A new organizational challenge for inclusive theaters. Who will manage the change?
inTRAlinea. Online translation journal
Year of publication
Theaters are surely a context to learn about inclusive practices: in recent years, several inclusive projects have been developed and become objects of research and case studies (Nijkamp and Cardol 2020). As Linda Nussbaumer (2012) puts it, it is not simply a matter of adapting an existing service and making it accessible: it is a necessary process of listening, it requires co-design and re-design with users, and it involves sharing experiences and an inclusive approach that is a kind of continuous experiment, a methodology rather than a goal (Nussbaumer 2012). Inclusive theater confronts us with new opportunities and challenges in managing diversity. A necessary strategic change is now required for cultural institutions to become more and more oriented toward diversity. This challenge requires the organization to change its setting and structure. Managers and employees across all departments need to be involved in the creation and implementation of an inclusion strategy and a professionalization of inclusive processes within theaters. The concept of organizational inclusion, which goes beyond diversity management, is a dominant paradigm in the field of public administration: studies mention the importance of inclusion to improve performances and make important organizational decisions (Sabharwal 2014). Equally, the inclusive theater must necessarily rethink itself: change management in the design process is fundamental to shaping theaters in an inclusive way. Inclusion is a complex process that involves the organization at every level, from the beginning, with positive outcomes for the community and the organization itself. We aim to discuss a managerial literature review from inclusive organizations to define who is responsible for diversity management and inclusive growth inside theaters. We collected articles on inclusion practices in the theatrical sector to share a framework for a managerial change in the arts sector and reply to new needs connected to diversity management. We firstly concentrated on literature about inclusive strategies in the theaters, then we focused on organizational diversity in the third sector, and its managerial implications, trying to define and summarize the existing knowledge, using a systematic literature review and analyzing the historical background, for making theoretical and practical contributions relating to diversity management. We finally summarize and describe the commonly shared role and main responsibilities of the inclusion manager and argue for future research on inclusion managers as a desirable profession for more inclusive and diversity-oriented theaters.