Digital Business Model for Performing Arts at BAM2021 Conference

post by Kadja Manninen (2018 cohort)

In September 2021, I presented our paper ‘Digital Business Model for Performing Arts’ at The British Academy of Management (BAM) conference as part of the Creative and Cultural Industries track. I wrote this paper together with my supervisory team; Chris Carter, Andrew Leyshon and Sarah Martindale following the data collection of my first PhD study, which aimed to identify digital business models present in the UK arts and cultural sector, and provide an overview of the stage of digital transformation in the sector.

The interview data was gathered through eighteen semi-structured expert interviews with experienced arts and cultural professionals, who were working for sector support organisations, large and medium-sized cultural organisations and as independent entrepreneurs or consultants.

The goal of the paper was to highlight ‘best practise’ for enabling the adoption of digital business models by UK arts and cultural organisations as well as shed light to most common barriers preventing the adoption of digital business models. I submitted the paper in February 2021 and it was accepted in May 2021. Particularly the second reviewer provided some excellent feedback that I tried to incorporate as much as possible over summer 2021. The conference was hosted by University of Liverpool, but it took place online for the second time this year. My presentation was on September 2nd, and I was also chairing the Creative and Cultural Industries track session.

Overall, the conference experience was very positive. Our session had four papers and ten academics participating from all over the world, e.g. from the UK, France, Brazil and Kazakhstan. I received very positive feedback on the paper and met some interesting academics, with whom I have already been in touch regarding potential future collaborations. I was also asked by the track chair Dr Martha Bernal, whether I wished to be more involved with the track in the future, and this also has already been taken forward in the SIGs annual meeting.

This paper will not feed directly into my PhD thesis, but the analysis of the same dataset in relation to my research questions will feature in my findings. However, perhaps the most valuable outcome from writing the conference paper was that approximately one month after the conference I received an email from a commissioning editor working for a prestigious academic publishing house. He had spotted our paper at the conference and wanted to know whether we thought that the paper had the potential to be developed into a book. While a book project initially sounded somewhat overwhelming, together with my supervisory team, I’m now in the process of working on a proposal, which will be submitted to the publisher, and if accepted after peer-review, can lead to a book contract. This is definitely very exciting news, and hopefully, our book on digital business model for arts and cultural organisations will see daylight at some point in the upcoming years.


The Digital Business Models For Performing Arts paper.