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Corporate museums in Japan: institutionalising a culture of industry and technology


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Lehman, KF and Byrom, JW 2007 , 'Corporate museums in Japan: institutionalising a culture of industry and technology', paper presented at the 9th International Conference on Arts & Cultural Management, 8-11 July 2007, Valencia.

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Corporate museums are situated at a complex juncture between the profit-oriented business world and the more traditional realm of the public museum. Corporate museums are taken here as referring to museums with managed collections which are situated within for-profit organisations. In this paper, the nature of the corporate museum in Japan is explored through the use of observation techniques in five such establishments on the main island of Honshū. The museums chosen operated across different industrial sectors and differed markedly in their scale, collections and focus. A major theme emerging from the data related to how the museums reflect and institutionalise aspects of industry and technology. This is considered at three scales: that of the firm, the industry, and broader Japanese society. In summary, further research into the corporate museum phenomenon is recommended, both in Japan and in other national contexts.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Authors/Creators:Lehman, KF and Byrom, JW
Keywords: Communication, corporate museum, industry, Japan, organisation
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