Managing a World Heritage Site in Italy as Janus Bifrons: A “Decentralized Centralization” Between Effectiveness and Efficiency

Part of the FGF Studies in Small Business and Entrepreneurship book series (FGFS)


Managing an archaeological, historical and cultural heritage is a challenging task, due to the outstanding universal value of such sites and the involvement of several organizations and multiple stakeholders in their management. The aim of the chapter is to carry out an analysis of the different challenges surrounding the managing of a cultural and historical World Heritage Site (WHS) and the difficulties stakeholders face in developing a coherent, integrated and pluralistic policy of governance. The authors present the case of Aquileia WHS to examine its complex governance and discuss practices to resolve conflicts in order to achieve a homogeneous and coherent management of the site and its universally recognized beauties. This study is based on field research (2009–2011 and 2012–2014), with data collected through participant observation, in-depth interviews, and analysis of official documents. The chapter provides readers with some of the challenges within the management of the cultural industry sector, especially in relation to a multidimensional cultural heritage WHS, thereby enriching academic discussion and providing practical implications for management within the cultural sector and within other industries.


Cultural artifacts Institutional change Professional control Accountability Italian cultural system 



This work was supported by a grant from the Fondazione Aquileia, Italy (2009).


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and StatisticsUniversity of UdineUdineItaly

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