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EMAC 2023 Annual

Decomposing museum performance using network DEA: Contrasting perspectives in quests for economic sustainability in museum performance

Published: May 24, 2023


Lea Hildebrand, Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences; Friederike Paetz, Clausthal University of Technology


The economic sustainability of a museum is reflected by its long-term capacity to perform educational, researching and collecting activities through efficiently using its resources. Since museums are challenged to compete for continuous funding, performance analysis that considers resource utilization becomes a decisive issue for museum managers such as funding allocators. Our study contrasts the significance of different perspectives in museum performance evaluation by using a network DEA approach. Accordingly, we are able to face the complexity of museum activities by decomposing museum performance in two stages of production. The first stage considers the museums’ efficiency in service provision. Here we assess financial resource utilization related to cultural service supply. The subsequent stage faces efficiency in visitor attraction by service offer. Findings show substantially higher efficiency estimates related to service provision whereas the attraction of visitors by service offer turns out to be major source for inefficiency.