In the last decades, museums have transformed their role from restricted high-class mausoleums to popular attractions along with other leisure activities for both local and touristic routes. Hence, they have to relate with the socio-economic environment in similar ways as for-profit organizations, concerning the sustainability of their operations, and to innovate to achieve excellence in their mission of serving the society with socio-cultural and educational purposes.
While museums have many ways to innovate, the dissemination of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in this field has recently received some attention for their influence and the possibilities those tools offer to enhance innovative strategies. ICTs are found in most museums operations, both inside and outside its walls, being used by the work team, users/visitors, the market, and the environment in general. Those tools can help from internal procedures, to exhibition design, and customer relationship management. Despite recent researches, however, our understanding of the different functions played by ICTs for the innovative activities and economic performance of museum organizations is still limited.
The aim of this thesis is to investigate further how museums make use of ICTs in order to execute and achieve success in their innovative projects and goals. Based on the existing literature, the thesis presents a new typology of ICTs’ use in museums dividing technologies according to their characteristics, objective, and place of use. This typology is later confronted with empirical results to investigate the impression visitors have about the relevance of ICTs in promoting innovation.