Managing Musicians: A unique insight into the Royal Scottish National Orchestra
(2014) Managing Musicians: A unique insight into the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, no. 51.
The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) is one of Scotland's five National Companies and one of Europe's leading symphony orchestras. With around 80 full-time musicians a large amount of resource is regularly applied to people management practises. However, with no separate Human Resources (HR) department and very few written policies on the content and application of these practises, this research project aims to explore the area of people management practises at the RSNO. Three key stages of the standard employment lifecycle were chosen to be examined as a basis for the research; Induction, Development and Exit, and through eight semi-structured interviews with musicians and managers at the RSNO, a discussion is formed around the perceived implementation of these practises. This discussion takes into account the RSNO Contract of Employment for Musicians and the RSNO HR Policies and Procedures document, as well as the HR practises implemented at a similar orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (BBCSSO). The research is qualitative in nature and focusses in depth on the HR practises used with the musicians at the RSNO, creating a detailed case study. The results suggest that the practises used by the RSNO at these three stages of the employment lifecycle are mainly informal and unstructured. Whilst this may reflect the nature of the performing arts sector, the RSNO could possibly benefit from investing in developing a slightly more deliberate approach to these people management practises.