On-going institutional work in a contemporary art museum for the 21st century

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Perustieteiden korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
Date
2016-06-07
Department
Major/Subject
International Design Business Management
Mcode
TU3007
Degree programme
Master’s Degree Programme in International Design Business Management (IDBM)
Language
en
Pages
76+3
Series
Abstract
Museums as formal institutions are facing changes in the 21st century, fueled by pressures from the knowledge society and the changing nature of leisure. Traditionally, museums have been sanctuaries of art with a central mission of collecting, preserving and presenting art and other objects of cultural value. This study investigates how one institution responds to these changes by performing institutional work. Institutions are defined as resilient social structures that are constituted by normative, regulative and cultural-cognitive structures and practices. They provide meaning for social life and organizational work and guide and set limits for action. Institutions are resilient structures, but not immune to change. Through institutional work, actors can create, maintain and disrupt institutions. In this study, the institutional work performed in the context of a contemporary art museum is investigated. The findings show how actors theorize new concepts, utilize mimicry and construct identities through combining ideas and materials. By showing the link between ideas and material practices, the study shows how actors engage in collective entrepreneurship. This study extends previous work on how institutional work is performed by a group of actors in a collective manner, and investigates the role of the building as a material object, drawing from theories of semiotics of the built environment. Buildings have traditionally been studied as tools for institutional change: their materiality acting as a manifestation of ideas through architectural design. As it is clear in the case of museums, the building is much more than ideas presented in material form. Buildings also shape societies by acting as a setting for experiences, enabling new kind of communication and co-creation.
Description
Supervisor
Vartiainen, Matti
Thesis advisor
Granqvist, Nina
Keywords
institutional work, museums, materiality, institutions, organizations
Other note
Citation