planning , organization , management and controlling of cultural enterprises and projects. Cultural management goes beyond the application of business administration to a cultural enterprise : It takes cultural anthropological, cultural sociological and artistic aspects into account. In Austria, cultural management is referred to as cultural management. Regardless of the commercial or charitable goals of the respective cultural enterprise, cultural management should ensure that the financial, human and material resources used are used optimally. In the public and non-profit context under private law, it is also the task of cultural management to create the framework for cultural activities.


Cultural management is the term used to describe all controls for the creation and safeguarding of services in cultural establishments based on the division of labor, which take place in a complex and changeable environment and which are geared towards exchange relationships between providers and users.
  • Georg Schreyögg explains the term as follows:
Cultural management is a complex of control tasks that have to be performed when creating and securing services in cultural organizations. By their very nature, these tasks are recurring problems that, in principle, have to be solved in every management position, regardless of the department, at which hierarchical level and regardless of the type of company they arise.

While the above definitions primarily relate to the professional activity, it should be added at this point that cultural management or cultural business studies also understand themselves as an academic discipline that defines the cultural business as a historically grown, social organizational form of conception, production, distribution, mediation, reception , Conservation and preservation of specific cultural assets .

Concept of culture

A uniform definition of culture is not the basis for either the culture industry or culture management. In practice, the narrow concept of culture (“culture as art”) is relevant for cultural managers. This includes the fine arts with their four different forms of expression: visual arts , performing arts , music and literature . Cultural management often draws its content from these.

The expanded concept of culture is relevant for cultural management, especially under the aspect of “culture as education”. This understanding of culture has led to an abundance of educational establishments (e.g. libraries, adult education centers) and cultural institutions (e.g. museums , theaters ) with a wide range of content, as can be seen, for example, from the various types of museum . In exceptional cases, the content can even be natural objects that were not made by humans (e.g. the objects in a natural history museum ).

The task of cultural management

Cultural managers enable art and culture, but usually don't create them themselves. They bring the culture to the audience or the audience to the culture, i. That is, exchange relationships are established between the artists and consumers. For this purpose, cultural management uses business marketing to analyze the situation in which an offer is made on the one hand and to be able to use marketing instruments to position an offer on the other. Cultural management does not only take place in economic contexts, but also takes into account the cultural, legal, administrative, financial and political framework conditions.

Cultural management in the non-profit and commercial cultural sector

In the non-profit cultural sector, cultural management tends to concentrate more on high culture in the production of cultural goods and services, and more on popular culture in the commercial culture and creative industries - but the boundaries are fluid.

Both cultural management for non-profit as well as for commercial cultural enterprises are subject to the economic principle of minimizing costs and maximizing benefits. However, it takes place against the background of different goal orientations: If this primarily consists in generating or maximizing profit in the cultural industry, in the non-profit area it is primarily in the optimal and efficient fulfillment of a public cultural mandate or a goal derived from it or other nonprofit goals. So while in commercial companies the product is more or less adapted to the wishes of the customer, this is forbidden in the non-profit cultural enterprise, which derives its legitimation from it. In practice, however, economic success is also sought in non-profit cultural businesses. A conflict of goals arises from this, which relates to the intersection of two value systems, economic and artistic (i.e. non-economic) valuation. Since the goals are not congruent, balancing them turns out to be difficult, especially in times of financial crisis.

The cultural management in the non-profit cultural enterprise and in the regional authorities (e.g. municipalities, district) also has the task of influencing the design of the framework (especially political) and enabling the production of art and culture. By selecting artists and works, cultural management influences the culture that finds its way to the audience. Conversely, the cultural manager also prevents culture in the public cultural sector, namely that which he does not offer. He thus bears special responsibility with regard to the guarantee of artistic freedom ( Art. 5 Para. 3 GG ).


Cultural management is not a traditional scientific discipline, but an interdisciplinary and cross-sectional-oriented course for which no uniform theoretical framework has been available so far. The cultural management and cultural management-like courses at the various universities are correspondingly different. It is becoming apparent that there will be no uniform cultural management theory, but that a certain plurality of theoretical approaches in the context of reference disciplines will remain. It is offered as an independent course of study by the various universities with a Bachelor , Master , Magister or Diplom degree . The subject areas include a. Cultural marketing , cultural policy , cultural financing (including fundraising and sponsoring ), accounting , management theory (including project management , self-management and event management ), public relations , cultural law, human resources and cultural economy / cultural economics. Different priorities are set depending on the university.

In 1976, the first university course for cultural management in German-speaking countries was established at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna . In the course of the 1980s, the need spread u. a. from independent sponsors of projects as well as from institutions and organizations in the cultural sector, after greater professionalization.

At the end of the 1980s (1988) the Remscheid Academy already had a forerunner of today's cultural management training courses ("cultural consultants"). Starting in 1989, an AFG (now SGB) advanced training "Social and Cultural Management" was funded by the employment office for the first time, which was carried out at Para-SOL e. V. was set up in Regensburg and is still carried out as a certified further training (AZWV) AZWV , which is networked in Europe and Eastern Europe.

Cultural management emerged and curricularly developed from the independent cultural scene and was then adopted as a course of study at numerous universities and technical colleges .

The pioneers for university education were the Hamburg University of Music and Theater , which set up a corresponding course in 1987 and has been home to the Institute for Culture and Media Management Hamburg since 2000 , as well as the Institute for Cultural Management at the Ludwigsburg University of Education and initially at the University for Music "Hanns Eisler" Berlin and now at the Free University of Berlin based Institute for Culture and Media Management with the Masters course Arts and Media Administration . With the establishment of the Institute for Cultural Policy and the establishment of Germany's first and to this day only professorship for cultural policy, cultural management was institutionalized together with cultural mediation also in the courses of cultural studies and aesthetic practice and cultural mediation at the University of Hildesheim . Since 2001, the University of Applied Arts Vienna has been offering the master's program in art and culture management "Art & Economy", an offer based purely on business objectives (marketing and management) for art and culture professionals. At the Institute for Cultural Management at the Fernuniversität in Hagen , the course could be completed up to 2008. Since 2003, the Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen has offered Communication & Cultural Management, a course that combines aspects of communication studies and cultural management. Since 2008, the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences has been offering a master's degree in cultural management / cultural education at the Mönchengladbach location. The Karlshochschule International University in Karlsruhe integrates specialized modules into its BA course, which are characterized by an understanding of cultural management as a translation and mediation instance between actors with potentially conflicting goals (e.g. artists, administration, politics, sponsors, audience), as well as socially and perspectives on management in general, influenced by cultural studies. The International Graduate Center of the Bremen University of Applied Sciences also offers the master's degree in cultural management and pays particular attention to the practical relevance. At the University of Applied Management , interested parties can study the interdisciplinary course in Music & Culture Management Bachelor of Arts, which relies on case-study-based learning in order to prepare students for practical work.

As an alternative to university studies, private educational institutions have established themselves, such as the Institute for Languages ​​and Business in Freiburg, which has been offering practical, internationally oriented cultural management training since 1997, and the Off-Theater nrw , whose training is also practice-oriented. In Switzerland, cultural management was first offered by Stapferhaus Lenzburg in 1999 . One year later, the Zurich University of Applied Sciences Winterthur (University of Applied Sciences) and the University of Basel followed with an Executive Master's degree. In Austria, in addition to the IKM in Vienna, the ICCM - International Center for Culture and Management in Salzburg has also been offering globally networked training since the mid-1990s.

Occupational fields

The professional field of cultural management is related to the cultural industry, the cultural industry and cultural policy.

Depending on the degree and focus, graduates of the cultural management degree program (or a comparable one) can work in various areas: management positions in cultural institutions (e.g. art galleries), activities in marketing, public relations, administration and cultural mediation. Employers are often the public cultural institutions (e.g. city, state and state theaters, museums, orchestras, socio-cultural centers), the state authorities (e.g. cultural offices), non-profit cultural institutions under private law (e.g. Foundations, associations) and commercial companies from the cultural industry (e.g. from the art market , book market , film industry , music industry ).

As cultural managers, only employees should understand themselves in positions where control actions are actually carried out in processes based on the division of labor, i. H. where certain managerial tasks are carried out. The job title cultural manager is neither protected by law nor introduced by the state.

Dorothea Schneider-Lindemann, born in Hamburg, is considered one of the world's first cultural managers . Between 1907 and 1960 she organized lecture tours for a large number of artists and researchers and marketed her research results and experiences.

See also


  • Peter Bendixen: Introduction to Culture and Art Management. Wiesbaden 2006.
  • Werner Heinrichs, Armin Klein: Cultural Management from A – Z. 600 terms for studies and work. Munich 2001.
  • Werner Heinrichs: The cultural business. Fine arts - music - literature - theater - film. Bielefeld 2006.
  • Thomas Heinze (Ed.): Kulturmanagement II. Opladen 1997.
  • Steffen Höhne, Verena Teissl, Martin Tröndle (Hrsg.): Journal for Cultural Management: Art, Politics, Economy and Society, Volume 1, Volume 1 (2015): Dispositive der Kulturfinanzierung, ISBN 978-3-8376-2995-8 .
  • Armin Klein: Leadership in the cultural sector. Wiesbaden 2009.
  • Verena Lewinski-Reuter, Stefan Lüddemann (ed.): Cultural management of the future. Perspectives from theory and practice. Wiesbaden 2008.
  • Birgit Mandel (Ed.): Audience Development, Cultural Management, Cultural Education Concepts and fields of action for cultural mediation (series of publications on cultural education vol. 5) , kopaed, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-86736-035-7 .
  • NÖKU-Gruppe, Susanne Wolfram (Ed.): Cultural mediation today. International perspectives . transcript, Bielefeld 2017, ISBN 978-3-8376-3875-2 .
  • Petra Schneidewind: Business administration for cultural management. A manual . Transcript 2006, ISBN 3-89942-546-4 .
  • Wolfgang Winkler: Cultural Management. In: Oesterreichisches Musiklexikon . Online edition, Vienna 2002 ff., ISBN 3-7001-3077-5 ; Print edition: Volume 3, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna 2004, ISBN 3-7001-3045-7 .
  • Magnus Resch: Management of Art Galleries. Bielefeld 2014
  • Tasos Zembylas : Culture Management. Basics of an interdiscipline . Wiesbaden, 2004.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Tasos Zembylas : Kulturbetriebslehre. Basics of an interdiscipline. Wiesbaden 2004; Heimo Konrad : Museum management and cultural policy: using the example of the outsourced federal museums, Facultas Universitätsverlag, 2008, ISBN 978-3-7089-0212-8 , p. 25 online
  2. Werner Heinrichs, Armin Klein: Cultural Management from A – Z. 600 terms for studies and work. DTV, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-423-05877-3 , p. 193.
  3. Georg Schreyögg: Norm systems of management practice. In: Max Fuchs (Ed.): On the theory of cultural management: A look across borders. Remscheid, Akademie Remscheid 1993, ISBN 3-923128-23-1 , p. 27.
  4. ^ Tasos Zembylas: Kulturbetriebslehre. Basics of an interdiscipline. Wiesbaden, 2004, p. 13.
  5. a b cf. Werner Heinrichs, Armin Klein: Cultural Management from A – Z. 600 terms for studies and work. DTV, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-423-05877-3 , p. 193.
  6. cf. Werner Heinrichs, Armin Klein: Cultural Management from A – Z. 600 terms for studies and work. DTV, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-423-05877-3 , p. 197.
  7. cf. Thomas Heinze: Cultural Management: An Approach. In: Thomas Heinze (Ed.): Kulturmanagement II. Westdeutscher Verlag, Opladen 1997, ISBN 3-531-13014-5 , p. 48.
  8. cf. Werner Heinrichs, Armin Klein: Cultural Management from A – Z. 600 terms for studies and work. DTV, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-423-05877-3 , pp. 193-194.
  9. cf. Armin Klein: Compendium Culture Management - An Introduction. In: Armin Klein (Ed.): Kompendium Kulturmanagement. Handbook for study and practice. Franz Vahlen, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-8006-3489-7 , p. 3.
  10. cf. Werner Heinrichs, Armin Klein: Cultural Management from A – Z. 600 terms for studies and work. DTV, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-423-05877-3 , p. 195.
  11. Art and culture management Art & Economy
  12. ^ "Communication & Cultural Management". Homepage of the Zeppelin University , accessed on October 1, 2015.
  13. Art and culture management. University of Karlsruhe. ( Memento of the original from October 1, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed October 1, 2015 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  14. g at
  15. cf. Magnus Resch: Management of Art Galleries. Bielefeld 2014, pp. 17-18.
  16. cf. Werner Heinrichs, Armin Klein: Cultural Management from A – Z. 600 terms for studies and work. DTV, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-423-05877-3 , pp. 193-196.
  17. ^ V. Hofmann: Aunt Thea's lover is the globe. In: Frankfurter Rundschau, April 17, 1952.