Hi, I am Sisi, a Chinese student majors in art management. As the essential part of my second semester, work placement in Manchester Jazz Festival (mjf) is much fitted for me, which combines music program practice and arts management closely. It is widely known that arts management covers various aspects. For me, I am particularly interested in how to be a music performance producer. Thus, to experience how Manchester Jazz Festival as a specific event operates runs from the initial stage to ending stage is especially worthwhile for my studies. Manchester Jazz Festival (mjf) is an artist-led, non-profit organisation which was founded in 1996. It is an annual 10-day festival with indoor and outdoor city centre venues. This big event is basically organised by 7 part-time staff. I am curious about how the organization runs and what is the structure within it.

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Strictly speaking, for an organisation, 7-staff is a quite small work group. But maybe just because of the scale of this organisation, it seems like there is a stronger cohesion within it. From my personal perspective, compare with Chinese organisation, there are less hierarchy there. From their working collaboration relationship, they exchange their opinions freely, and the conversation between them never base on “boss and staff ”. Base on this mode of communication, it offers an open platform for all staff of an organisation to express their real minds. Not like some organisations in China, the conversations between leaders and staff mainly follow leaders’ preferences. This kind of communications does not make any sense for improving. I am not sure the working style of mjf if is because of its size, but it is valuable to consider and compare with certain Chinese organisations for performance enhancing.

However, every coin has two sides. Maybe because of this closely communication, the hierarchy of mjf becomes less importance. Especially for making decisions, it is hard to make a decision efficiently among them. Sometimes there are many different opinions for one issue. It is very necessary that someone act a leader role to make a final decision in that situation. The leader should exhibit stronger capability to control overall situation. Otherwise, within a larger scale organisation, too many different opinions may cause great confusions. Thus, it is necessary for a leader to use his authority and influence to maintain the stability and efficiency of an organisation.

I am still not sure which type of working style is better for an organisation. Maybe the combination is a good choice. But how to keep the balance of hierarchy level is a kind of philosophy.

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