It Is Okay For Artists To Make Money... No, Really, It's Okay

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Harvard Business School Working Paper

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Harvard Business School Working Paper


In this paper, we examine the apparent conflict between artistic and commercial objectives within creative companies, taking as our point of departure a particularly energetic debate during a symposium at the 2007 Academy of Management meetings. We surface the assumptions that underlie such debates, compare them with findings from our research on creative industries, and identify three “fallacies” that sometimes enter into discussions of art in relation to money. This, in turn, leads us to propose a framework to support more productive discussion and to describe a direction for management research that might better integrate art and business practices. We conclude that despite an inclination to take offense that often attends the close juxtaposition of art and commerce, which was very much in evidence at that AoM symposium in Philadelphia, the interests of art, artists, and business can be best served if more commerce enters into the world of art, not less.