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The problem of compromise in conservation and exhibit decision making

Waller, Robert and Henderson, Jane ORCID: 2024. The problem of compromise in conservation and exhibit decision making. Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals 10.1177/15501906241232454

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A key challenge in managing collections is optimizing the value to society they offer, both now and in the future. This challenge can be framed as an issue requiring compromise, or, it can be considered as an opportunity to optimize. The goal is to help heritage professionals engage in constructive decision-making. By focusing on high-level institutional gains and benefits, while avoiding picking battles over less significant issues, a compromise and win-lose mindset can be avoided. The multiple objectives involved in creating a safe and effective exhibit can lead to conflict and unhelpful digging in of positions among team members. Understanding factors that contribute to conflict and identifying some means of avoiding or minimizing those factors can lead to teamwork at a higher level. Collection management challenges are explored, in a practical way, to reveal how simple changes in thinking habits and perspective can improve decisions and outcomes. A range of heuristics that shape our instinctive decision-making are explained and illustrated to create the opportunity for insight into how these unconsciously create an unnecessarily conflict-based response. Strategies for shifting perspective are discussed and offered as a route to identifying mutually beneficial outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: A General Works > AM Museums (General). Collectors and collecting (General)
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z719 Libraries (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: museum, subject focus, library, archives, access, activities, exhibition, collections, preservation, professional development, staff and volunteers, visitor engagement, profession
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1550-1906
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 22 March 2024
Date of Acceptance: 1 February 2024
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2024 20:30

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