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Thesis (M.A.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1993. Department of Museum Studies.


Copyright 1993, the author. Used by permission.


The purpose of this paper is to develop a useful model for comprehensive strategic planning in museums. A review of museum literature reveals a paucity of information or guidance for museum professionals tasked to develop comprehensive strategic plans for their institutions. Fundamental issues, such as the development feasibility study, have been ignored. In no case was there found a sufficiently detailed and revealing treatment regarding use of consultants in strategic planning. The novice museum professional has no map for guidance along a potentially rewarding and also dangerous path.

This paper analyzes philosophical, historical, and theoretical foundations related to museum strategic planning. Resources from business practice and theory, personal experience, and the experience of surveyed museum professionals are combined to illustrate fundamental master planning aspects and associate those aspects into a thorough treatment of the subject. To be effective in a museum context, the strategic planning process must be discussed in greater depth. This paper will provide the reader with research and experience-based recommendations sufficiently detailed to empower the museum professional for success when embarking upon the perilous road of comprehensive strategic planning.

Advisor: Thomas P. Myers