Research interests

My research has two main focus areas:  economics and management in the arts, and strategic management of nonprofit organizations.  Papers and presentations related to these interests are on other pages on this site

After years as an arts manager in competitive local markets, I’m keenly interested in how arts organizations compete and succeed both locally and nationally.  For ten years, I was research director for the National Arts Index and Local Arts Index of Americans for the Arts.  My collaborator and partner in this effort has been Randy Cohen, VP of Americans for the Arts for Research and Policy.  The last National Arts Index report came out in 2016, and all of the data and reports are available at www.artsindexusa.org.  Over the years, I’ve conducted studies of differences between the arts economies in regions and nations.  In 2017 and 2018, I worked with professors Mark Hager of Arizona State University and HeeKyung Sung of Cal State Northridge on a paper examining the dimensions of local arts.  Another on-going study examines how arts in higher education affects arts in communities and regions.  Since 2006, I’ve helped Chorus America by writing the annual Chorus Operations Survey Report.

A second theme is strategic management of nonprofit organizations, with special emphasis on governance practice and performance measurement.  I’m particularly interested in issues of stewardship of tradition and long-standing practices in nonprofit organizations, the motivations and practices of Board members, and the measurement of organizational effectiveness.  Recent work in this field includes papers on the “invisible balance sheet,” using the accounting framework of the balance sheet as a model for categorizing positive and negative capacity indicators for nonprofits.  I am also studying how Board members’ underlying values affect their roles and responsibilities in governance.  Part of my research concerns pedagogy for teaching management of nonprofits.

I’ve also done studies of the Lehigh Valley business and economic environment including studies of local purchasing, the nonprofit economy, and the arts.