ACG President Awarded Doctorate of Business Administration from Triple-Accredited Grenoble Ecole de Management
BOSTON — Arts Consulting Group (ACG) President Bruce D. Thibodeau successfully defended his dissertation and was awarded a doctorate of business administration (DBA) from Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM) in Grenoble, France on January 27, 2017. His dissertation, “Stakeholder influences on the activities and practices of nonprofit arts and culture organizations: Exploring a strategic project management perspective,” was a threefold exploration of both theory and practice on stakeholders, nonprofit arts management, and cultural facility project management to describe how stakeholders influence, and are influenced by, the activities and practices of nonprofit arts and culture organizations as they pursue major projects.
The practical and social implications of Dr. Thibodeau’s study are to improve nonprofit arts and culture organization situated actions in overcoming project inertia and gaining momentum. The results suggest that both private and public dialogues between internal and external stakeholders prompt their iterative learning, deeper social and emotional bonds, and a sense of community built around shared project goals and mutually beneficial outcomes. The originality of his study is evidenced by a deeper understanding of the relationships between nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their stakeholders. In particular, the value of this research is generalizable to international public and nonprofit organizations that seek to better understand strategic activities and practices through which the permeable boundaries between stakeholders allow for strategic adaptation. As stated in his dissertation, “Strategic project management is an interactive, adaptive, and synergistic result of social and material connections, commitments, and capacities of stakeholders to support a nonprofit arts and culture organization’s people, projects, and community.”
Dr. Michelle Mielly, writing on behalf of the GEM dissertation jury, stated that, “We congratulate Dr. Thibodeau on his intellectual honesty and on the vision he brought to a complex study.” Doctoral supervisor Dr. Charles-Clemens Rüling added that he was, “…fascinated by Dr. Thibodeau’s open-mindedness, willingness, and openness to new theoretical ideas. He did not give himself fixed boundaries but was open to a lot of learning.” Additional members of the jury included internationally recognized scholars Dr. Sylvain Colombero and Dr. Miguel Rivera-Santos.
“I am so grateful to everyone at GEM, family, friends, and my colleagues at Arts Consulting Group for their support during this wonderful journey,” stated Dr. Thibodeau. “I have made a commitment to the arts and culture industry because I have been inspired by the brilliance of so many amazing artists who have immeasurably added to the quality of my life and to more dynamic communities. I look forward to being a compass to others – rooted in warmth, flavored with humor, and inspired by the greater social good that the arts and culture sector provides.”
Dr. Thibodeau’s research methodology comprised a comparative case study of five nonprofit arts and culture organizations that planned, developed, and completed cultural facilities between 2000 and 2010. This research design depicted the uniqueness and similarities between each organization, considered multiple activities and practices involved in their projects, analyzed stakeholder interactions that impact project timelines or costs, explored underlying relationships and knowledge, and identified stakeholder interaction strategies in these organizations. The results of this research indicate that both new and existing organizations embrace a community-wide process whereby internal project champions align their efforts toward realization of a project concept, external project followers are identified and engaged, and sensemaking between the two occurs to advance the project. Social and material resources are acquired to overcome project inertia as stakeholder interactions allow projects to gain momentum. Finally, the major projects come to fruition resulting in mutually beneficial outcomes for nonprofit arts and culture organizations and the communities they serve.
Dr. Thibodeau founded ACG in 1997 and, as its President, has been embedded in numerous projects within the firm’s five practice areas – interim management, executive search, revenue enhancement, facilities & program planning, and organizations development – to grow institutional sustainability, advance the arts and culture sector, and enhance the communities served by ACG’s clients. Now celebrating the firm’s 20th anniversary, he continues to help clients in guiding effective leadership transitions, increasing earned and contributed revenue, achieving organizational efficiency, developing vibrant institutional messages and brands, implementing strategic visions, and revitalizing governance practices. He has also facilitated a variety of community engagement processes that increase the public dialogue about the value of arts and cultural organizations and facilities to better serve their communities.
A Maine native, Dr. Thibodeau also holds a master of business administration from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College, a bachelor of music from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford, and multiple human resource certifications in competencies, communications, and motivations analysis from Target Training International. Dr. Thibodeau is also a regular facilitator of community and stakeholder engagement processes as well as a guest speaker at various national and international arts, culture, and academic conferences. Recent academic conference papers and presentations include the Academy of Management, Social Theory, Politics, and the Arts, and publication in The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society.
About Grenoble Ecole de Management
Grenoble Ecole de Management is among the one percent of worldwide business schools to hold triple accreditation from EQUIS (European Quality Improvement System), AACSB (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) and AMBA (The Association of MBAs). Its doctorate of business administration (DBA) is focused on organizational change and innovation which is provided at various international locations in France, Switzerland, India, China, and the United States thanks to joint degree programs and worldwide partnerships. Since its creation in 1984, GEM has targeted technology and innovation management to become a world leader based in a cosmopolitan city noted as the world’s fifth most inventive by Forbes Magazine. For more information, please visit Grenoble-EM.com.
About Arts Consulting Group
For the past 20 years ACG has been the leading provider of hands-on interim management, executive search, revenue enhancement, facilities & program planning, and organizational development services for the arts and culture industry. The firm has offices in Boston, Calgary, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Halifax, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Tampa, Toronto, and Washington DC with consultants located throughout North America to best serve the needs of its clients. Services include capital campaign management, donor prospecting and research, strategic planning, team building summits, marketing strategy and implementation, financial planning, transition management, board training, and nonprofit merger facilitation among other services. For more information, please contact (888) 234.4236, info@ArtsConsulting.com, or visit ArtsConsulting.com.