The Effects of Managerial Autonomy on Organizational Culture: The Case of the Archaeological Park of Paestum

  • Francesca Manes-RossiEmail author
  • Marco Bisogno


The chapter analyses the influence that managerial autonomy may play in the role of human resources in cultural organisations. Based on the Old Institutional Economics approach and investigating organisational rules and routines, the chapter examines the case of the Archaeological Park of Paestum, an autonomous museum and archaeological site of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism. Through interviews, reports, data collected and ethnographic observations, the research reveals how managerial autonomy affects roles and routines, positively contributing to the development of human resources and the overall performance.

Findings reveal that the introduction of managerial autonomy in cultural organisations, coupled with the leadership ability of the Director, have further enhanced human resources’ skills and competences, one of the key components of cultural organisations. The role played by professional managers has also improved the entire performance of the organisation.

The research unveils the implications of managerial autonomy on the organisational rules and routines and the consequent effects on human resources. The effects of these changes on the overall performance of a cultural organisation are also discussed, offering new outlooks on managerial changes.


Cultural organisations Archaeological park of Paestum Human resources Organisational routines Case-study 


  1. Ahrens, T., & Chapman, C. S. (2006). Doing qualitative field research in management accounting: Positioning data to contribute to theory. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 31(8), 819–841.Google Scholar
  2. Badia, F., Dicuonzo, G., Petruzzelli, S., & Dell’Atti, V. (2019). Integrated reporting in action: Mobilizing intellectual capital to improve management and governance practices. Journal of Management and Governance, 23(2), 299–320.Google Scholar
  3. Becker, M. C. (2004). Organizational routines: A review of the literature. Industrial and Corporate Change, 13(4), 643–677.Google Scholar
  4. Belfiore, E. (2004). Auditing culture: The subsidised cultural sector in the New Public Management. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 10(2), 183–202.Google Scholar
  5. Berg, B. L. (2004). Qualitative research methods for the social sciences. Boston: Pearson.Google Scholar
  6. Bisogno, M., Nota, G., Saccomanno, A., & Tommasetti, A. (2015). Improving the efficiency of Port Community Systems through integrated information flows of logistic processes. The International Journal of Digital Accounting Research, 15, 1–31.Google Scholar
  7. Bonini Baraldi, S. (2007). La riforma del ministero tra “giuridificazione” e “managerializzazione”. Aedon, 1, 1–12.Google Scholar
  8. Bonini Baraldi, S. (2014). Evaluating results of public sector reforms in Rechtsstaat countries: The role of context and processes in the reform of the Italian and French cultural heritage system. International Public Management Journal, 17(3), 411–432.Google Scholar
  9. Burnes, B. (1996). No such thing as… a “one best way” to manage organizational change. Management Decision, 34(10), 11–18.Google Scholar
  10. Burnes, B. (2004). Managing change: A strategic approach to organisational dynamics. Harlow: Financial Times/Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  11. Burns, J., & Scapens, R. W. (2000). Conceptualizing management accounting change: An institutional framework. Management Accounting Research, 11(1), 3–25.Google Scholar
  12. Chiaravalloti, F., & Piber, M. (2011). Ethical implications of methodological settings in arts management research: The case of performance evaluation. The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society, 41(4), 240–266.Google Scholar
  13. Cummings, T. G., & Worley, C. G. (2014). Organization development and change. Stanford: Cengage learning.Google Scholar
  14. Dacin, M. T., Goodstein, J., & Scott, R. W. (2002). Institutional theory and institutional change: Introduction to the special research forum. Academy of Management Journal, 45(1), 45–56.Google Scholar
  15. De Lancer Julnes, P., & Holzer, M. (2001). Promoting the utilization of performance measures in public organizations: An empirical study of factors affecting adoption and implementation. Public Administration Review, 61(6), 693–708.Google Scholar
  16. Dillard, J. F., Rigsby, J. T., & Goodman, C. (2004). The making and remaking of organization context: Duality and the institutionalization process. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 17(4), 506–542.Google Scholar
  17. Dixon, J., Kouzmin, A. K.-K., & N. (1998). Managerialism-something old, something borrowed, little new: Economic prescription versus effective organizational change in public agencies. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 11(2/3), 164–187.Google Scholar
  18. Eisenhardt, K. M. (1989). Building theories from case study. Academy of Management Review, 14(4), 532–550.Google Scholar
  19. Eisenhardt, K. M., & Graebner, M. E. (2007). Theory building from cases: Opportunities and challenges. Academy of Management Journal, 50(1), 25–32.Google Scholar
  20. Ferri, P., & Zan, L. (2014). Ten years after: The rise and fall of managerial autonomy in Pompeii. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 25(4–5), 368–387.Google Scholar
  21. Ferri, P., & Zan, L. (2019). Accountability and patronage in extraordinary administrations: Evidence from Pompeii. Financial Accountability and Management, 35(1), 72–89.Google Scholar
  22. Forte, P. (2015). I nuovi musei statali: Un primo passo nella giusta direzione. Aedon, 1, 1–21. Scholar
  23. Greenberg, J., & Baron, R. A. (1993). Behavior in organizations: Understanding and managing the human side of work. Greenberg: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  24. Hodgson, G. (2008). The concept of a routine. In M. Becker (Ed.), Handbook of Organizational Routines (pp. 15–28). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  25. Hood, C. (1991). A public management for all seasons? Public Administration, 69(1), 3–19.Google Scholar
  26. Kickert, W. J. M. (1997). Public Governance in the Netherlands: An alternative to Anglo-American managerialism. Public Administration, 75(4), 731–752.Google Scholar
  27. Lapsley, I., & Pettigrew, A. (1994). Meeting the challenge: Accounting for change. Financial Accountability and Management, 10(2), 79–92.Google Scholar
  28. Laughlin, R. (1991). Environmental disturbances and organizational transitions and transformations: Some alternative models. Organization Studies, 12(2), 209–232.Google Scholar
  29. Lawrence, T. B., Hardy, C., & Philips, N. (2002). Institutional effects of inter-organisational collaboration: The emergence of proto-institutions. Academy of Management Journal, 45, 281–290.Google Scholar
  30. Liguori, M. (2012). Radical change, accounting and public sector reforms: A comparison of Italian and Canadian municipalities. Financial Accountability and Management, 28(4), 437–463.Google Scholar
  31. Liguori, M., & Steccolini, I. (2012). Accounting change: Explaining the outcomes, interpreting the process. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 25(1), 27–70.Google Scholar
  32. Lodh, S. C., & Gaffkin, M. J. R. (1997). Critical studies in accounting research rationality and Habermas: A methodological reflection. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 8(10), 433–474.Google Scholar
  33. Lounsbury, M. (2007). A tale of two cities: Competing logics and practice variation in the professionalizing of mutual funds. Academy of Management Journal, 50(2), 289–307.Google Scholar
  34. Manes-Rossi, F., Allini, A., Spanò, R., & Dainelli, F. (2016a). Changing performance measurement towards enhanced accountability: Insights from the British Museum. International Journal of Public Sector Performance Management, 2(4), 331–347.Google Scholar
  35. Manes-Rossi, F., Citro, F., & Bisogno, M. (2016b). Intellectual capital in action: Evidence from Italian local governments. Journal of Intellectual Capital, 17(4), 696–713.Google Scholar
  36. Manes-Rossi, F., Allini, A., Spanò, R., & Macchioni, R. (2018). Performance management change in archaeological sites: The case of Herculaneum Conservation Project. Journal of Management and Governance, 22(4), 947–979.Google Scholar
  37. Marzano, M., & Castellini, M. (2018). The reform of the Italian ministry of cultural heritage: Implications for governance of the museum system. The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society, 48(3), 206–220.Google Scholar
  38. Meier, K. (1980). Measuring organizational power: Resources and autonomy of government agencies. Administration and Society, 12(3), 357–375.Google Scholar
  39. Minuti, M., Hinna, A., & Ferrari, R. (2012). Il Benchmark dei Musei di Eccellenza: Un Modello per lo Studio del Settore [The benchmark of museums of excellence: A model for the study of the sector]. Economia della Cultura, 22(Speciale), 97–120.Google Scholar
  40. Modell, S., & Wiesel, F. (2008). Marketization and performance measurement in Swedish central government: A comparative institutionalist study. Abacus, 44(3), 251–283.Google Scholar
  41. Nelson, R. R., & Winter, S. G. (1982). An evolutionary theory of economic change. Harvard: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  42. North, D. (1990). Institutions, institutional change and economic performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Padovani, E., Orelli, R. L., & Young, D. W. (2014). Implementing change in a hospital management accounting system. Public Management Review, 16(8), 1184–1204.Google Scholar
  44. Piber, M., Demartini, P., & Biondi, L. (2019). The management of participatory cultural initiatives: Learning from the discourse on intellectual capital. Journal of Management and Governance, 23(2), 435–458.Google Scholar
  45. Pollitt, C., & Bouckaert, G. (2011). Public management reform: A comparative analysis new public management, governance and the Neo-Weberian State (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Qu, S. Q., & Dumay, J. (2011). The qualitative research interview. Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management, 8(3), 238–264.Google Scholar
  47. Quattrone, P., & Hopper, T. (2001). What does organizational change mean? Speculations on a taken for granted category. Management Accounting Research, 12(4), 403–435.Google Scholar
  48. Roslender, R. (1997). Accounting for the worth of employees: Is the discipline finally ready to respond to the challenge? Journal of Human Resource Costing and Accounting, 2(1), 9–26.Google Scholar
  49. Scapens, R. (1990). Researching management accounting practice: The role of case study methods. The British Accounting Review, 22(3), 259–281.Google Scholar
  50. Scapens, R. W. (1994). Never mind the gap: Toward an institutional perspective on management accounting practice. Management Accounting Research, 5(3/4), 301–321.Google Scholar
  51. Scapens, R. W. (2006). Understanding management accounting practices: A personal journey. The British Accounting Review, 38(1), 1–30.Google Scholar
  52. Scapens, R. W., & Varoutsa, E. (2010). Accounting in inter-organisational relationships – The institutional theory perspective. In H. Hakanson, K. Kraus, & J. Lind (Eds.), Accounting in networks (pp. 314–341). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  53. Scott, W. R. (2001). Institutions and organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  54. Seo, M. G., & Creed, W. E. D. (2002). Institutional contradictions, praxis, and institutional change: A dialectical perspective. Academy of Management Review, 27(2), 222–247.Google Scholar
  55. Settis, S. (2002). Italia SpA L’assalto al patrimonio culturale. Torino: Einaudi.Google Scholar
  56. Weil, S. E. (1994). Performance indicators for museums: Progress report from Wintergreen. The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society, 23(4), 341–351.Google Scholar
  57. Zan, L. (2000). Management and the British Museum. Museum Management and Curatorship, 18(3), 221–270.Google Scholar
  58. Zan, L., Bonini, B., Gordon, S., & C. (2007). Cultural heritage between centralisation and decentralisation: Insights from the Italian context. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 13(1), 49–70.Google Scholar
  59. Zan, L., Bonini Baraldi, S., & Santagati, M. E. (2018). Missing HRM: The original sin of museum reforms in Italy. Museum Management and Curatorship, 33(6), 530–545.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics, Management and InstitutionsUniversity of Naples Federico IINaplesItaly
  2. 2.Department of Management and Innovation SystemsUniversity of SalernoFiscianoItaly

Personalised recommendations