Reluctant Innovators: Dynamic Capabilities and Digital Transformation of Italian Opera Houses in the Pandemic Crisis
2. The Background: Patterns of Innovation in Italian Opera
3. The Conceptual Framework
3.1. Dynamic Capabilities
3.2. Digital Transformation
4. Research Question and Methodology
- Teatro alla Scala in Milan is by far the most important opera house in the country, top ranking in terms of artistic values, enjoying a very high reputation and global visibility, that translates into both box office sales (with a relevant foreign component) and in the largest share of supporting public resources;
- Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence follows, thanks to its historic role and to the charismatic profile of its legendary music director, Zubin Mehta;
- Teatro Comunale di Bologna and Teatro di San Carlo in Naples are outstanding opera houses in terms of venues, artistic quality and socio-economic context;
- Teatro Comunale Luciano Pavarotti in Modena and Teatro Coccia in Novara are “traditional theatres” in smaller venues and are located in some of the most highly developed areas of the country.
5. Analysis: (1) Market-Sensing
6. Analysis: (2) Sense-Making
7. Analysis: (3) Seizing
- History: the (more or less advanced) position on the learning curve of digital markets and technologies determined the (lesser or greater) perception of discontinuity, a (more or less) favorable mindset of human resources staff, and the (lower or higher) level of perceived risk in investing in the digital option and adjusting the traditional business model.
- Digital mindset of human resources: established organizations seemed to reveal an attitude of conditional openness to digital transformation, to the extent that this was challenging a status quo characterized by successful routines and distinctive skills.
- Dominance: the prominent position in the traditional market was reflected in the confidence in the stability of the market position in the long term; weaker actors were more incentivized to experiment with variations on the traditional business model.
- External integration: also in this case, dynamic capabilities required interorganizational openness (Gattringer et al. 2021) and the ability to invest in cospecialized assets (Teece 2007) through integration with other companies and with institutions (such as research centers and universities), at the risk, however, of originating dependency and constraints (e.g., in the case of relations with RAI).
9. Conclusions and Implications
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
Source: https://www.operabase.com/statistics/en (accessed on 6 June 2022).
In June 2020 performances open to the public were allowed under strict conditions, but in October, facing the second wave of the epidemic, the government imposed the shutdown once more. The government permitted reopening, with limited attendance, only at the end of April 2021.
The Italian law divides opera houses into three main groups: fourteen “opera foundations” (Fondazione Teatro Massimo di Palermo, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova, Teatro di San Carlo, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Teatro Regio di Torino, Teatro Lirico G.V. Di Trieste, Gran Teatro La Fenice, Arena di Verona, Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, Petruzzelli e Teatri di Bari, adding to the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome and the Teatro alla Scala in Milan that are endowed with a special organizational form and the most significant share of State contributions), “tradition theaters” (often with a significant artistic heritage but characterized by a local governance and much less subsidies) and minor opera houses. In addition to these, there are festivals, which are less important in quantitative terms but still relevant in artistic terms and for the local economies as tourism attractors.
Authors’ calculations based on Operabase.com statistics (https://www.operabase.com/statistics/en, accessed on 6 June 2022). The ten titles are: La traviata (Verdi), La bohème (Puccini), Rigoletto (Verdi), Il barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini), Madama Butterfly (Puccini), Aida (Verdi), Tosca (Puccini), Carmen (Bizet), L’elisir d’amore (Donizetti), Nabucco (Verdi).
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|Opera House||City||Status||Main Hall, No of Seats|
|Teatro alla Scala||Milan||opera foundation (special status)||2030|
|Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino||Florence||opera foundation||1800|
|Teatro di San Carlo||Naples||opera foundation||1444|
|Teatro Comunale di Bologna||Bologna||opera foundation||1034|
|Teatro Comunale Luciano Pavarotti||Modena||tradition theater||901|
|Teatro Coccia||Novara||tradition theater||806|
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Bellini, N.; Raglianti, M. Reluctant Innovators: Dynamic Capabilities and Digital Transformation of Italian Opera Houses in the Pandemic Crisis. Adm. Sci. 2023, 13, 83. https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci13030083
Bellini N, Raglianti M. Reluctant Innovators: Dynamic Capabilities and Digital Transformation of Italian Opera Houses in the Pandemic Crisis. Administrative Sciences. 2023; 13(3):83. https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci13030083Chicago/Turabian Style
Bellini, Nicola, and Marina Raglianti. 2023. "Reluctant Innovators: Dynamic Capabilities and Digital Transformation of Italian Opera Houses in the Pandemic Crisis" Administrative Sciences 13, no. 3: 83. https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci13030083