April 9-12, 2008
Montréal, Québec, Canada

Demonstrations: Description

Museums and Heritage institution working in network. The case: Territorial System of Museu de la Ciència i de la Tècnica de Catalunya

Janine Sprünker, UOC Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain

During the seminary Interdisciplinary Analysis of the Information Society (January-July 2007) developed by Manuel Castells and William Dutton and where participated PhD students of the Oxford Internet Institute (Oxford University) and the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya), we had to make an empirical research.

The main purposes of my empirical research project were analysis and compare two networks formed by museum and heritage institutions through their communications flows. Concretely, I wanted to show the organizational structures and the group cohesion of each network, Territorial System of mNACTEC (Museu de la Ciència i de la Tècnica de Catalunya) and ERIH (European Route of Industrial Heritage).

We have noticed that there are more and more institutions of heritage or museums that establish connections based on different kinds of interests or motivations like social networks. There are some institutions of heritage that are linked together by searching the same aims. For example, there are the International Museum of Women, Rural Museum Network and African-Swedish museum network. Museums are coming to work in network for developing their main function. In fact, the flows of information and knowledge between institutions of heritage in a network could present a lot of internal and external profits. For example, share services, exchange of resources like collection objects or whole exhibitions, share documentation about heritage or public studies, make a united advertisement or offer a united educational program.

In this informational era, it is basic the management of internal communications processes. There must be an effective diffusion and generation of knowledge and information between different actors, departments or networks. Working in network with effective communications links motivate to share and generate knowledge. It is also a big potential for innovating and creating new products or services.

On the one hand, the cohesion group analysis brought us to study the networks through the network social analysis. On the other hand, we wanted to show the relations between the actors because we sought to establish the organizational structure of the networks. We worked with relation data. Relation data are the contacts, ties and connections, the group attachment and meeting, which relate one agent to another and so cannot be reduced to the proprieties of the individual agents. The methods appropriate to relation data are network analysis, whereby the relations are treated as expressing the linkage which run between agents. Network analysis consists of a body of qualitative measures of network structures, but it is also possible to undertake quantitative and statistical counts of relations (Scott, J., 2000).

I made a social network analysis with the data. The sociometry measures the degree of election and reproach of an actor and focuses their position inside of the group and network. However, this technical mechanism doesn’t show the cause of the preference or rebuffs of the subjects. But, the results of this study describe the organizational structures of each network without a qualitative analysis of the communications flows.

We don’t have found researches about analysis of communications relations of network or examination of cohesion group degree of network members mainly shaped by museums or heritage institutions. So, I would like show the results obtained of the network analysis of the Territorial System of mNACTEC by using UCINET 6.0 software. The use of methods and techniques of network analysis offer useful mechanisms applicable to the field of organization and management of museums and heritage institution.

Demonstration: Demonstrations - 1 [Demonstrations]

Keywords: Network analysis, communication flows, organizational structure, museums and heritage institutions, Territorial System of mNACTEC