Since 2014, the 400 Italian State museums are experiencing a significant institutional change; once part of the Ministry of Cultural Goods and Activities and Tourism (MIBACT), they are now the organizations in charge of valorization activities. Moreover, 30 of them have been transformed into semi-autonomous organizations, that can directly manage proceedings from ticket sales, solicit private sponsorships and to develop a cultural strategy. Such a reform represents a major discontinuity over a tradition and narrative of heritage management built around preservation and exclusive involvement of public entities (state, regions, or municipalities). It has created a vivid debate on the destiny of heritage, the possibility and appropriateness of generating material and immaterial value around it, the outcomes of the effort. In this paper, we address the emerging relevance of effective governance in these organizations, by building on and extending previous literature on the role of board composition and performance, while exploring relevant contingencies that can affect such relationships. Moreover, we theoretically address issues on governance effectiveness emerging from ongoing heated public debate. Overall, our findings indicate that individual competency profiles of directors do not significantly impact the overall number of visitors. On the other hand, results indicate that diversity matters, both in terms of the interplay of director competence and board diversity and in terms of diversity within the board. Directors’ human capital is enhanced in the presence of a board with a complementary set of competencies. We suggest that the possibility for directors to effectively be agents of change (as it might be the case for directors with an international background or experience) is related to the presence of a complementary board. In very conservative organizations, this complementarity might mitigate the 2risk of conflict within the organization. From a policy point of view, it is important to address the issue of autonomy in a more comprehensive way, in order to allow a more effective valorization, while at the same time protecting the public function of the institution.

Change of policy for museums: is governance the answer?

Monti A;
2020

Abstract

Since 2014, the 400 Italian State museums are experiencing a significant institutional change; once part of the Ministry of Cultural Goods and Activities and Tourism (MIBACT), they are now the organizations in charge of valorization activities. Moreover, 30 of them have been transformed into semi-autonomous organizations, that can directly manage proceedings from ticket sales, solicit private sponsorships and to develop a cultural strategy. Such a reform represents a major discontinuity over a tradition and narrative of heritage management built around preservation and exclusive involvement of public entities (state, regions, or municipalities). It has created a vivid debate on the destiny of heritage, the possibility and appropriateness of generating material and immaterial value around it, the outcomes of the effort. In this paper, we address the emerging relevance of effective governance in these organizations, by building on and extending previous literature on the role of board composition and performance, while exploring relevant contingencies that can affect such relationships. Moreover, we theoretically address issues on governance effectiveness emerging from ongoing heated public debate. Overall, our findings indicate that individual competency profiles of directors do not significantly impact the overall number of visitors. On the other hand, results indicate that diversity matters, both in terms of the interplay of director competence and board diversity and in terms of diversity within the board. Directors’ human capital is enhanced in the presence of a board with a complementary set of competencies. We suggest that the possibility for directors to effectively be agents of change (as it might be the case for directors with an international background or experience) is related to the presence of a complementary board. In very conservative organizations, this complementarity might mitigate the 2risk of conflict within the organization. From a policy point of view, it is important to address the issue of autonomy in a more comprehensive way, in order to allow a more effective valorization, while at the same time protecting the public function of the institution.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11567/1076435
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