Performance management change in archaeological sites: The case of Herculaneum Conservation Project

  • Francesca Manes-Rossi
  • Alessandra Allini
  • Rosanna Spanò
  • Riccardo Macchioni


This study focuses on the issues relating to the implementation of management accounting systems in complex settings such as archeological sites. The aim is to understand the conditions under which the implementation of performance management systems (PMS) may enable cultural organizations to fulfil their multiple objectives and the factors which play a crucial role in such dynamics. Focusing on the Herculaneum Conservation Project (HCP) the study explains how PMS came to be implemented having been made acceptable to all parties involved. The Middle Range Theory as developed by Broadbent and Laughlin (Accounting control and controlling accounting: interdisciplinary and critical perspectives, Bingley, Emerald, 2013) was utilized to explore how the PMS change took place in the HCP, and focus on the factors influencing this process. The findings reveal that the change in the PMS benefited from the involvement of a multidisciplinary Specialist Work Group. This involvement reduced the natural tendency to resist the forces of change and increased the commitment of the various groups of stakeholders to the new culture. The findings reveal how PMS were developed in the context of a multifaceted approach to change, allowing us to draw both theoretical and practical lessons that may be brought to bear in other complex contexts.


Performance management system Management change Middle Range Theory Cultural organizations Herculaneum 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the contribution from participants to the 37th EGPA Annual Conference in Toulouse. Special thanks go to Professor Robert Scapens for his comments, as well as for our challenging debates on the first version. We are also grateful to the editor and the anonymous reviewers: their comments encouraged us in improving the research. The responsibility for the work is in any case only attributable to the authors.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SalernoFiscianoItaly
  2. 2.Federico II UniversityNaplesItaly
  3. 3.University of Campania Luigi VanvitelliCapuaItaly

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