Characterization of Cultural Enterprises in Spain

Characterization of Cultural Enterprises in Spain

María del Pilar Muñoz Dueñas (University of Vigo, Spain), Lucia Aiello (Sapienza University of Rome, Italy), Maria do Rosário Cabrita (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal) and Antonio Vaamonde Liste (University of Vigo, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3551-5.ch005
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Culture is an enriching element of society. Those companies that focus their activities in the cultural field can contribute greatly to the generation of monetary and non-monetary value, and thus, it is important to study the economic impact of the cultural activity. This analysis has not been carried out without difficulties. Apart from the peculiar nature of the cultural product, with a possibly greater symbolic value than the one in use and the existence of sunk costs, we have to add the difficult characterization of what a cultural enterprise is. The authors tried to describe the economic dimension of cultural enterprises in Spain by using the classification model proposed by UNESCO, complemented by the EUROSTAT methodological development. They tried to see the possible differences between cultural and non-cultural enterprises and also among the various types of cultural enterprises for this chapter. The results show that cultural enterprises are less profitable than the non-cultural ones, and contrary to what might be expected, they receive fewer subsidies than non-cultural companies.
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The importance of the cultural industry is demonstrated in the fact that it has become a driver of creativity, innovation and change. Together with its economic effect, its social impact should be also considered for its contribution to the maintenance and dissemination of traditions and values of each community while allowing the cultural exchange with other peoples.

The impact of the cultural and creative activities on the current societies is reflected in their development and in each one of the dimensions of their socio-economic reality.

Traditionally, the most effective means to achieve the development of societies has been from an economic point of view. The effectiveness of this economic development began to be questioned when the mechanisms and the objective to achieve (maximum profit in the shortest time (Friedman 2007)) could cause an unprecedented social fracture.

The concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) which appears on the scene in the fifties of the last century (some authors go back to the 1920s and set out the principles of charity and administration as precursors of the CSR (Frederick, Davis, 1988)), raised an interdisciplinary orientation in business activities, questioning whether the purpose of the companies was limited to those which are functional to the economic system in which they are inscribed (Lozano, 1999). The growing awareness of the social and environmental problems of a global nature that threatened and threaten the planet concluded with the incorporation of the concept of sustainable development in the articulation of the term CSR. This concept merely invited the organizations to redirect their processes in such a way that the economic development could be achieved at the same time as the social and human development.

It is in this context where culture and the cultural companies acquire a leading role.

According to the Council of Europe (1998), culture is the actual or potential human capital of individuals that will influence their ability to cope with the challenges of their daily life or with the abrupt changes in their social and physical environment, as well as representing a more important intellectual source than science and technology.

Hawkes (2001, p. 12) considers culture as the fourth pillar of sustainable development, stating that “a sustainable society depends upon a sustainable culture. If a society’s culture disintegrates, so will everything else.”

Likewise, Potts (2007) and Santagata (2011) defined it respectively as an essential factor to establish the competitiveness of organizations, companies and the territories as well as a relevant source for economic and social development.

Culture is, therefore, an enriching element of society, being analyzed from both an economic and non-economic dimension. In this way, those industries that promote it become generators of monetary and non-monetary value, being the latter focused on values (equality, integration, respect for differences, training...) and on people, which are nuclear issues in the current concept of sustainable development.

The European Commission (2010) considers this type of industries to have a great potential to achieve a good future prosperity. They also contribute to the achievement of the Europe 2020 strategy, the European Union initiative for innovation, to the Digital Agenda, to the fight against climate change and to the achievement of the Agenda for new skills and jobs.

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