Operations Management and HR of Cultural Institutions

Course Level: 
Course Open to: 
Students on-site
Remote students
Academic Year: 
US Credits: 
Course Description: 

As experts in the field of culture, it is crucial to gain knowledge about successful and effective leadership, management and communication. For future managers, leaders or strategic partners of cultural institutions, it is important to discover the difference that effective leadership, HR/operations management and communication knowledge and applications may bring to these institutions’ operations. The aim of the course is to equip students with a clear understanding of elements, aspects and the latest trends in operations -, human resources management and institutional communication from small and medium scale organizations to large institutions.

The course will include interactive sessions, visits to Viennese cultural institutions and online sessions by cultural experts from the global South.

The working method of the class is very interactive: individual research, group activities, class discussions and site visits are essential elements of the classes.

The course will include the following topics:


Students will learn to define the key elements and characteristics of leadership. With the help of the interactive session, students will be able to answer the following key questions related to the topic: What is the essence of great leadership?  Who can be a leader? Who needs leadership? How do we recognize leadership and what does it take to practice it? What can and shall I do as an individual to demonstrate personal leadership regardless of the area of expertise?

HR and change leadership: 

The main topics of the workshop will touch upon the key roles and responsibilities of the Human Resources function, an essential element of running any organization – be it a not-for-profit or a corporation or public institution. Focus will be on personal and organizational engagement and change leadership. Some change initiatives at corporation, personal, and society levels will be examined to be able to draw personal conclusions and learnings.

Corporate Culture: 

Students will be exposed to the most known models and concept of organizational culture – a living, organic entity described as a character of a company or corporation and shaped by its members and their interactions. They will be able to utilize and build on your previous experience with any organizations in identifying key cultural elements. We will look at how external and internal changes are shaping and impacting the culture and what is the key to change a culture. As a case study, we will also study the corporate culture of the Central European University.

Institutional Communication:

Why is it important to have a strong brand in the cultural sector? How can a cultural brand be successful and authentic? The interactive workshop will showcase the different types of brands and the important steps to establish a successful brand. Why is formulation a clear mission, vision and having a strategic approach is crucial for communicating the brand? Students will learn about the essence of brand narratives and its importance during institutional crisis.  The session will also examine the constantly changing relationship between brand communication and program communication, the tools, channels that can be applied.

Learning Outcomes: 

The participants of the course will acquire a basic knowledge of terms and concepts in operations management of cultural institutions. There will be a special focus on management, leadership, internal communication strategies, audience engagement, PR, creative content-marketing, unique story-telling strategy and cultural project-based marketing solutions. They will learn and explore the basic methods, trends and tools.

  • Regular class attendance is mandatory (10%).
  • Active participation in classroom work (25%)
  • Mid-term individual and group assignments (20%)
  • End-of-term presentation (35%)
  • Active participation in the institutional visits (5%)