Dr Brian Kavanagh
Tel +44 (0)20 7848 1421
Address Department of Digital Humanities
S3.14, Strand Building
King’s College London
London WC2R 2LS
Research Interests and PhD supervision
Brian Kavanagh graduated with a degree in classical music performance (classical guitar) from Trinity College Dublin in 1993, after which he relocated to the US where he worked as a media manager in the Image and Sound Acquisition Group at Microsoft in Seattle.
He returned to Europe in the late 1990s where he completed an M.Sc. in Music Technology (University of Limerick) and an MA in Interactive Media in 2006 (Goldsmiths College).
In 2015, he completed a PhD at Imperial College Business School. Brian has extensive industry experience, having worked as a web developer and digital manager at several for-profit and nonprofit organisations, including the Tate Gallery and the Bridgeman Art Library in London.
Outside of academia,Brian works as a photographer, specialising in portraiture – www.briankavanagh.com. As a classical guitarist, he has won several prizes, including the Bach Gold Medal at the Dublin Conservatoire of Music.
- Disruptive Innovation Theory: my work investigates how nonprofit arts organisations are responding to the perceived opportunities and challenges that digital innovation presents to them. I am particularly interested in how Christensen’s (1997) original disruptive innovation theory is being stretched to help explain the disruptive and sustaining effects of the Internet on a vast array of institutional fields and the organisations that operate in them.
- Organisational Theory: I am a member of the European Group of Organisational Studies (EGOS), an organisation that investigates various approaches to organisational analysis.
- Organisational Identity: My research extends thinking on how organisational identity by considering the types of ‘identity work’ that organisations perform to overcome potential barriers to organisational-level change in response to exogenous shocks (e.g. economic, technological, social, cultural etc.).
My research focuses on how organisations manage change in periods of radical technological chance. Specifically, I am interested in how classical music performing organisations (e.g. orchestra and opera companies) are adapting digital technology in response to changing stakeholder expectations and the perceived threat of marginalisation in an increasingly multicultural and technocratic society. My research involves engaging with several professional performing organisations, including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Met Opera, the Royal Opera House, and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. I am currently working closely with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, an organisation that is undergoing significant organisational transformation in response to field declines (declining audiences for classical music in the U.S., reduced arts funding, and digital innovation). My latest research findings will feature in a new book titled ‘The Classical Music Industry’, which is being published by Routledge in December 2017.
- (2017): Reimagining Classical Music Organisations for the Digital Age, In ‘The Classical Music Industry’ (book), Routledge, December 2017.
- Forthcoming (2018): Kavanagh, B., Digital Innovation at the London Symphony Orchestra in Response to New Technology and Changing Stakeholder Expectations, Innovation, Organisations and Management, Imperial College Business School.
Brian Kavanagh teaches on the MA Digital Asset and Media Management.