Mama Mia Case Questions
1. Can the performing arts be considered “an industry”?
Ans. The way performing arts is working these days; it wouldn’t be inappropriate to state that it is becoming an industry slowly and gradually in the United States of America. Although the performing arts may qualify to be called as an industry but an industry that is in its initial stages. A bit of evidence to argue in the affirmative would be inclusion in the US Census Bureau’s Economic Census (2002 is the latest year available). It is considered to be such an enriched profession because it is a source of entertainment for the viewers and provides benefits that has made it into an industry such as “it enriches the quality of life for residents and employees, attract visitors who spend their money on direct, indirect and related cultural arts events and activities, spend money on local products, services, and employees, inspire creative thinking in local youth” (Stone, 2001).
In states of America like Sonoma, where performing arts are spread widely and happens on a large scale and therefore ends up contributing a whole lot to the overall economy. It is estimated as per the year 2001 that the estimated direct spending, indirect spending and related audience spending in total amounts to be 44 million dollar per year, which happens to be a huge amount in this industry. Apart form this there are many job opportunities created as well and as per the survey, approximately slightly more than 9,000 full, part-time and independent contractor jobs were created due to the event in which “This figure does not include other members of the arts community, such as gallery owners, movie theatres, and their employees” (Stone, 2001). Even Mama Mia ended up brining a large sum of 6.5 million dollars through 2003, contributing to the economy.
Hence, all in all this is a flourishing and upcoming industry which shows to have a lot of potential and the figures estimated via survey give a very colorful picture to its future as it has a great promise for employment of individuals and economic contribution to the country’s or state.
2. From an entrepreneurship perspective, highlight the issues that must be considered when dealing with creations in the performing arts that have cultural or classical roots.
Ans. As an entrepreneur the issues that may disturb the owner would be related to the profits or the ethics or overall profitable effect on the community. As in the case of a performing art possessing cultural or classical root may have effect on the individuality of the entrepreneur as the idea would not be self-generated but rather a remake. An entrepreneur evaluated different alternatives while only the one having potential is further finalized. “Ideas showing the most potential are then moved through the concept stage, the product development stage, the test marketing stage, and finally into commercialization. The entrepreneur should constantly evaluate the idea throughout this process in order to be able to successfully launch the venture” (Hisrich, Peters & Shepherd, 2007). Therefore, the first potential issue that the entrepreneur might face is regarding the newness of the idea.
Along with that, if the show or any art happens to be a success than the credit wouldn’t entirely go to the entrepreneur himself but rather the one who originally incepted the idea. As even in the case it mentions that after the success of the show Mama Mia the entrepreneur questions as to whether it was ABBA (to whom the original idea belonged to) or her who deserved the tribute for the success. Hence, it is a matter of dispute and therefore should be considered by the entrepreneur before indulging into a performing art that has cultural or classical roots.
An entrepreneur is “defined as the process of creating something new with value by devoting the necessary time and effort; assuming the accompanying financial, psychological, and social risks; and receiving the resultant rewards of monetary and personal satisfaction and independence” (Hisrich, Peters & Shepherd, 2007). Therefore, the enactment of a pre-conceived idea by someone else does not exactly mesh with the literal definition of an entrepreneur.
3. Are there special conditions or conflicts of interest, which apply, in the quasi-public sector of the performing arts to businesses such as Mamma Mia?
Ans. There are several conflicts of interests between a quasi-public sector of performing arts and a regular business as a quasi-public sector is backed by the government and therefore there are certain areas where they a slightly wider margin than the regular business. The first conflict arises in the fact that in quasi-public organizations is that the cost of provision of goods is not proportional to the number of people who benefit from it, as is the rule in the regular business. The more the cost is involved, the more is put in the product and therefore more people get to benefit out of it. However, the case is not similar in case of a government backed organization as they have a mandated activities to be performed by a particular number of people which they can afford as they are backed by the government.
On the other hand, in regular business people who do not pay for the product are excluded from the provision of the good or service which is not the case in government based products or services as they have mandated activities and audience. Hence, the quasi-public organization or activities have a slight edge over the regular business activities due to the backing of government in case of any shocks. Slight losses are easily recovered by the services as opposed to the regular business functions that have to make sure that they do not even suffer a slight loss as it might end up taking them a lot of time to recover it.
However the backing depends on the level of public the organization is as not every quasi-public organization has the same backing by the government.
4. What do you think of the Mamma Mia! Show? Is it entrepreneurship?
Ans. Mama Mia is slightly off the definition of what an entrepreneurial venture is literally meant to be. It is not a newly conceived idea by the entrepreneur and is based on a performing art that has cultural and classical roots. Therefore it does not literally fall exactly according to the definition of an entrepreneurial activity but even then it is an entrepreneurial activity.
As the enactment of the art is done all over again with the individuality of the entrepreneur and the entrepreneur is remaking the show rather then just copying it makes it innovative in its own sense, hence qualifying it as an entrepreneurial activity. This is because that “the entrepreneur has a strong desire to see the opportunity brought to fruition. In the process of evaluating an opportunity, the required resources should be clearly defined and obtained at the lowest possible cost” (Hisrich, Peters & Shepherd, 2007).
Stone, B. (2001). THE ARTS AS AN INDUSTRY: A Report on the Economic Impact of the
Non-Profit Arts Organizations in Sonoma County. Retrieved on 10th Feb from http://sonomacountymuseum.org/pdf/2000ArtsReport.pdf
Hisrich, R. D, Peters, M.P. & Shepherd, D. A. (2007). Entrepreneurship. Seventh Edition. Retrieved on 10th Feb from http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0073210560/student_view0/index.html