Structural change and diversity in theatrical groups: An empirical study in the Lisbon Area | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1476-413X
  • E-ISSN: 1758-9509



Organizational structures in the cultural and creative sectors are being challenged by deep changes in the economic, cultural and governance frameworks in which they operate. These changes force them to assume increasingly differentiated strategies to face the challenges that thus emerge. This phenomenon increases the complexity of the analysis of the art worlds and it also brings new challenges to the conception of public policies for these sectors. This is particularly visible in the field of the performing arts; we see that happening when we observe the evolution of organizational structures, the economic and social behaviour of these agents, the professional paths and individual careers, as well as when we witness the indecisions and dilemmas in contemporary public policies in those fields.

Drawing on recent debates of sociology and economics of the arts and culture and departing from a typology previously suggested elsewhere by the authors to analyse theatrical structures, this article offers an empirical standpoint towards five dimensions of theatre groups work: organizational structure, artistic work, art world commitment, economic structure and geographical scope. Focusing on empirical research conducted with theatre groups in the Lisbon area, this study applies and operationalizes an analytical typology concerning the work of theatre groups and their structural organization in order to extract conclusions that may inform public policy decisions. Some reflections on todays crisis and the importance of public support for the performing arts are put forth.


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