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Artistic quality and consensus decision-making: On reviewing panels in the performing arts

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Although panel reviewing is frequently used in the allocation of public cultural funds, the internal functioning of artistic panels has received little attention in cultural and sociological studies. This article examines panel reviewing in the field of theatre. Based on in-depth interviews with panel experts, it analyses factors that are influential in terms of procedural and substantive aspects of decision-making. Our investigation deals with: (1) individual critical approaches of members and how they come into play in panel deliberations, (2) group composition and diversity, (3) group and leader influence on individual and collective decisions and (4) the meaning of consensus as a decision rule. The article sheds light on how collective judgements are formed, shared and constrained by the procedural (e.g. group diversity, decision rules), social (e.g. group pressure) and personal (e.g. individual approaches and tastes) aspects of group decision-making.
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Keywords: critics; decision-making; judgement; panel; peer review; theatre

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000121792025Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw

Publication date: June 1, 2020

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  • The International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics is committed to analyzing the politics of communication(s) and cultural processes. It addresses cultural politics in their local, international and global dimensions, recognizing equally the importance of issues defined by their specific cultural geography and those that traverse cultures and nations.
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