The Museum Innovation Model: A Museum Perspective on Innovation

Paper
Haitham Eid, Southern University at New Orleans, USA

Published paper: The Museum Innovation Model: A museum perspective on innovation

This paper aims to contribute to the ongoing efforts of the museum sector to build a museum perspective of innovation. More specifically, the paper presents a new framework for innovation in museums called the Museum Innovation Model (MIM). The model emerged as a result of Ph.D. research that included a number of museums in the United States and the United Kingdom. The theoretical framework of the model is based on three concepts—open innovation, social enterprise, and social innovation—each of which, the research observed, are growing trends in the museum sector. The proposed paper offers an overview of each term, with special focus on museums. It also argues that the MIM could be used as 1) a planning tool to carry out innovation or 2) an evaluation tool to scrutinize innovation in museums.

MIM is structured to make innovation in museums scalable, replicable, and feasible to start and operate. Beyond the case studies mentioned in this paper, elements of the model can be found in museums of different sizes, management styles, geographical locations, and collections. This is informed by Nesta’s various projects and Chesbrough’s (2003) and (2014) work around open innovation and open social innovation, as well as Janes’ (2010) discussion about the “mindful museum.”

Finally, the paper concludes by underscoring that the principles of MIM (i.e., open innovation, social enterprise, and social innovation) are interconnected and together can present a formula for innovation in museums. The formula might be expressed simply as: museums that adopt a social enterprise business model and utilize open innovation strategies are capable of achieving social innovation.

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