George Fairfax Fellow 2008

Professor Anne Gombault Chair Arts, Culture, and Management in Europe (CEREBEM) BEM-Bordeaux Management School

The Grand Louvre Regaining superstar status: the role of organizational identity

Professor Gombault presented the 2008 Kenneth Myer Lecture 8 May 2008, Clemenger Auditorium, National Gallery of Victoria


A 20 year project saw the Grand Louvre regain superstar status. How do the staff build and redefine the identity of the 'museum as organization'? How do they answer the question: 'who are we, as an organization?'

Reconstruction took place at three levels: collective, group and individual. At the collective level, the catalyst for revisiting organizational identity was at crisis. It was led by a powerful leadership of top managers. At the group level, social categorization produced conflicting organizational identity, characterised by antagonistic cultural groups. At the individual level, the new organizational identity was learnt from semiotic markers such as space, language and clothing. From a cognitive, emotional and behavioural experience employees became actors in the organization's identity.

The results of this strategic management research show how the Louvre regained superstar status.

Professor Anne Gombault

Professor Gombault is Professor of Organizational Behaviour and Strategy at Bordeaux Management School, France. She has conducted research projects in arts management over ten years and is recognized in France as an expert in museum management. She has published widely about their shifting identity in both English and French. She has worked several times for the Louvre Museum.

In 2004, Professor Gombault created Europe's first Chair in arts, culture and management to share knowledge among both academic and professional communities. The Chair works with a team of 10 European researchers in arts management. Each member of the team has a specialty, spanning the visual and performing arts. Says Gombault: This Chair reflects the fact that just as arts and culture need business, business needs arts and culture.

Professor Gombault is the 2008 George Fairfax Fellow in Arts and Entertainment Management at Deakin University, a prestigious appointment which has seen eminent fellows from around the world visit Deakin for over ten years of its successful operation.

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