The Museums Vision Statements And Management Structure Commerce Essay


Mission can be defined as the whole purpose of any organization, institution or firm. It should be the starting point or the pioneering idea behind the setting up of the organization. The mission is usually born by the person/persons who give birth to the setting up of the organization. The aspect of time is not necessarily of essence when coming up with the mission. It is usually the ideal mind that should always be the driving force of the organization. The mission provides the general framework and the perceived context within which the organization's decisions and strategies are based on. The mission is presented to the members of the organization in form of a statement, usually short, but which is very formal (Daft, 2009). Any mission statement clearly indicates the organisation's purpose and aim, the primary stakeholders of the organization, organization's responsibility towards the said stakeholders and the services and/or products being offered.

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The museum in question was lucky to have survived all the time without a pronounced mission statement. Indeed the mission existed only in the mind of the founder and to the furthest Miss. Kirkoff, the director who succeeded the founder.

The mission statement should have been "To supplement and integrate the museum with the academic community so as to fully cultivate into this community an appreciation of the art and history"

Discussion on the mission statement

The founder of the museum, the son to the university's first president, did establish an organizational culture which was sound enough for propagation. The idea behind him coming up with the museum was to bring into awareness the beauty of art and history to the concerned faculty. He intended that in addition to other scholarly work the art history faculty, as it was referred, would find the interesting collections in the museum that was unique from other museums that existed. This was absolutely a brilliant idea given that other museums that existed did not specifically target the university's art history faculty. What he did was to segment the population and indeed targeted the said faculty from the university. This was to be in agreement with the size of the population, and as such, would have been okay long after his departure. Miss Kirkoff, the second director, had spent a considerable time in the museum and hence understood clearly the driving force behind the formation of the museum. She had come to terms with the need and the hunger that had all the years made the museum relevant to the target population.

Incorporating the community should not have been interpreted, in this case, to mean the physical access by the general public in to the constricted space and facilities of the museum. This was the misinterpretation that can be seen in the mind of the third director. The concept of accessibility should be seen as a long term effect of the academic community in the art history faculty through a multiplier effect (Jones & Hill, 2006). Even without the ability to exactly duplicate the artistic and the historic information that was only available in the university museum, the graduates from the art history faculty would use the knowledge so achieved in aligning the masses with their origin. For example, an architecture graduate from the university would vividly elaborate to the masses the development road through which the field of architecture has had. The engineering graduate would equally illustrate to the masses the efforts that can be undertaken in conservation and the restoration of engineering work.

The third director had wished, and indeed made efforts, to change the culture that existed beneath the museum. Like any other organizational change, he needed to first understand the origin of the university's museum. This would have brought to his realization that the museum was unique and clearly on course towards the achievement of the goal and, as such, distinguishing it from other museums (Daft, 2009) From the facts in the case, the art history students and indeed the academic community of the university used to benefit from the museum more during the tenure of the first two directors. The third director, though a professional, attracted the masses whose understanding and appreciation of the materials available in the museum was compromised and highly doubtable.

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The vision statement

A vision statement can be defined as a vivid description that is meant to inspire and energize one towards realization of the target or the mission. Such a statement serves to harmonize the mission with the daily operations of the organization. A vision statement often describes a possibility hence bringing in enthusiasm, stimulates creativity and motivates one towards its achievement. This will definitely direct the mission on the path and the manner through which it will be achieved. Time factor in any vision statement depends on the nature of the organization's output. The university museum wishes, as its mission, to have integration between itself and the academic community. This calls for a harmonizing statement, the vision statement, which will interpret the channel towards such a realization. The vision statement should therefore be "Becoming the world's leading research and scholarly work center in art history by providing excellent and unique historical art collections to our students".

Discussion on the vision statement

This vision statement would harmonize the daily activities of the museum i.e. classes and seminars held within the museum's premises with the mission of integrating the entire academic population in the concerned faculty with the museum. Since the inception of the museum, the founder would present the unique collections to his guests who were specifically from the art history faculty. There later came the second director, Miss Kirkoff who continued to encourage the participation of the art history faculty in the museum. The presentations during the classes and seminars, cataloguing in the library and offering of courses in the museum were strictly done by individuals from the university's art history faculty. This was indeed the uncompromised order of the museum's operations. The unpronounced vision, that only seems to have been known by the first two directors, was indeed being realized as unknowingly testified by the mathematics department chairperson. The museum was offering a distinctively unequaled exposure to the students who were later sought for throughout the country. This vision is therefore bearing fruits as its realization is becoming clear every day. The fact that the museum had a limitation on the size of audience it would accommodate during a presentation and the limited historic art collection clearly o exhibit, indicate that the facility was for use not by the masses but by a limited target group, that ought to be the core role under the institution's art/history faculty. This vision was to be realized continually and as such not limited to a specified cohort or period (Drucker, 2007).

The management structure

The term management structure refers to the arrangement of tasks and subtasks in efforts to implement a strategy. Management structure is often complex and may be perhaps meaningful to a strategist who has clearly studied the strategy so formulated. Essentially, the management structure defines the formally acceptable reporting relationships, flow of authority and the process of making decisions in the organization. Moreover, the structure ensures the stability that the organization would require for a successful implementation of the designed strategies in addition to maintaining the organisation's competitive advantage. A stable management structure, which is the dream of every organization, ensures predictability, consistency, flexibility and ability of an organization to explore competitive possibilities by properly allocating resources for shaping the competitive advantages of the organization towards a successful future. In realizing its vision, museum in this case, can use a divisional management structure where goal setting procedures may be adopted at departmental level thus easing possibly resistance among the staff on any change initiated by the management.

Discussion on the management structure

Divisional management structure is a management skill that is practiced when an organization complexities in terms of specialization of the service and/or product and the increased growth in form of need becomes eminent. As such there is an indispensable need for the organization to have a structure that would specifically focus on such factors like the customer, service, process and such. The museum in this case should focus on the special service that is supposed to be offered to the target group; the art history faculty team. The museum has grown to be practically useful, as a tool for knowledge dissemination, to the students in the art history faculty of the university. The management of the museum need to clearly understand that it specifically need to focus all its activities and efforts towards offering a properly packaged service to its clients; the students in the said faculty, that would integrate the scholarly work with the museum. The opportunity to catalogue and make presentations by the members of the faculty is an intellectual incentive that this management structure would maintain. Under this structure, it is clear that the museum has already become an autonomous (Drucker, 2007). As a separate division offering a service within the university organization set up, the museum can address the various sub division that might exist within its clients; the students in enhancing the service offering. The museum can establish three separate units each to be used by the architectural, engineering and the liberal arts students in the faculty. The three disciplines will require different historical art materials in the museum for purposes of appreciation of the historical backgrounds of the disciplines. For example, an architectural student will need photographic expressions of the neoclassical structures while an engineering student would be interested in photos of old machinery equipments.

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Advantages of using the divisional management structure in the museum

First, the organization would achieve a high degree of accountability. This would be achieved due to the fact that the museum would stand alone as an entity in the art history faculty and hence the origin of achievements and flaws would be easily traced. The museum would in this case be responsible as an entity of its staffing activities meaning that if a wrong director was put in place the management of the museum would be to blame and neither the university nor the art history faculty would be responsible. Secondly, the employees serving in the museum will be highly motivated by being in control of a valuable aspect of integrating the museum with the scholarly work of the academic community. For example, the otherwise dormant museum staff would be vital in decision making process under participative approach (Jones & Hill, 2006). Divisional structure will definitely call for a participative management practice. The otherwise minor decisions of restructuring and space utilization will have to, directly or indirectly, involve the entire faculty and museum staff. In fact there is a possibility of involving the entire university in case there is a policy by the university to increase the intake. For such a policy, the university management will have to be in agreement not just with the art history faculty but also with the museum. Such a consortium and involvement would boost the morale of the museum workforce. Thirdly, this structure would create opportunities for career development for managers since the museum would exist as a complete entity t requiring an autonomous and professional management.

Moreover, the structure would instill a sense of competition within the organization setup. This would be as a result of the museum management trying hard to hold any blame which could easily be traced. At the completion of a course in architecture, engineering or even in liberal arts in the university, it would be possible to gauge the intended performance of the graduates against the scholarly and the art history aspects. As such both the faculty of art history and the museum would complete to take precedence in the performance outcomes of the graduates. All this brings out the element of competition which is largely healthy in today's civilized society. Furthermore, this structure would easily allow a new service to be added into the museum. This would even mean a possibility of doing a revision to the organizational culture of the museum since it would be an autonomous established entity in addition of having ability for the museum to locally control situations arising therein.

Disadvantages of a divisional management structure

The structure might experience a few shortcomings. First there will be the cost implication in setting up such a structure. The excessive cost will be incurred from the need to have a highly qualified and experienced management team. This would definitely elaborate Miss Kirkoff's idea of a professional museum director. Secondly there would be a possibility of an unhealthy competition coming up. Such an intense competition may render the setup dysfunctional. The competition element would arise within and without the museum management. Internally, the museum staff might be tempted to outdo each other due to the weight of responsibility and the clear definition of duties as it is usually the case with a divisional management structure. Thirdly, there would crop-up a perceived need to establish a headquarters-driven system of control which must be very elaborate. Such a control system would require expertise and consume time that would otherwise be used in the daily operations of the museum (Drucker, 2007).

In conclusion, the divisional management structure has a participative management orientation since each division has to be in consistency with the organizational goals is a very instrumental tool in achieving the vision of the museum in this case. The mission of the museum which revolves around the integration of the academic community with the art and history of the society will be achieved only if the management of the museum will have in their vision the willingness to have an established centre that will encourage research (Miner, 2006). The said research can only be facilitated by availing and preserving the historical artifacts, drawings, pictures and all manner of historical collections that would vividly present the past as it was. The dean, faculty of art history, should in the next search meeting table before the team the mission and vision statements. These will clearly outline the reason for the existence of the museum which will be a revelation to almost all the members of the team. The tabled statements will provide a direction and the framework within which all reason must be directed. Once the search team has successfully identified the new director, the faculty of art history should consider the museum as a separate entity whose sole responsibility is to come up with ways to properly equip the target population. This will surely usher in a new era of having not only a qualified museum director, but also an informed person who is fully accustomed with the aspirations of the museum organizational culture previously upheld by the founder; the son to the first president of the university.