University of Leicester
2020 Kuan-Yin Liu PhD.pdf (2.1 MB)

Understanding the Organisational Hybridity of Cultural and Art Organisations: The Case of Contemporary Art Spaces in Taiwan

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posted on 2020-12-02, 23:07 authored by Kuan-Yin Liu
Research into the phenomenon of hybrid organisations has emerged from a number of different academic and professional spheres, typically focusing on the multiple, complex social issues related to the concept. However, across this work the definition of ‘hybrid organisations’ is yet to be determined. In addition, little is known about hybrid organisational behaviour in the field of cultural and art institutions, especially across different national and cultural settings.
Responding to this need, this research sets out to explore the organisational hybridity within cultural and art organisations. Taking Taiwanese contemporary art spaces as case studies, it argues that these art organisations cannot achieve hybridity without being able to negotiate complexity. Specifically, it shows how in the Taiwanese context this is achieved by embedding culturally specific approaches into organisational structure, strategy and programming.
What emerges from the research is the importance of the role played by staff in expressing hybrid characteristics; with leadership vital in empowering staff to develop this hybridity. By taking the example of artists-in-residence programmes for all three of its case studies, the thesis demonstrates how hybridity is reached through the ways in which staff have established human relationships with the stakeholders; negotiated the challenges of cultural policy and governmental funding; and facilitated programmes to identify how and why hybridity works.
This research contributes to an understanding of the particular dynamics of hybridity within cultural and art organisations. The findings show that the benefits of hybrid organisations are applicable to different kinds of institutions and offer sustainable ways to foster organisational development. However, beyond this the thesis also shows how the unique contexts of the Taiwanese experience provide a particularly vivid situation in which to see organisational hybridity in action, but also it reminds us of the importance of understanding organisations within their own cultural context.



Janet Marstine; Ross Parry; Yunci Cai

Date of award


Author affiliation

School of Museum Studies

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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