Stakeholder management in Romanian museums. A qualitative investigation

Alexandra ZBUCHEA, Monica BIRA

Abstract


Increasingly more nonprofit organizations, including museums, give more attention to their stakeholders and design specific strategies to develop their relationships with various types of stakeholders. Nevertheless, observing the activity of the Romanian museums, it seems that they pay lesser attention to their stakeholders. The investigation presented tries to map the stakeholder management approaches of these museums. The current study is part of a wider analysis involving the use of existing data collected by the authors. The study corpus currently includes 12 semi-structured interviews with middle and top managers of various types of Romanian museums. Based on a purposeful sampling technique, we selected the respondents in order to cover a multitude of experiences, such as large and small museums, small museums from large cities and small museums from small communities, museums of history, ethnography or the so-called “specialized museums”. As it was expected, the stakeholder management is a corporate idea, and the concept of “stakeholder” seems not to have a place within the decision making process in a museum; however, the practices associated with stakeholder management are present when thinking in terms of projects and partnerships. Our findings are thus organized around the strategies employed by museum managers in order to influence the environment where the museum actually “lives”, by nurturing long term collaboration and promoting shared interests. In addition, the data gathered so far seems to point out that the approaches favored by the Romanian museums in order to teach out to their relevant publics are closely connected to the way in which top and middle management perceive the social and economic environment of their museums, rather than “objective” criteria such as the museum’s profile and the number of employees.

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