The Organizational Design of Copenhagen Phil

Managing business from an Organizational Perspective

Term Paper, 2013

9 Pages, Grade: B


1. Analysis of possible organizational design options

1.1. The current organizational design of Copenhagen Phil can be described as follows

Inside the organization there are three different identities that can be identified. The first consists of managers who lead the organization and cooperate heavily with the Ministry of Culture in Denmark, a so called “utilitarian identity” (Glynn, 2000). Their claims lie on the financial aspects as well as fulfilling all requirements the government is setting. The second includes “traditional” artists, a “normative identity” (Glynn, 2000), who strongly believes in the old traditions of playing as a symphony orchestra. Their claims are idealistic and musicdriven. The third identity is also normative, but comprises “modern” artists, who are of the opinion that classical music can be performed in several valuable ways. These three identities collaborate effectively and efficiently with one another; however, there is the potential of conflicts to arise as their perceived identities differ from one another.

Furthermore, culture plays a major role within Copenhagen Phil. With the ongoing change to increase innovative approaches of conducting business, such as Flash mobs, 60 minute concerts and variations of well known compositions, it is not sufficient to only communicate norms, values and beliefs within an organization, but to implement a system which ingrains common values deeply into it (as it can be derived from Kornberger, Carter, Ross-Smith, 2010). Even though the organization has changed their brand name and tries to create a bandlike commitment of their musicians, a lack of conviction can be detected with regards to this topic.

Moreover, Copenhagen Phil is currently experiencing innovative change in cognition, which is mostly driven by Uffe Savory. Tripsas & Gavetti (2000) found that beliefs and capabilities of an organization are strongly influenced by social, economic and competitive environments. As Uffe Savory is witnessing a tougher environment for symphonic orchestras year after year, he leads the focus on innovative ideas while also sustaining quality. This should result in a sustainable advantage and success. Musicians are encouraged to participate in “bottom-up” idea generation and implementation in order to develop a future strategy. Possible issues that could arise here are the overextension on innovative approaches or the shift from a very exploitative to a very explorative concept in a short period of time.

All the above mentioned efforts lead into the right direction of staying innovative and successful. However, there are several potential issues which could disrupt the entire organization. The three different identities could cause severe problems when one group is feeling discriminated or left out from the decision-making process. Savory is currently focusing on the innovative idea generation which will mainly be driven by the “modern” artists within the orchestra. In case the organization will focus too much on the explorative side the other identities could start refusing cooperating as their claims, beliefs and aspirations are not met anymore. It would also have a great impact on the culture inside Copenhagen Phil, since almost every employee is currently satisfied with the situation and therefore contributing exceedingly.

1.2. The Ambidextrous organization

“Establish project teams that are structurally independent units, each having its own processes, structures, and cultures, but are integrated into the existing management hierarchy.” - O’Reilly & Tushman (2004)

In order to ingrain identities, culture and cognition into the organizational design, a possible solution is establishing parts of the so called ambidextrous organization. It would allow Copenhagen Phil not only to develop breakthrough innovations, but to retain and protecting their traditional values and beliefs. With regards to the model, some adaptations to the theory are necessary for this case, though.

The basic idea of creating an organizationally distinct unit (O’Reilly & Tushman, 2004) should be considered as there are several identities inside the company that could profit from this separation. While establishing an innovative team that focuses on creative attempts of bringing symphonic music to new auditors, other identities such as the “traditional” artists are still able to perform in a way they are satisfied with. Nevertheless, when the new approaches should be found to be succeeding and the orchestra’s reputation as well as financial stability is granted, musicians have to feel comfortable with joining the other fraction after some time. This can definitely not be communicated within days or weeks, but an incremental approach should be suiting best.

By ensuring that the new unit has got access to the established resources (e.g. talent, sufficient funds and auditors), musicians will face an easier start into this explorative phase (O’Reilly & Tushman, 2004). When focusing on the ambidextrous approach, it has to be mentioned that there will very likely be a mix of modern ways of conducting business, as it is with 60 minute concerts, flash mobs and other social events; and a traditional way of playing compositions, such as the summer performance in Tivoli Concert Hall, in future years.


Excerpt out of 9 pages


The Organizational Design of Copenhagen Phil
Managing business from an Organizational Perspective
Vienna University of Economics and Business  (Urban Management and Governance)
Managing Business from an Organizational Perspective
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
575 KB
organizational, design, copenhagen, phil, managing, perspective
Quote paper
Alexander Kunst (Author), 2013, The Organizational Design of Copenhagen Phil, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: The Organizational Design of Copenhagen Phil

Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free