Lavoro istituzionale e trasformazione della gestione di un sito UNESCO (Institutional work and management transformation of an UNESCO site)

il patrimonio culturale tra processi di pianificazione e di cambiamento organizzativo (cultural heritage between planning processes and organizational change)

  • Francesco Crisci
Keywords: institutional work, institutional change, planning and managerial tools, cultural heritage


Purpose of the paper: This work discusses the introduction of planning and management tools in the case of cultural heritage. The discussion follows an organizational and institutional change perspective.

Methodology: A longitudinal case study has been carried out according to an ethnographic approach, based on three years of field work.

Findings: Planning and management tools have been repeatedly invoked for the historical and archaeological site of Aquileia, where they have been partially introduced and without fail left in disuse within a process of continuous organizational reconfiguration. Such process has been characterized by a general lack of management in the institutional context. Within the institutional work perspective this phenomenon is related to the interaction between practices which “activate and support” boundaries and boundaries which “limit” the set of practices, offering in return interesting dynamics on institutionalization processes of the logics of conservation and enhancement of cultural heritage

Research limits: The article focused on institutional change in relation to variations in the content of organizational practices. It does not deal with the legitimation of new organizational forms and the emergence of institutions as network for the conservation and enhancement of cultural heritage nor with the critical analysis of the social construction and use of planning and management tools

Practical implications: Gaining a better understanding of the characteristics and the role of accounting tools allows us to provide better guidance for their introduction within cultural heritage management. It also enables us to improve their use in organizational contexts which need to manage their own institutional and organizational change.

Originality of the paper: The phenomenon under investigation has been examined under a critical management lens. This is particularly interesting in light of the unsuccessful outcomes which have emerged in relation to the specific aspects taken into consideration by this study


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