Pest Analysis of the Barbican Arts Centre

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Pest Analysis of the Barbican Arts Centre

  1. 1. Pest Analysis Report on Arts Organisations A case study of the Barbican Arts Centre Omer Faruk Yeni M00512048 ABSTRACT Currenteffects of the macro environmentalfactors on the arts organisation’s strategic management process.
  2. 2. 1.Executive Summary This report provides an analysis and aims to evaluate of the external environmental factors of the arts organisation that how the environmental changes influence the arts organisation’s strategic policies and management. As a one of the London’s leading arts venue the Barbican will be discussed in the report. The Barbican operates wide variety art and cultural events in its Brutalist well-known iconic building. In appearance, cultural policies,digital technologies,regional developments and arts funding system plays a vital role to make a strategic decisions for arts organisations. It is easily said that widespread social media applications have become an important opportunity to reach and inform target audience about the arts events content of the Barbican. Furthermore in the UK arts industry sponsorships are the major challenge for many organisations both public and private. Therefore the political decisions of the Government are quite influential on the cultural sector.International cultural politics have a serious effect on the national or local economy which London Olympics can be a clear example of this.Additionally, transport facilities affect considerably the target audience’s behaviour. If the question is about art,culture in other words leisure time,fun and enjoy,people would think to attend the art events twice or more due to distance convenience or difficulty.
  3. 3. 2. Introduction Strategic analysis and thinking as an effective method to comprehend structure, innovation potential and business process of the arts organisations.Hence, identifying the mission and objectives for every arts organisation in the first place requires the strategic planning and detailed industry analysis. In the following report, the publicly funded arts institution the Barbican Centre, which is an ambitious player in a highly developed art industry of the UK, is going to be analysed with regards to an external environment. The external environment of the Barbican comprises different factors that are outside of the organisation but affects its strategic management and policies indeed. This report aims to examine the Barbican’s key macro environmental factors through the instrument of Pest analysis factors (political, economic, social and technological)1 which provides a general overview of the environment, the organisation operates in. 2.1 Organisation Profile The Barbican Centre is a unique urban renewal project built as a multi-arts and conference centre in the City of London and the largest of its kind in Europe.2 The Centre hosts a wide variety of artistic events, classical and contemporary music concerts, theatre and dance performances, movie screenings and art exhibitions. In addition to these, it also comprises a London’s leading public library, three restaurants&bars, and the second biggest Conservatory in London. Concert Hall in the Barbican is centre of the London Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. In 2013,about a decade later of the two instituions’s irritable split the Royal Shakespeare Company finally turned back to Barbican Centre with its successful artistic team.3 The Barbican Centre is owned, funded, and managed by the City of London Corporation, one of the greatest artsfunder in the United Kingdom. As the City’s 1 In the literature on strategy and planning,they are also referred to as PESTEL factors -political,economic,social,technological and legal factors. 2 "About Barbican", from the Barbican's website".Retrieved 10 December 2014 3 Mark Brown. "Royal Shakespeare Company to return to Barbican Centre | Stage". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  4. 4. present to the British nation with its matchless Brutalist architecture, the Centre was formally opened by the Queen Elizabeth II in 1982 at a cost of £161 million. 3. Economic Factors -The United Kingdom is one of the world’s strongest and most globalised economies4 and of course it is the leading country in creative and cultural industry in the world. However it can not always said that there is a direct proportion between the development level of economy and, cultural and artistic development in the context of country’s cultural policies. For example historical experiences indicates that some countries face financial instabilities during periods of economic crisis, but participation to the art and cultural programmes as a leisure time activity may not decline considerably. Interestingly seen that there are some examples when people tend to spend more money on entertainment and artistic events during periods of recession. This is particularly available for specific cultural products and services such as cinema, theatre performances and concerts with non-elastic prices - where rises or falls in price do not importantly influence cultural participation.5 With respect to rapid changes in the economy such as high-tech innovations and market globalisation, we often speak of “knowledge-based” and “creative” economies, discussing that creativity is a pioneer of innovation that support economic developments. In such a changing economic atmosphere, policymakers and business authorities have increasingly seen the potential of the “cultural and creative economy” along with that of arts and culture, in increasing creativity. Thus, art and culture have become important sources of innovation and change in the economy. It calculated that they accounted for about a million jobs and 4 per cent of GDP in the UK, and earned 7.5billion pound from exports. It also showed, though, that the sector was polarised between a myriad of very small firms and sole traders and a handful of very large, often multinational companies.6 One external economic effect can be seen on the Barbican is London Olympics and 4 "KOF Globalization Index". Globalization.kof.ethz.ch. Retrieved 10 December 2014 5 Varbanova L,2013,Strategic Management in the Arts,p.90 6 British Council Mapping Report, 2010
  5. 5. Paralympic Games 2012. With an inspiring atmosphere of the London Olympics Games , the Barbican played an important role during the London 2012 projects and the organisation gained and extraordinary experience with that. Therefore ‘’The Barbican was at the heart of the celebrations and was invited, with our partners Create London, to reopen the north of the Olympic Park with the Open East Festival in July 2013.’’7 Barbican Art Centre is based in a place where well-known financial institutions also have their business in this area such as Barclays, Santander, NatWest Bank. Existences of the financial sector around the Barbican are expressive in terms of regional development. But in general scene, it is not a positive image for audience who are interested in not only cultural and artistic beauty of the works also the environment of the building is important for them. 4.Political and Legislative Factors It is clearly stated that art and cultural production influenced to a great extent by running political system and subsequent cultural policy approach. Several political factors generally have an impact on organisation and how they manage their business Influencing the arts, culture and creative industries are general cultural policy trends, instruments and methods; tax policy; labour law; and the overall political situation in the UK that provides stability or instability.8 With regard to the political environment, it has to be outlined that, the Barbican Centre is owned, funded and managed by the City of London Corporation which is the municipal governing body.9 Thus, the organisation differentiates itself from any other multi-art organisations in the UK. Generally seen that, the reason is in terms of arts funding system of the UK, the Arts Council takes the most significant role in the country. The Arts Council which invests money from government to support cultural institutions, projects and individuals by £1.9 billion between 2010 and 2015.10 In this 7 Kenyon N. S,2012, http://www.barbican.org.uk/seasonreview 8 Varbanova L,2013, Strategic Management in the Arts,p. 89 9 http://www.barbicanlifeonline.com/history/barbican-centre/ 10 http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/what-we-do/
  6. 6. case, political decisions are quite important for mostly public funded art institutions such as Southbank Centre and Tate Modern in London. One example can explain the importance of government decisions on the organisation’s existence across the England. Arts Council England faces with budget cut by almost 30% and government grant of £449m drop to £349m by 2014.11 This sharp change in the political decision would have a significant impress on the institutions which exist for cultural life of the UK. Fortunately, the Barbican largely funded by the City of London Corporation and this collaboration provides a strong independent field for Barbican to create and maintain its long-term strategic programme in a wide variety cultural content including world class art, dance, theatre events and so on with about £17 million a year. But in recent years some other arts venues came across cuts in their budgets and even some festivals such as Manchester International Festival faced with major funding cut by Arts Council and they came across essential difficulties for couple of years.12 Public bodies primarily the government and other public authorities have a vital role on the cultural life. Their encourage and support for art and cultural attendance has also positive impact on the society. Cultural participation depends on the audience behaviour about the current artistic event offers. But every supportive policy is effective on the people’s decisions to attend or purchase the cultural products and services. In this case, easily said that, Barbican has a good relations with public and of course private authorities in the region where it operates in. When the Barbican determines its strategic plans in independent atmosphere, managers of the organisation consider to protect and enlarge political relations with related authorities for their overall achievement in the sector. Artistic censorship can be discussed as a political and legal pressure on the arts institutions. As many people found the show controversial, the Barbican faced with the protesters who forced Exhibit B cancellation which is about slavery and history of 11 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-11582070 12 http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester- news/manchester-international-festival-braced-for-more-901638
  7. 7. ‘Human Zoo’ and finally the exhibition cancelled.13 This experience shows that the Barbican has to keep the balance between artistic freedom and the social sensitivities of the public. 5.Socio-cultural Factors Socio-cultural dynamics of the British society: demographic, cultural and educational matters; traditional approaches; daily habits, religion and ethnic background of the society and some others. The demographic structure of the population is one of the most important issues influencing trends in cultural participation and art consumption, as well as the choice of marketing strategies for creating needs and offering tastes for quality artistic programmes. The Barbican offers variety opportunities for particular its target audience by high-income and middle-income groups. Also the organisation has special cultural training courses for children and family groups. The Barbican mainly focuses on world- class art, theatre, cinema and music to Developing unique approaches to attract particular social class or marginalised or groups work with specific audiences such as children, youth, immigrants, the elderly or ethnic minorities is important. Corporate partnerships included social responsibility elements as companies recognised the value of creative learning. Linklaters supported the launch of Barbican Box in twelve Hackney schools. Through this imaginative arts education initiative young people of the City gain confidence and skills while their teachers benefit from continuous professional development. In the coming years, Linklaters is planning to introduce students from its partner schools to the Barbican.14 Another effective element of the art organisations is traditional but now in particular new media so-called social media, which affect arts organisations much more directly and are part of the micro-environment. The Barbican thinks that they are an ambitious player in social media with 280.000 Twitter followers and almost 140.000 Facebook likes. This allows the Barbican to reach feedback and to have an interactive platform. All these online applications are very important to analyse audience’s needs and their 13 http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2014/sep/24/barbican-criticise-protesters-who- forced-exhibit-b-cancellation 14 Barbican Annual Report 2010/11
  8. 8. brand attitudes towards to the Barbican. Although the Barbican has a wide range of programmes including British culture and values, there are still a few events intended for numbers of minorities reaching millions who contribute to the social life of the UK with their rich cultural traditions and their artistic talents. In other words, the Barbican’s artistic programme content represents a high Britishness identity with Royal Shakespeare Company and London Symphony Orchestra. 6.Technological Factors The permanent implementation of new technologies, online tools and smartphone applications changes the arts world in recent times. Information technologies and communication strategies have an increasingly essential role in the overall functioning of arts organisations and projects.15 As Varbanova says ‘’Online technologies and new media provide a new virtual and digital context for arts organisations, initiatives and projects.’’16The Barbican offers plenty of options for free or low-cost promotion of artists, arts products and services. For example Young Barbican offers a discount for 16-25 year olds who love art and entertainment. The Number of Young Barbican reached over 50.000 and they gained discounted tickets across music, dance performance and cinema with cheap prices.17 Also audience’s behaviour becomes an important affect -from consumers of information they become active participants and collaborators involved in the artistic process. Giving feedback is becoming easy, sharing comments are quite popular via social media with each other about an art event or change potential target audience’s behaviour. The Barbican conducts online and also actual surveys generally end of the cultural events to evaluate their participant’s opinion and need. As a unique arts venue the Barbican Arts Centre conduct their strategies in a digital 15 Varbanova L,2013, Strategic Management in the Arts,p. 90 16 Varbanova L,2013, Strategic Management in the Arts,p. 90 17 https://www.barbican.org.uk/youngbarbican
  9. 9. platforms, as well as physical one. Digital revolution is definitely accepted by the Barbican as a universal fact of the new age. This is very popular trend and the reason is it provides an availability of access to everyone by everyone; in this case there isn't any barrier for people and digital media applications such as Twitter, Youtube support art projects and artists overcome borders, and it offers users a ‘second life’ in virtual platforms. Digitalisation process is forcing the Barbican to follow innovative models in their own arts management practices and of course in their overall strategic planning process. Digital applications are not only by themselves a driving force for the Barbican: they are also strategic and for what purpose they are used by the Barbican to help audiences spend less time on orienting or informing themselves or purchasing an event ticket and to allow them to buy swiftly and from different locations, to make a comment on their experiences. 7.Environmental Factors There are a large number of debates not only in the UK but also in the world around energy saving and climate changes today part of our daily life, environmental and natural elements are significant part of a strategic planning. The Barbican have a particular environment and sustainability reports for their cultural programmes and the Centre bring an environmental agenda into their strategic planning in the arts and encourage to increase awareness of the environment on the part of artists and arts managers. The management of the Barbican considers that in their daily businesses, their cultural events influence on the environment, local people and economy in many ways so the Barbican pay attention especially to sound environmental and sustainable values, principles and practices in their operations.18 The Barbican’s environment strategy includes : sending zero waste to landfill, the compositing of 100% off all food waste, offering clients the option to introduce a food mile menu,sourcing all food from 18 Barbican ‘’Environment and Sustainability ‘’worksheet Retrieved on 10 December 201
  10. 10. within 250miles of the venue. In addition to this the Barbican’s green credentials comprise : the installation of a High Voltage system, The implementation of a grey water reuse and rainwater harvesting system and some others. As a result of these implementations the Barbican won Change London Awards 2012 for best material waste recycling project and International Green Awards as well.19 8.Discussion Arts and cultural industry are becoming an increasingly important part of a broader creative economy in the United Kingdom. Therefore cultural industry makes a significant contribution to economic development and national and international tourism. The Barbican conducts its operations with a large partnerships including local authorities, Government departments such as Arts Council and DCMS, higher education institutions, and broadcast, skills and international organisations, to exploit wide range of opportunities in the cultural and creative economy and remove barriers that block success of the cultural industry. The Barbican has collaborations with partners on a series of cultural research and support creativity and artistic excellence in particular young generation in the country. The Barbican exists for people to experience the beauty and diversity of world-class art and their variety communities and to create a connection with work that is excellent and inspirational.20 9.Conclusion and Recommendation The Barbican has gained a remarkable arts and cultural event experience in many field from music to dance performance, theatre to film since nearly 30 years. With an important motivation of 30-year organisational memory, the Barbican has a leading role in art and cultural productions to spread and reflect the creativity and inspirations. In the circumstances although the Barbican is called by Reyner Banham as ‘Britain’s largest voluntary ghetto’ because of its exclusivity, high art culture and 19 www.barbican.org.uk/sustainability 20 Arts Council England Plan 2011/15
  11. 11. single-class community’21 it can clearly seen that there is an undeniable achievement of the Barbican Arts Centre in terms of its artistic programmes, professional work and quality of the services. Their unique funding system by the City of London Corporation allow them to follow their ambition and sustain their originality of the artistic work. As Sir Nicholas Kenyon said who is managing director of the institution, the Barbican has an extraordinary strong brand name, visual identity in the London scene. The challenge here is much more the reputation of the building that 32 years after the opening ceremony there are still many people both lovers and haters of the Barbican as an iconic building. The biggest disadvantage of the Barbican is unfortunately location of the building. The building surrounds by the financial institutions and it is not easy to convince the audience in terms of unusual atmosphere of the environment as an art venue, which is located on among the Banks. However new developments will change all the atmosphere of the Barbican, the reason is Cross rail arrives in 2018 to the area. The instruction of the new station close to the Barbican will affect positively as new potential audience for the offering art programmes.22 21 Banham,1974,p.222 22 http://www.barbican.org.uk/seasonreview
  12. 12. Bibliography 1 In the literature on strategy and planning,they are also referred to as PESTEL factors -political,economic,social,technological and legal factors. 2 "About Barbican", from the Barbican's website".Retrieved 10 December 2014 3 Mark Brown. "Royal Shakespeare Company to return to Barbican Centre | Stage". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 December 2014. 4 "KOF Globalization Index". Globalization.kof.ethz.ch. Retrieved 10 December 2014 5 Varbanova L,2013,Strategic Management in the Arts,p.90 6 British Council Mapping Report, 2010 7 Kenyon N. S,2012, http://www.barbican.org.uk/seasonreview 8 Varbanova L,2013, Strategic Management in the Arts,p. 89 9 http://www.barbicanlifeonline.com/history/barbican-centre/ 10 http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/what-we-do/ 11 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-11582070 12 http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester- news/manchester-international-festival-braced-for-more-901638 13http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2014/sep/24/barbican-criticise-protesters-who- forced-exhibit-b-cancellation 14 Barbican Annual Report 2010/11 15 Varbanova L,2013, Strategic Management in the Arts,p. 90 16 Varbanova L,2013, Strategic Management in the Arts,p. 90 17 https://www.barbican.org.uk/youngbarbican 18 Barbican ‘’Environment and Sustainability ‘’worksheet Retrieved on 10 December 201 19 www.barbican.org.uk/sustainability 20Arts Council England Plan 2011/15 21 Banham,1974,p.222 22 http://www.barbican.org.uk/seasonreview

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