Organizational identity in the history of the Longy School of Music
Powell, Alex Fritz
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The Longy School of Music existed as an independent organization from 1915 until2012, when it was acquired by Bard College. Founded to provide vocational training in music, the Longy School soon expanded by adding preparatory studies for children and continuing studies for avocationallearners. The school struggled throughout much of its history to manage its multiple identities and gain consensus, from both internal and external stakeholders, on a fundamental question: "who are we as an organization?" The lack of clarity in organizational identity and the failure to adequately manage the resulting multiple identities meant that the Longy School consistently struggled to define itself. This situation was an impediment to a thriving institution fmancially, programmatically, and culturally. Toward the end ofthe Longy School's existence as an independent entity, the long-standing issues had culminated in significant financial shortfalls, faculty dissatisfaction and the introduction ofa faculty union, and the desire to seek a larger institution with which to merge. This complex crisis raises significant questions about how the school arrived at such a crossroads, and deeper understanding of the school's history oforganizational identity provides insight into these developments. The purpose of this study was to determine the history of the Longy School' s struggle to understand and manage its organizational identity - and how and why this dilemma had long-reaching consequences. Research questions that guided this inquiry included: 1) What was Georges Longy's original vision for the Longy School, how did this evolve during his tenure as director, and how did this shape the future organizational identity of the institution? 2) Who were the primary figures that helped shape the focus and mission of the school, and what did each of these leaders envision as the direction, strategy, mission, and future for the institution? 3) What implicit and explicit strategic plans for the school have existed, and how have these related to the development of the Longy School's organizational identity? 4) What were the major developments and changes in the curricula offered by the Longy School and what motivated these developments? 5) What were the perceptions of and expectations for the Longy School from both internal and external constituents?
Thesis (D.M.A.)--Boston University