Article

Museums and the 'new museology': Theory, practice and organisational change

Citation

McCall V & Gray C (2014) Museums and the 'new museology': Theory, practice and organisational change. Museum Management and Curatorship, 29 (1), pp. 19-35. https://doi.org/10.1080/09647775.2013.869852

Abstract
The widening of roles and expectations within cultural policy discourses has been a challenge to museum workers throughout Great Britain (GB). There has been an expectation that museums are changing from an ‘old' to a ‘new museology' that has shaped museum functions and roles. This paper outlines the limitations of this perceived transition as museum services confront multiple exogenous and endogenous expectations, opportunities, pressures and threats. Findings from 23 publically-funded museum services across England, Scotland and Wales are presented to explore the roles of professional and hierarchical differentiation, and how there were organisational and managerial limitations to the practical application of the ‘new museology'. The ambiguity surrounding policy, roles and practice also highlighted that museum workers were key agents in interpreting, using and understanding wide-ranging policy expectations. The practical implementation of the ‘new museology' is linked to the values held by museum workers themselves and how they relate it to their activities at the ground level.

Keywords
Museum services; management, cultural policy; ‘new museology’; museum workers; implementation

Journal
Museum Management and Curatorship: Volume 29, Issue 1

StatusPublished
Publication date31/12/2014
Publication date online24/12/2013
Date accepted by journal21/06/2013
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/18383
PublisherTaylor and Francis
ISSN0964-7775