Openness, Innovation, and Sustainability in Museum Organizations

  •  Angelo Ruggieri    
  •  Stella Lippolis    


Over the last few decades, social, economic, and technological changes have gradually contributed to modifying the core concept of museum organizations, towards their active involvement in the process of social innovation and territory growth, in accordance with the instances of sustainability. This study investigates how strategic innovation, based on the implementation of an open and sustainable museum model, as a driver of social and civic innovation, can enhance the development of the reference community. To this end, after analyzing the concept of sustainability-oriented innovation in the perspective of openness and shared value, the research investigates the role of sustainability and its specific declinations in museum management, focusing the attention on the experience of the Italian museums in the light of a substantial revision of organization due to a reform in 2014. The theoretical framework is then applied to a case study, the National Archaeological Museum of Taranto “MArTA”, in order to verify the nature and impacts of changes in the museums that take a sustainability-oriented path through strategic and technological innovation. The study provides evidence of the joint and interdependent role of openness, innovation, and sustainability as key drivers in the museums with particular reference to practices adopted to encourage stakeholders’ engagement and to contribute to social, economic, and cultural development.

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