This report was commissioned as a case analysis to examine why the last two directors of the University Art Museum were seemingly at odds with the university and failed in their mission to lead the museum into the future. Further it provides prospective on how to move the museum into the future through successful management. Case Analysis
The University Art Museum was a generous gift donated by the son of the university’s first president, who was also a campus alumnus. The university took great pride in the museum and even highlighted the museum’s photo on campus brochures and catalogs for years. However, in recent years university was not exactly pleased with the direction the museum was headed under either of its most recent two directors. It became abundantly clear that the directors had a different vision for the museum than did the university faculty.
There was so much tension amongst parties that the previous director had “sharply attacked the faculty as “elitist” and snobbish” and as believing that “art belongs to the rich,” (Daft, 2013). What we gather from the case for analysis is that university did not clearly outline the direction of the museum, provide a mission statement, or make any formal written policy about how to run the museum or move the museum into the future. We also gather that prior to 1998 the museum ran just fine without the university needing any formalities. This could partially equate to the fact that the original director and his successor were previous students of the university.
As students of the university they may have already had a pretty good idea of how the university operated. Additionally, the original director was also the founder of the museum. Whatever the case may be it wasn’t until the university began hiring outside the university that there seemed to be a major disconnect. At this point it is clear that there are some design essentials that need to be incorporated before hiring another director. With that being said, organizations exist for a purpose and that purpose needs to be clearly defined.
The university faculty should first decide the organization’s strategic intent which includes a clear and specific mission, a vision, and the principles of the university. Additional aspects of strategic intent are competitive advantage and core competence. In knowing the competitive advantage of the museum and the core competence, the faculty will be better positioned to build a strategy. Once the mission and goals are established the university should be able to set clear operating goals.
Additionally, the faculty members need to take a long look at what they consider the failures of the previous two directors and see how their attempts to move the university into the future can be adjusted to fit the needs of the university, the needs of the community and lastly, paint the university in a better light, one not viewed as “elitist” or “snobbish”. Simply returning the university to its previous state could prove to be detrimental. Lastly, the university needs to have some formal measure in place to assess effectiveness of the strategies set forth. Simply put, just because the faculty is happy with the direction the museum is headed, doesn’t make it a successful venture.
Conclusion In conclusion, it is clear why the previous two directors have failed to be successful in fulfilling the mission of the university. Quite simply, there was no mission defined, no goals, no formal policies or principles, and no vision. If any director is to be successful the university needs to take the appropriate measures in spearheading that success. First and foremost, a mission statement must be formulated.
The organization needs to understand the competitive advantage and core competence of the museum and built a suitable strategy or strategies around these values. Lastly, there needs to be a formal measure in place to assess the effectiveness. Once the university has taken the necessary steps to lead the museum in the direction it wants for the future, they will be far more successful in finding the right director for the job. Most importantly, the director will do a much better job of meeting the goals of the university faculty. References
Daft. R. L. (2013). Organization Theory & Design. Mason, OH: South-Western, Cengage Learning.
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