Comparing Sample Frames for Research on Arts Organizations:
Results of a Study in Three Metropolitan Areas
Working Paper #3, 1996
Deborah Kaple, Ziggy Rivkin-Fish, Hugh Louch, Lori Morris, &
This paper addresses a small but crucial aspect of research
on arts organizations: how to define a sample frame, based upon
which one can collect data generalizable to the population of
cultural organizations as a whole. Researchers undertook case
studies in three metropolitan areas: Philadelphia, Minneapolis/St.
Paul, and Dallas/Fort Worth. They compiled, as complete as possible,
a list of arts organizations based on printed sources and information
from local citizens familiar with the nonprofit arts community.
Then, they examined the extent to which different approaches to
developing a sample frame would have captured the organizations
by the group identified, and what types of bias each approach
would entail. This paper reports on the findings from this research
and discusses several theoretical and methodological dilemmas
that emerged during the course of the work.
This Paper can be found in the Journal of Arts Management
and Law, Volume 28 (Spring 1998), pp. 41-66.