The professionlization of festival organizations: A relational approach to knowledge management

Raphaela Stadler, Simone P. Fullagar, Sacha Reid

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In this article we examine the emergence of knowledge management (KM) within the professionalization of festivals and events. The growing complexity of festival management places pressure on organizations to effectively manage “knowledge” in order to succeed. Knowledge is commonly conceptualized as information that can be stored or itemized through checklists. We offer an alternative conceptualization of KM as a relational construction shaped by the organizational culture and structure. We develop this relational approach through a case study of the Queensland Music Festival (QMF) to examine the construction of KM roles and responsibilities. Our ethnographic research and qualitative analysis identifies how QMF implicitly utilizes chief knowledge officer, knowledge broker, and knowledge worker roles. These roles were successfully performed over a short duration and yet they were not defined or explicitly stated. We discuss how the culture and spatial organization of work teams contributed to a collective understanding of the value of sharing and creating knowledge. With growing professionalization we argue that festival organizations will increasingly develop a more self-conscious awareness of the significance of KM language and practice. The findings will enable festival managers to better understand how KM processes are embedded within an organizational culture and contribute to organizational learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-52
JournalEvent Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


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