Museums throughout the world are under increasing pressure in the wake of the 2008/2009 economic recession and the many pressing social and environmental issues that are assuming priority. The major focus of concern in the global museum community is the sustainability of museums in light of these pressures, not to mention falling attendance and the challenges of the digital world.

Museums and the Paradox of Change provides a detailed account of how a major Canadian museum suffered a 40 percent loss in its operating budget and went on to become the most financially self-sufficient of the ten largest museums in Canada. This book is the most detailed case study of its kind and is indispensable for students and practitioners alike. It is also the most incisive published account of organizational change within a museum, in part because it is honest, open and reflexive. Janes is the first to bring perspectives drawn from complexity science into the discussion of organizational change in museums and he introduces the key concepts of complexity, uncertainty, nonlinearity, emergence, chaos and paradox. This revised and expanded third edition also includes new writing on strengthening museum management, as well as reflections on new opportunities and hazards for museums. It concludes with six ethical responsibilities for museum leaders and managers to consider. Janes provides pragmatic solutions grounded in a theoretical context, and highlights important issues in the management of museums that cannot be ignored.

chapter 1|7 pages


chapter 2|125 pages

Glenbow: a case study in urgent adaptation

chapter 3|18 pages

Glenbow staff perspectives – 1997

chapter 4|41 pages

Glenbow then and now

chapter 5|78 pages

Commentaries from the field

chapter 6|54 pages

Between the past and the future

chapter 7|23 pages

Harbingers and hazards – 2012

chapter 8|24 pages

Museum management revisited