Category Archives: Cultural and Heritage Management

Museums and Public Value – a guest post from Carol Scott

This is a guest post from Carol Scott, editor of ‘Museums and Public Value: creating sustainable futures’. It was originally published on Carol’s website Carol Scott Associates.

Museums and public valueI decided to begin this blog by focusing on a project which has been my passion for the last two years. In May this year, I published a book titled ‘Museums and Public Value: creating sustainable futures’. Contributing authors from the US, the UK, Australia and New Zealand worked with me, sharing their expertise and insights on a range of subjects related to public value.

I wanted to do the book because it seemed to me that Mark Moore’s theory and model of Public Value speaks to our time and, particularly to the role of museums in creating positive social change.

Let’s start with some definitions.

‘Public Value’ is defined as activity undertaken in the general public interest and realised in the public sphere. For Moore, the creation of public value should focus on ‘unmet social needs’ – conditions to be ameliorated, problems to be solved and rights to be vindicated (Moore 2007). This directs us towards compelling social issues of race, class, cultural identity, equality and our relationship with the natural world.

And who is the public? The defining characteristic is that it refers to people in their role as citizens with an interest in issues affecting our common good.

Museums can create value that contributes to the common good. But value creation does not happen in a vacuum. Museums are part of a universe of relationships that have a stake in the value we create. Moore has developed a ‘strategic triangle’ (1995) that maps the relationship between three major players in the creation of public value.

(a) The first is what he calls the authorizing environment, policy makers, funders and stakeholders who have the power to grant or refuse approvals and to provide or withhold funding for work that we want to do;

(b) The second is the operational environment (in this case, the museum) – where the combined forces of mission, purpose, leadership, planning, human resources, collections and funding can be directed to create and deliver value and

(c) The third is the public, those citizens who are the recipients of the value museum create but who can also be co-producers in the creation of value.

Moore’s model of Public Value is not only helpful in mapping this universe of relationships. It is based on a set of principles that merit our attention:

  • It appreciates that today’s public sector organisations work within a dynamic and changing environment
  • It acknowledges that museums do not work in isolation. We are connected – to funders, stakeholders, policy makers and the public – and we owe each of them varying levels of accountability
  • It focuses on the goals that we hold in common as citizens
  • It recognises that the creation of public value is intentional and involves conscious decision-making
  • It views our leaders as proactive stewards of public assets, capable of directing those assets purposefully to make a difference in the lives of individuals and communities.

In the next few weeks, you will meet some of my Museums and Public Value co-authors. They will be guest bloggers on a range of subjects that address issues of public value creation from the museum point of view. Watch this space!


About Carol Scott:

“My passion as a museum consultant is to see the value of museums recognized by important decision-makers and celebrated by the public.”

Carol A. Scott lives in London and works with museum leaders in the UK, Europe, North America and Australasia, using value as a core concept in planning, branding, audience engagement, measurement and funding. She is recognised internationally for her expertise in this area and is in demand as a conference presenter and thought leader. Her writing on museums and value has been published in Curator: The Museum Journal, Museum Management and Curatorship, Cultural Trends and the International Journal of Arts Management.

Contributing authors: Mark L. Weinberg; Kate Leeman; Randi Korn; Mary Ellen Munley; Mike Houlihan; Ben Garcia; David Spence; Tom Wareham; Caroline Bressey; June Bam-Hutchison; Annette Day; Lisa Conolly; Marsha L. Semmel; David O’Brien; Sharon Heal; Joanne Orr.

Ashgate at the Museums Association conference 2013, Liverpool

Dymphna Evans and Helen Moore are attending the Museums Association conference in Liverpool next week, 11-12th November.

Please visit us on stand 3, see our latest books, meet our authors and chat about any ideas you might have for book proposals. There will be a daily prize draw to win a book of your choice, huge discounts on display copies and more free treats, so please come a say ‘hello’.

Museums Association delegates are entitled to a 30% discount on a range of Museums Studies, Cultural and Heritage Management books, but if you’re unable to attend, we are extending the discount for a limited period. Take advantage of the conference discount at

New books which will be on display include:

Museums, Health and Well-Being (Helen Chatterjee, University College London and Guy Noble, University College London Hospitals)

Curious Lessons in the Museum: The Pedagogic Potential of Artists’ Interventions (Claire Robins, Institute of Education, University of London)

Museums and Public Value: Creating Sustainable Futures (Edited by Carol A. Scott, Carol Scott Associates)

Museums Health and Welleing Curious Lessons in the Museum Museums and Public Value

We’re looking forward to meeting you in Liverpool!

Museums and Public Value

Originally posted on Intentional Museum:

Museums and Public ValueThis week we welcome our guest blogger Carol Ann Scott, editor of Museums and Public Value: Creating Sustainable Futures!

Randi Korn & Associates invited me to guest blog on a subject that has important links to intentionality. My passion is the value of museums- how we articulate that value, measure it and create it. So today, I am blogging about the third aspect- the value we create. With that in mind, I want to look at what Mark Moore’s theory of Public Value has to offer museums when we purposefully set out to create value.

Moore’s Creating Public Value: Strategic Management in Government (1995) may be familiar to many of you. In Moore’s view, publically funded organisations are charged with directing their assets to creating value with a strong focus on social change and improvement. This type of value is about more than visitor satisfaction. It is directed…

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New Museum Studies, Heritage and Cultural Management books

Posted by Helen Moore, Marketing Manager

In an era of budget cuts how do museum leaders develop effective strategies to deliver and demonstrate true public value?

Museums and Public ValueCarol Scott’s Museums and Public Value unpacks the concept of public value and examines its implications for museums. The book is essential reading for senior professionals, as well as museum and heritage studies students.

Aligned to public value is the role of museums in enhancing well-being and improving health through social intervention. Museums, Health and Well-Being by Helen Chatterjee and Guy Noble ‘is a tonic to invigorate the future of museums as well as healthcare.‘ (Lois H. Silverman, Museum Studies Specialist and Author, The Social Work of Museums.)

Russell Staiff’s Re-imagining Heritage Interpretation, offers a lively challenge to traditional approaches to heritage interpretation. ‘The book will fascinate the entire heritage management field.’ (Helaine Silverman, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA)

Museums and Silent ObjectsFrancesca Monti and Suzanne Keene’s Museums and Silent Objects is a ‘thought-provoking volume which offers illuminating insights into what makes effective object-based displays.’ (Stuart Frost, British Museum, UK)

These new books and more can be found in Ashgate’s new Museum Studies, Heritage and Cultural Management 2013 catalogue available to download now, it includes new books on:

  • Museum Studies and Practice
  • Digital Cultural Heritage
  • Collecting and Museum History
  • Art Business and Markets
  • Cultural Leadership and Management
  • Heritage Studies

To keep up to date with new titles in this area, and benefit from exclusive offers, please sign up to receive a monthly email update at

The Dracula Dilemma: Tourism, Identity and the State in Romania – reviewed by Jerome de Groot in the Times Higher

“How to establish a serious national tourist agenda when the most famous person associated with your country is not only someone you’d rather not be associated with but furthermore is fictional? Duncan Light’s entertaining but very serious book considers the ways in which tourism has been configured in Romania from the late 1950s to the present day…

…At present, we have few historically wide-ranging accounts of the effects of literary tourism, and this is a great example of what might be done with a case study in terms of conceptualising the complex interplay of national identity, tourism and culture.”

Read the full review in the Times Higher

For many in the West, Romania is synonymous with Count Dracula. Since the publication of Bram Stoker’s famous novel in 1897 Transylvania (and by extension, Romania) has become inseparable in the Western imagination with Dracula, vampires and the supernatural. Since the late 1960s Western tourists have travelled to Transylvania on their own searches for the literary and supernatural roots of the Dracula myth. Such ‘Dracula tourism’ presents Romania with a dilemma. On one hand, Dracula is Romania’s unique selling point and has considerable potential to be exploited for economic gain. On the other hand, the whole notion of vampires and the supernatural is starkly at odds with Romania’s self-image as a modern, developed, European state.

The Dracula Dilemma examines the way that Romania has negotiated Dracula tourism over the past four decades.

During the communist period (up to 1989) the Romanian state did almost nothing to encourage such tourism but reluctantly tolerated it. However, some discrete local initiatives were developed to cater for Dracula enthusiasts that operated at the margins of legality in a communist state. In the post-communist period (after 1989) any attempt to censor Dracula has disappeared and the private sector in Romania has been swift to exploit the commercial possibilities of the Count. However, the Romanian state remains ambivalent about Dracula and continues to be reluctant to encourage or promote Dracula tourism. Romania’s dilemma with Dracula remains unresolved.

About the Author: Duncan Light is an Associate Professor at the Liverpool Hope University, UK

Further information about The Dracula Dilemma

Ashgate’s Cultural and Heritage Management publishing programme is growing

Posted by Nigel Farrow, Chairman of the Ashgate Publishing Group

Our new catalogue of books on the policies, practice and history of culture and heritage management is now available. It represents Ashgate’s commitment to publish widely in these fields.

In the year of the London Olympic Games it is hardly necessary to stress the economic importance or international impact of major cultural events and institutions in contemporary society.

The new and recent titles in the Cultural and Heritage Management catalogue reflect scholarship and experience from many different parts of the world.

It is, perhaps, appropriate that an international, British-based publisher such as Ashgate should focus on this subject. Britain is an old country with long established and justly celebrated cultural institutions.

However, it is in the more recently developed or developing regions of the world that some of the most exciting new cultural initiatives are being made. And everywhere there is a challenge to present and preserve the heritage of humanity for future generations in the face of economic turbulence and physical conflicts.

Museum experience for the attendees has greatly improved in recent times as museums strive to widen the access to their collections and exhibitions.

Frank den Oudsten’s space.time.narrative: the exhibition as post-spectacular stage presents new and important insights into this experience and has contributions from Europe’s leading exhibition designers.

Archives, Museums and Collecting Practices in the Modern Arab World is a pioneering survey of practice in region that is rich in historical and cultural artefacts.

Among a range of new Heritage Studies titles are two which deal with the impact of iconic historical events and myths on national indentities today. Ireland’s 1916 Rising explores history-making and commemoration as the centenary of one of Ireland’s great events approaches. The Dracula Dilemma looks at the way that Romania has negotiated ‘Dracula tourism’ over the last four decades.

The catalogue lists the first titles in two important new or revived series.

Handbooks in International Art Business is a series published by our Lund Humphries imprint in association with Sotheby’s Institute of Art. This series draws upon the knowledge and experience of members of the faculties of the Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London, New York and Singapore. The first two titles are Chinese Antiquities: an introduction to the art market and Corporate Art Collections: a handbook to corporate buying.

The other series is an old friend who has much grown and is now dressed in a splendid new suit of clothes. Practical Building Conservation is a fully revised series of practical handbooks that is published in association with English Heritage. The original titles were published in 1988 and established themselves as standard reference books. The new series has extended the number of titles to a 10-volume set and all the books copiously illustrated in colour. The series covers all the main materials and building processes to be found in historic buildings.

The main contribution to the catalogue from our Gower business books imprint is The Cultural Leadership Handbook: how to run a creative organization. This title reflects the course of study for future leaders of cultural and heritage institutions that has been pioneered by the authors, Robert Hewison and John Holden, at the City University, London.

Several of the publishing programmes and series listed here are in their infancy. There is much more to come. So I hope that next time you hear the word culture you reach not for your gun* but for the Ashgate catalogue.

Nigel Farrow

Chairman, Ashgate Publishing Group

*As this is a scholarly catalogue for scholarly people, one should correct the general attribution this much used and abused remark. It may have been used by Göring, or Hess or Himmler, to name some very unpleasant people, but it actually originates in Hanns Johst’s 1933 play, Schlageter, “Wenn ich Kultur höre … entsichere ich meinen Browning” (“Whenever I hear of culture … I release the safety-catch of my Browning”).

View a pdf version of the Cultural and Heritage Management catalogue on our website

Do you have a book proposal?

We are actively commissioning new books in many areas of Cultural and Heritage Management. To discuss new ideas and proposals please contact the relevant commissioning editor:

Museums and Heritage Management – Dymphna Evans, Imogen Abed

Heritage and Identity series, Cultural Geography – Val Rose

Cultural Policy and Leadership – Martin West (Gower)

The Business of Art – Lucy Myers (Lund Humphries)