Collaborative Networks as a Safety Net in the Performing Arts: A Network Based Approach to Employment Resilience in a Struggling Sector


Downsizing forms a disruptive instrument to achieve organizational recovery with frequent application in economically struggling domain, such as certain parts of the creative sector. Inability of artists to recover, being unable to regain a position in other orchestras, inflicts not only direct costs upon society as resulting social security expenses escalate, but also increases the costs to the creative domain at large as less artists are able to perform, potentially wasting creative potential. Creative industries research has rarely looked into the individual strategies of artistic professionals in difficult times. We take symphonic orchestras as a case study of the larger phenomenon of employment resilience. The Dutch orchestras experienced perhaps the most drastic changes upon government subsidy reduction. Orchestra productions are stable, standard pieces, and the profiles of musicians and performance of concerts require dedication, mastery and specific capabilities. Existing outplacement policies and methods are not well-tailored for such occupations. We employ a novel approach, that focuses on the collaborative networks and networking activities of such professionals. We will examine the formal and informal networks maintained by members of a leading Dutch orchestra with the objective to render insights on employment resilience of artistic professionals. By mapping out the social networks of those performing in Dutch orchestras, focusing on a recently reorganizing orchestra and its relations to others in the sector in particular, we will study the degree to which social relations promote reemployment opportunities.


Project number


Main applicant

Dr. H.L. Aalbers PhD

Affiliated with

Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen, Institute for Management Research


01/03/2018 to 01/02/2019