Micro examination of museum workplace culture: how institutional changes influence the culture of a real-world art museum

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6 Scopus citations

Abstract

ABSTRACT: This paper explores how the art museum's leadership, management structure, and internal communications influence its workplace culture. Using ethnographic inquiry and grounded theory, the paper demonstrates how a specific museum's organizational culture is constructed and how it can be changed through various structural and value-driven changes based on an emerging theory of an organization as an open system. At the museum, an unstable organizational structure caused by frequent leadership turnover factored heavily in creating a non-collaborative workplace with ongoing personal conflicts. The institutional and internal changes called for a more flexible management system than the traditional hierarchical structure. However, by adopting qualities of a learning organization that constantly evolves and grows, this art museum can become a more effective and efficient organization with a stable management structure, sustainable and collective leadership, an effective communicational system, and therefore a positive, cohesive, and vision-driven workplace.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-177
Number of pages19
JournalMuseum Management and Curatorship
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 14 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
ACKNOWLEDGMENT JvH was funded by an ERC Consolidator grant awarded to Joah Madden (616474).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Taylor & Francis.

Keywords

  • Museum workplace culture
  • communications
  • leadership
  • learning organization
  • organizational theories

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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