William Mesa  

A MAP TO READING AND FINDING TOPICS IN HARMONY: Eight Years of Research, Studies, and Articles

William Mesa
November 6, 2019


Division of Labor: Management, Conductor and. Musicians

Differentiation of skills, tasks, perspectives, and roles punctuated the long-held tensions between management, musicians, and the conductor.Rooted in management v. musician assumptions, (Levine and Levine, 1996; Freeman, 1996; Schnitz, 1996) lack of musician input with regards to the organization was a natural outcome. The first issues of Harmony in 1997 examined the problem of limited musician input which continued to remain a topic of examination over the eight years of publication. Subcultures and the development thereof in organizations were defined as barriers that potentially limit integration. (Eisen, 2000; Editors, 2000) Metaphors, such as the Starfish, provided provocative analogies to understanding how organizations that are not effectively integrated move different directions. (Eisen, 2000) Different directions pull apart the organization, and therefore, impede organizational change.

While the conductor—orchestra modelis efficient, many issues were critical of the type of organizational health such a structure created. Again, differentiation of tasks and roles—between the conductor and musicians—generated pressures to integrate.Because organizational change implemented musician input, new pressures to integrate and define each role between the conductor and musicians were attempted through committees, meetings, and other group approaches.


Coordination Mechanisms: Participatory Structures

Coordination mechanisms are used towards integrating differentiation in an organization. They can be rules, processes, and procedures.Harmony introduced various forms of integrating the tensions between management, musicians, and conductors. Since artistic organizations thrive on creativity, integration of the social structure is a sound goal to achieve.(Maciariello, 2003; Toeplitz, 2003)

Participatory structures were introduced where musicians become parts of committees or decision making or through examples of other orchestras. (Maitlis, 1997; Judy, 1997; Editors, 1997; Bachetti, 1997, Editors, 2001(b)) This approach of participatory structures is both an organizational change and a tool of integration. Participatory structures and the use of techniques to further develop organizational trust were approached as a means to integrate the organization, while potentially tapping into the creativity of all internal constituents in an orchestra. (Stearns, 1998; Toeplitz, 1998, Editors, 2001(b)) Varied participatory structures like committees, task groups, and other self-governing tools also serve to bring together varied subcultures. Though structures were participatory in idea and application, the board in orchestras was seen to provide vision, direction and strategic intent.

Additionally, the use of appreciative inquiry techniques, questioning that keeps the strengths of the organization as the subject, were described as approaches in defining values and purpose of orchestras with the intent towards integrating the social structure. (Stearns, 2002; Wagner and Ward, 2002) By examining processes and recognizing the lack of processes were at fault and not people, was another step towards changing and integrating the structures of orchestras. (Stearns, 2002) Table I details the articles in chronological order by Social Structure Domain and by Author.

Click here to see Table I: Social Structure

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