Managing the ‘New Museology’: The Changing Role and Management of Australian State Museums Since the 1980s

By Claire Baddeley.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper investigates the significant shifts that have occurred in the management of Australian state museums since the 1980s. These shifts reflect the confluence of theories and practices in new public management and the ‘new museology’. Museums in Australia in the current century are at a crossroads, subject to a number of internal and external pressures that are impacting upon their provision and type of services, changing purpose, new social and economic roles and management style and focus. How museums at management level are responding to organisational issues such as greater access and information provision, attracting diverse audiences, increased emphasis on education and learning, new interpretations of collections and research, evolving business models and a greater social and economic role within communities are investigated within this context. Similarly, how museums function as organisations within the public sector (operating as ‘hybrids’, combining the roles of non-profit and for-profit organisations) will be explored. This paper combines an analysis of the changing role of Australian state museums within the contemporary context and their changing management and organisational style.

Keywords: Museums- Australia, Museum Management, Public Sector Management

International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.89-98. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.140MB).

Claire Baddeley

PhD Student, Faculty of Business and Government, University of Canberra, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Claire Baddeley is currently undertaking a PhD (Management) in the School of Business and Government at the University of Canberra. Her research interests include the management of museums as public sector organisations and the impact of public sector reform since the 1980s on cultural institutions in Australia. Prior to undertaking her PhD, Claire worked in a number of museums, galleries and cultural institutions in Victoria and the ACT. This included curatorial, public programs and management positions at the Australian War Memorial, Melbourne Museum, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery and currently Old Parliament House. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (LaTrobe), Grad. Diploma Art Curatorial Studies (University of Melbourne), MA –Museum Studies & Material Culture (Monash) & Master of Management (ANU).


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