Doctoral Dissertation

23.3.2019 YTM Min­na Ruusu­vir­ta (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, social and public policy (cultural policy)


23.3.2019 12:00 — 15:00

Location: Seminaarinmaki , S212
YTM Minna Ruusuvirta defends her doctoral dissertation in social and public policy (cultural policy) "Does sector matter? Plural characteristics and logics in third sector festival organisations".

Opponent FT, Director Timo Cantell (City of Helsinki) and Custos Professor Miikka Pyykkönen (University of Jyväskylä, Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy). The doctoral dissertation is held in Finnish.


The starting point for the research has been the idea that society is divided into three relatively distinct areas of activity, i.e. separate sectors: the public sector, the market sector and the third sector.

According to this understanding, each of these sectors has specific characteristics and core logics guiding its activities. Over recent decades, however, the boundaries between the sectors have been becoming blurred. This leads to different hybrid organisations, which combine the practices and principles of various sectors.

This research aims to increase the understanding of hybrid organisations, their characteristics and the mechanisms behind hybridisation. Drawing from the ideal sectoral characteristics and logics, the research focuses on the exploration on third sector festival organizations and manifestations of market sector characteristics and logics in their operations.

Empirical research focuses on Finnish arts and culture festival organisations. The data contains both qualitative and quantitative information and has been analysed by using mixed methods. According to the results, hybrid operating models are typical for festival organisations. While they express ideal third sector characteristics and manifest typical third sector logics in their operations, they have embraced lots of features and logics that originally derive from other sectors; the market sector, in particular.

Festivals are mainly hybrid in terms of their means; that is, the actions by which the main purpose or goal can be achieved. In terms of their core mission and values, festivals still emphasise characteristics and logics typical to the third sector. Thus, it can be argued that also in hybrid organisational models, an organisation's prime sector provides the core values and the basis of organisational identity the organisation reflects on its activities.

The study shows that hybridity does not always cause conflicts, but different logics may also be parallel and support each other in implementing the organisation's purpose. Resource dependence and relationship with public authorities, among other things, were identified as factors that can both promote and prevent marketisation in festival organisations.