Date of Award

Summer 2001

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration-Marketing

Committee Director

John B. Ford

Committee Member

Kiran Karande

Committee Member

Edward Markowski


The character of museums in America has changed significantly in this century as museums change how they market themselves to their constituents. One of these changes has been the growth and development of museum stores. First designed to supplement museum income museum stores are now a major source of museum funding (American Association of Museums 1999) and a source of educational enhancement of the museum's educational mission (Theobald 2000). However, despite the growth of the museum store, virtually no academic research has been undertaken.

This research seeks to help fill this void in the literature of not only museum store marketing, but nonprofit marketing as well. In particular, there are strong indications that museum stores should have multiple measures of performance (Slater, Olson and Reddy 1997) and that specific strategies are linked to the achievement of these measures. Two primary objectives of museums with respect to museum stores and the museum itself were identified: (1) Financial contribution to the museum (Lovelock and Weinberg 1990, Kotler and Andreason 1982), and (2) Education, an objective of almost all American museums (American Association of Museums 2000). Specific strategies that were clearly targeted to enhance financial or educational performance were identified by the literature. The objective of the research was to determine what linkages existed between educational or financial strategies and educational and financial performance.

The results of the research, which was conducted through a survey of museums in the United States, showed that educational strategies had a positive direct effect on educational performance. Additionally, financial strategies had a positive direct effect on financial performance. Educational strategies had a positive direct effect on financial performance. While it was anticipated that financial strategies would have a negative or ambiguous effect on educational performance, it was found that they had a significant positive effect.

The major contributions of this research include a multiple measure for performance evaluation in a nonprofit setting and an understanding of how different strategies affect that performance. Additionally, it gives the first major academic analysis of museum retail marketing. Finally, a measure of Educational Performance has been developed and tested.


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