Everyone’s collections at Art Museums: groundbreaking digital business strategy as cornerstone for synergies

  • Erika Cavriani
Keywords: digital strategy, digital-open-content, cultural heritage, museum, synergies, alliances


Purpose of the paper: This paper aims to investigate how an innovative digital strategy of a museum could develop new avenues for business and social value, looking into its role as a booster of competitive advantage for cultural institutions and as a possible source of socio-cultural development.

Methodology: The research project focuses on the analysis of the Rijksmuseum’s re-opening strategy, using a case-based qualitative and recursive approach, where the outcome of each phase has been the starting point of the following phase.

Findings: “Open digital-cultural contents” make art and culture more accessible, stimulating people to value Cultural Heritage, heightening the level of cultural participation by lowering the threshold to experience culture and art. This e-strategy has been the precondition to develop synergies and alliances, moving towards a creative economy by catalysing spillovers in a wide range of economic and social contexts.

Research limits: This is a case-based research paper with contextual factors, but we consider the data to be particularly suitable for illustrating and extending relationships and logic among constructs.

Practical implications: The research contributes to better unlock the potential of the digital-cultural-contents leading to understanding of how to boost the durability of cultural organizations and unlock the potential of cultural and creative industries (CCIs).

Originality of the paper: Identifying synergies emerging from museums’ ground-breaking digital-strategies adds significantly to the body of knowledge on the topic of innovation management in the cross-fertilization territories of the CCIs.


ANDREWS K.R (1971), The concept of corporate strategy, Dow Jones-Irwin, Homewood, IL.

ANDREWS K. (1987), The concept of corporate strategy, (3rd ed.), Dow Jones-Irwin, Homewood, IL

ANSOFF A.I. (1987), Corporate Strategy, (revised edn.assisted by EJ McDonnel), Penguin Books, Harmondsworth.

ANSOFF H.I. (1965), Corporate Strategy: An Analytic Approach to Business Policy for Growth and Expansion, McGraw-Hill, New York.

ANSOFF H.I. (1988), The New Corporate Strategy, Wiley, New York, NY.

BAKHASHI H., THROSBY D. (2010), Culture of Innovation. An economic analysis of innovation in arts and cultural organizations, NESTA report, June.

BERGER P., OFEK E. (1995), “Diversification’s effect on firm value”, Journal of Financial Economics, vol. 37, n. 1, pp. 39-65.

BENHAMOU F. (2001), L’economia della cultura, Il Mulino, Bologna.

BONACINI E. (2011), Nuove tecnologie per la fruizione e valorizzazione del patrimonio culturale, Aracne ed, Srl, Roma.

BONACINI E. (2012), “Il museo partecipativo sul web: forme di partecipazione dell’utente alla produzione culturale e alla creazione di valore culturale”, Il Capitale Culturale, Studies on the Value of Cultural Heritage, vol. 5, pp. 93-125.

BOURDIEU P. (1986), “The Forms of Capital”, in Richardson J. (ed.), Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education, Greenwood, New York.

BRADBURNE J.M. (1999) “The role of the museum in creating national identity”, www.bradburne.org.

BRADBURNE J.M. (2002), “Is Interactivity Different for Fine Arts as Opposed to Design?”, www.bradburne.org.

BRADBURNE J.M. (2004), “The museum as urban catalyst”, (Originally 2002/revised 4 January 2004) www.bradburne.org.

CALCAGNO M., CAVRIANI E. (2014a), “Reimagining the design in the middle earth: from design driven innovation to design boosted cultural heritage”, working paper, 30th Egos Colloquium: Re-imagining, re-thinking, re-shaping, Rotterdam, Erasmus University.

CALCAGNO M., CAVRIANI E. (2014b), “Manifattura evoluta nel radical fashion. Un percorso tra tecnologia, artigianato e networking”, Referred Electronic Conference Proceeding, XXVI Convegno annuale di Sinergie Manifattura: quale futuro?

CALCAGNO M., BISCARO C. (2012), “Designing the Interactions in the Museum: Learning from Palazzo Strozzi International”, Studies of Management and Organisation, vol. 42, n. 2, pp. 43-56.

CALCAGNO M., FACCIPIERI S. (2010), “Nuovi linguaggi e contesti di fruizione nelle produzioni culturali”, in: “Le risorse immateriali nell’economia delle aziende”, (a cura di) Luca Marchi, Sergio Marasca. vol. I, Profili di management, Il Mulino, Bologna, pp. 39-48.

CALCAGNO M., FACCIPIERI S. (2011), “Nuove forme d’interazione nella fruizione di prodotti culturali”, http://www.unive.it/dip.management.

CALCAGNO M. (2013), Narrare terre di mezzo. Management, Arte, Design, Edizioni Scientifiche, Napoli.

CALIANDRO C., SACCO P.L. (2011), Italia reloaded. Ripartire con la cultura, Il Mulino Contemporanea, Bologna.

CAMAGNI R. (2012), “Creativity, Culture and Urban Milieux”, (a cura di) Girard L.F., Baycan T., Nijkamp P. (eds.), Sustainable City and Creativity, Ashgate, Aldershot.

CECCHINI S. (2013), “Musei parlanti. Corrado Ricci e la sfida di comunicare ad un ampio pubblico”, Il Capitale Culturale, Studies on the Value of Cultural Heritage, vol. 8, pp. 51-68

CHAKRAVARTHY B.S., LORANGE P. (1991), Managing the Strategy Process: A Framework for a Multibusiness Firm, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

CHESBROUGH H. (2003), Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology, Harvard Business School Press, Boston.

CHRISTOFFERSEN J., PLENBORG T., ROBSON M.J. (2012), “Measures of strategic alliance performance, classified and assessed”, International Business Review, vol. 23, n 3, pp. 479-489.

COBLENCE E., SEBATIER V. (2015), “Articulating growth and cultural innovation in art Museum”, Int. studies of Mgt and Org., vol. 44, n. 4, pp. 9-25.

DAS T.K., TENG B. (2000),“A resource-based theory of strategic alliances”, Journal of Management, vol. 26, n. 1, pp. 31-61

DAS T.K., TENG B. (2003), “Partner analysis and alliance performance”, Scand. J. Management, vol. 19, n. 3, pp. 279-308.

DAVIS R., THOMAS L.G. (1993), “Direct Estimation of Synergy: A New Approach to the Diversity-performance Debate”, Management science, vol. 39, n. 11, pp. 1334-1546.

DAVIS P.S., ROBINSON R.B., PEARCE J.A. II, PARK S.H. (1992), “Business unit relatedness and performance: a look at the pulp and paper industry”, Strategic Management Journal, vol. 13, n. 5, pp. 349-61.

DOLLINGER M.J., GOLDEN P.A., SAXTON T. (1997), “The effect of reputation on the decision to joint venture”, Strategic Management Journal, vol. 18, n. 2, pp. 127-140.

EISENHARDT K., (1989), “Building theories from case study research”, Academy of Management Review, vol. 14, n. 8, pp. 532-550.

EISENHARDT K., MARTIN J. (2000), “Dynamic capabilities: What are they?”, Strategic Management Journal, vol. 21, n.10/11, Special Issue: The Evolution of Firm Capabilities, pp. 1105-1121.

EISENHARDT K.M., GRAEBNER M.E. (2007), “Theory building from cases: opportunities and challenges”, Academy of Management Journal, vol. 50, n. 1, pp. 25-32.

EISENHARDT K.M., SCHOONHOVEN C.B. (1996), “Resource-based view of strategic alliance formation: Strategic and social effects of entrepreneurial firms”, Organization Science, vol. 7, n. 2, pp. 136-150.

ELLIS T.J., LEVY Y. (2008), “Framework of Problem-Based Research: A Guide for Novice Researchers on the Development of a Research-Worthy Problem”, The International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline, vol. 11, pp. 17-33.

ENSIGN P.C. (1998), “Interrelationships and horizontal strategy to achieve synergy and competitive advantage in the diversified firm”, Management Decision, vol. 36, n. 10, pp. 657-68.

EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2010) Green paper. Unlocking the potential of cultural and creative industries, http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/culture/cu0006_en.htm.

FLYVBJERG B. (2006), “Five Misunderstandings About Case-Study Research”, Qualitative Inquiry, vol. 12, n. 2, pp. 219-245.

FLORIDA R. (2002), The Rise of the Creative Class and How it is Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life, Basic Books, New York.

FLORIDA R. (2009), “Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Regional Economic Growth”, in: Hart D.M. (ed.), The Emergence of Entrepreneurship Policy, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

FLUCK Z., LYNCH A.W. (1999), “Why do firms merge and then divest? A theory of financial synergy”, Journal of Business, vol. 72, n. 3, pp. 319-46.

FUSCO GIRARD L., BAYCAN T., NIJKAMP P. (eds.) (2012), Sustainable City and Creativity, Ashgate, Aldershot.

GOOLD M., CAMPBELL A. (1998), “Desperately seeking synergy”, Harvard Business Review, September-October, pp. 131-43.

GOOLD M., CAMPBELL A. (2000), “Taking stock of synergy, a framework of assessing linkages between businesses”, Long Range Planning, vol. 33, n. 1, pp. 72-96

GRATTAN N., LANGEVEN N. (2007), “Communicating the Museum: reaching our audiences”, The voice of Canada’s Museum community MUSE, XXVI, n. 6, pp. 11-12.

HARRISON J., HITT M., HOSKISSON R., IRELAND D. (2001). “Resource complementarity in business combinations: Extending the logic to organizational alliances”, Journal of Management, vol. 27, n. 6, pp. 679-690.

HOFER C.W., SCHENDEL D. (1978), Strategy Formulation: Analytical Concepts, West Publishing, St Paul, MN.

KLOOSTERMAN R. (2005), “The Creative Hype”, in Franke S., Verhagen E. (eds.), Creativity and the City: How the Creative Economy Changes the City, NAi Publishers, Rotterdam.

KNOLL S. (2008), Cross-Business Synergies: A Typology of Cross-business Synergies and a Mid-range Theory of Continuous Growth Synergy Realization, GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Wiesbaden.

KOURTIT K., NIJKAMP P., LOWIK S., VAN VUGHT F., VULTO P. (2011), “From Islands of Innovation to Creative Hotspots”, Journal of Regional Science Policy and Practice, vol. 3, n. 3, pp. 145-161.

KOWALSKA I.J. (2012), “Synergy effects in the mergers of collieries”, International Journal of Synergy and Research, vol. 1, n. 2, pp. 103-122.

KVALE S., BRINKMANN S., (2009), Interviews. Learning the craft of qualitative research interviewing (2nd ed.), Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA.

IYENGAR S.S., LEPPER M., (2000), “When choice is demotivating: can one desire too much of a good thing?”, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 79, n.6, pp. 995-1006.

MADHOK A. (1997), “Cost, value and foreign market entry mode: The transaction and the firm”, Strategic Management Journal, vol. 18, n. 1, pp. 39-61.

MARTIN J. (2002), Cross-Business Synergies: Recombination, modularity, and the multibusiness team, Dissertation Stanford University

MCKINLEY T. (1998), “Measuring the contribution of culture to human well-being: cultural indicators of development”, in UNESCO, World Culture Report, pp. 322-332.

MILLER D. (1981), “Toward a new contingency perspective: the research for the organizational gestalts”, Journal of Management Studies, vol. 18, n 1, pp. 1-26.

MILLER D. (1996), “Configuration revisited”, Strategic Management Journal, vol. 17, n. 7, pp. 505-512.

MINTZBERG H. (1979), “An Emerging Strategy of “Direct” Research”, Administrative Science Quarterly, vol. 24, n. 4, Qualitative Methodology, pp. 582-589.

MINTZBERG H. (1987), “Crafting strategy”, Harvard Business Review, July/August pp. 66-75.

MINTZBERG H., WATER J.A. (1985), “Of strategies, deliberate and emergent” Strategic Management Review, vol. 6, n. 3, pp. 257-272.

MIRZOEFF N. (1999), Visual culture: an introduction, Routledge, London.

MIRZOEFF N. (2012), (third ed.), The Visual Culture Reader, Routledge, London.

MYERS M.D. (2013) (2nd edition), Qualitative research in business and management, Sage, London.

PORTER M.E. (1986) (ed.), Competition in Global Industries, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA.

PORTER M.E. (1991), “Towards a dynamic theory of strategy”, Strategic Management Journal, Special, vol. 12, n. S2, pp. 95-117.

PORTER M.E. (1996), “What is strategy?”, Harvard Business Review, vol. 74, n. 6, pp. 61-78.

PORTER, M.E. (1998), “Clusters and the new economics of competition”, Harvard Business Review, vol. 76, n. 6, pp. 77-90.

PUN K.F. (2003), “A synergy model for strategic planning in manufacturing enterprises”, The West Indian Journal of Engineering, vol. 26, n. 1, pp. 29-43.

PUN K.F. (2004), “A conceptual synergy model of strategy formulation for manufacturing”, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, vol. 24, n. 9, pp. 903-928.

PUN K.F., CHIN K.S., WHITE A.S., GILL R. (2004), “Determinants of manufacturing strategy formulation: a longitudinal study in Hong Kong”, Technovation, vol. 24, n. 2, pp. 121-37.

RAMAKERS R., JAWORSKA A. (2014), Here there everywhere, Droog, Amsterdam

RAMANATHAN K., SETH A., THOMAS H. (1997), “Explaining joint ventures: Alternative theoretical perspectives”, in Beamish P.W., Killing J.P. (Eds.), Cooperative Strategies, vol. 1. (North American Perspectives) pp. 51-85.

RAY G., BARNEY J., MUHANNA W.A. (2004), “Capabilities, business processes and competitive advantage: Choosing the dependent variable in empirical tests of the resource-based view”, Strategic Management Journal, vol. 25, n. 1, pp. 23-37.

ROWLEY J. (2002), “Synergy and strategy in e-business”, Marketing Intelligence and Planning, vol. 20, n. 4, pp. 215-222.

RUMELT R. (1982), “Diversification strategy and profitability”, Strategic Management Journal, vol. 3, n. 4, pp. 359-369

SACCO P. (2011), “Cultura e sviluppo industriale: il distretto culturale evoluto”, Sinergie, n. 82, pp. 115-119.

SCHERDIN M., ZANDER I. (2011), (eds.), Art Entrepreneurship, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, UK.

SIGGELKOW N. (2001), “Change in the presence of fit: the rise, the fall, and the renaissance of Liz Claiborne”, Academy of Management Journal, vol. 4, pp. 838-857.

SIGGELKOW N. (2002), “Evolution toward fit “, Administrative Science Quarterly, vol. 47, n.1, pp. 125-159.

SIGGELKOW N. (2007), “Persuasion with case studies”, Academy of Management Journal, vol. 50, n. 1, pp. 20-24.

SMYRK J.R. (1995), “The ITO model: a framework for developing and classifying performance indicators”, working paper, Australasian Evaluation Society International Conference, Sydney, Australia.

TALLON P.P. (2007), “A Process-Oriented Perspective on the Alignment of Information Technology and Business Strategy”, Journal of Management Information Systems, vol. 24, n. 3, pp. 227-268.

TANRIVERDI H., VENKATRAMAN N. (2005), “Knowledge relatedness and the performance of the multibusiness firm”, Strategic Management Journal, vol. 26, n. 2, pp. 97-119.

THROSBY D. (1994), “The production and consumption of Arts: a view of cultural economics”, Journal of economic literature, vol. 32, n. 1, pp. 1-29.

THROSBY D. (1997), “Sustainability and culture: some theoretical issues”, International Journal of Cultural Policy, vol. 4, n. 1, pp. 7-20.

THROSBY D. (2001), Economics and Culture, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

THROSBY D. (2005), “On the sustainability of cultural capital”, research paper in the department of economy http://www.businessandeconomics.mq.edu.au/our_departments/Economics/econ_research/2005/cult_cap_throsby.pdf.

THURLEY S. (2005), “Into the Future. Our strategy for 2005-2010”, Conservation bulletin, n. 49, pp. 26-27.

VENKATRAMAN N. (2000), “Five steps to a dot-com strategy: how to find your footing on the Web”, Sloan Management review, vol. 41, n. 3, pp. 15-36.

VERGANTI R. (2008), “Design, Meanings, and Radical Innovation: a meta-model and a research agenda”, Journal of Product Innovation Management, vol. 25, n. 5, pp. 436-456.

YIN R.K. (2014), (5thed.) “Case study research:design and methods”, Applied Social Research Methods Series, Sage, Usa.

ZHAO F. (2005), “Exploring the synergy between entrepreneurship and innovation”, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, vol. 11, n. 1, pp. 25-41.