Winston Manuel Licona Calpe Ph.D

Ph.D. Filosofía/Economía. Escuela Superior de Economía de Praga, República Checa. Profesor Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Sede Manizales, Facultad de Administración, Departamento de Ciencias Humanas, [].

1 Fecha de recepción: 15 de febrero de 2013. Fecha de modificación: 13 de marzo de 2013. Fecha de aceptación: 02 de abril de 2013.

Para citar el artículo: Licona, W. (2013). "Museums and Country Brands: Strategic Affairs of the Administration of Culture", in Anuario Turismo y Sociedad, vol. XIV, noviembre de 2013, pp. 185-196.


This article presents different dimensions of museums, spanning some considerations of nations' heritage cultural centers. Those notions are more related to the construction of seals of local, country and universal brands. At the same time, it approaches to culture as a strategic affair of countries in time of crisis, treaties or economic instability. The focus is the some relations between museums and country brands: strategic affairs of the administration of culture.

Keywords: Museums; Country Brands; Device; The Strategic Administration of Culture; Economy of the Culture.


El presente documento presenta otras dimensiones de los museos, que rebasan la consideración de centros culturales del patrimonio de las naciones, y se relaciona más con la construcción de sellos de marca local, nacional y universal, al tiempo que aborda la cultura como un asunto estratégico de los países en tiempos de crisis, de tratados, de bloques económicos. El foco es algunas inquietudes sobre la relación entre museos y las marcas país como asuntos estratégicos de la administración de las culturas.

Palabras clave: Museos; Marcas país; Artefacto; Lo estratégico; Administración de la cultura; Economía de la cultura.

Introductory note

Museums, spaces and pieces of specialized study of the patrimony sector of culture, are powerful deep cultural devices around the world, and have become national, international, and world local brands, of varied and a symmetric magnitude. "The cultural devices are destined for the communication and interaction between human beings and the physic world. The cultural devices as descriptive unit indicate, on one hand, the materiality of the device as well as its symbolic aspect. In this way, human environment is composed by cultural devices of double "material" and "artificial" condition cole citado por Ruggeroni). Those cultural devices intervene in the constitution of the psychological processes, upon being historically developed and of having a practical purpose that imply the subjects among themselves" (Ruggeroni, 2004:333).

According to the power and interests of nations, museums are a strategic affair of culture administration, through the usages and contents of their collections, own and itinerants, of their histories and constructive symbolisms of the human condition.

1. Museums: Something More than Historic Accumulations

As the magnitude of the ethic, aesthetic, economic, social, political, administrative knowledge and, therefore, cultural are so complex concepts, because they do not admit the pure "encyclopedic" conception and, in a middling manner, historic-anecdotic, by means many of us were approached to the experience of visiting a museum. Fortunately, most museums have produced curiosity for their "rare and unique objects" that everybody keeps, in spite of being generically repeated: buildings, paintings, pictures, documents, mummies, clothes, tools, weapons, etc. Upto now, museums are testimony and vestige of sciences and, local and world technologies of cultures producers of cosmographies, senses of life and facts of world, conceived and elaborated by men and women from communities in historic time and past social spaces, that update and cause questioning of present and future. It should be remarked that, despite the different scopes and dimensions of the cultural policies, economic, educational, touristic, political and cultural systems have reached this approach. Museums, centers of individual and collective experience, reached such acknowledgment, that the development and spreading of their surveys and actions are a permanent task.

Museums, emerged "to classify and to make repertory knowledge (and to make thinkable their abstract summary), also have a second mission even more important: to refer them to the own history of man as producer of the world and to invent it as such, world transcendental, as mankind, as species that stand by, beyond any particularity -it is in this sense that foucault used to say that "man" was are cent invention. (…) The goal of the museum is the production of the world subject, collective, the production itself of the public, of the own "human condition" as universal and preach able of all subject of knowledge and experience."2

2. Museums: Local Brands, Country Brands, World Brands

Jacques Attali, writer and president of Pla-Net Finance (ong), during the last meeting of the International Council of the Museums (ICOM), celebrated on June 19 of 2009, imagines three tendencies in the future of museums:

Jacques Attali's perception of future is quite appropriated, due each town or village has historic locations whose preservation provides a connection with the past. Besides, "(…)great museums and galleries around the world house valuable artistic treasures, historic cities, monuments and locations which innumerable tourists trek around, all represent an international patrimony which has a growing demand" (Throsby; 2001:87).

Obviously, all the material patrimony and non-material are distinctive creating seals, not only of local, country and world brands, but of a culture economy whose analysis of cost-benefit, most of the times, do not need justifications due to the unquestionable values, that as Thorsby (2001) indicates, dogenerate: value of existence (the pyramides of Teotihuacan, for example), value of option (in the future they can be visited by future generations) and the value of legacy (they can be transmitted from one generation to future ones) Besides, those representations lead to a cultural wealth generator of aesthetic, spiritual, social, historic, symbolic and authenticity values. They should be balanced for studies of preservation of the cultural heritage, involving several interests (governmental, private and community) through different mechanisms.

The development of cultural brands in the patrimony sector are promoted with greater force day by day, by super-national, governmental and private organisms, and it is expressed in the acceptance and the positioning every time more enlarged of these, by which the cities and nations compete, as the following:

The results of the last edition of studies about country brands, published the past 1st of August, are based in one survey carried out by the consultant company Global Market Insite, among 10.000 of consumers of 10 different countries (Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, United Kingdom and United States). Although they were 10 countries, there is no doubt that it is an important and representative sample of countries. The country brand is elaborated by the evaluation of six great areas of the dimension of a country, as it is shown in the following figure5:

Each area values the following aspects:

The following chart shows the ranking of the evaluated countries:

3. Strategic Management of the Cultures and the Country Brands7

Since the characteristics of the economies in the glocalization8 find arguments, in the cultural sector, that give power of negotiation, the cultural strategic administration articulates these two senses. It does not only constitutes transaction sceneries of strategic development of the sector, as the most important element of the nations' life, but that it also bring up professional strategists of culture (constructors of policies, strategic thinking) and productive managers of the intra-multi-sectorial activity of culture, as an economic activity that generates wealth and contributes to quality of life and lasting of nations. The competitive advantages of the nations have in the cultural administration or management a subject of internal and external agenda for metrics in politics, economy and management of social and, therefore cultural, in the game of the symbolic asymmetric and markets. "In the United States of America, for instance, "entertainment" industry is the one that exports the most after the aero-spatial, as it occupies people's "spare time", transmits symbolic dimensions, and involves creative processes, even if this industry does not always have a high aesthetic and artistic level. According to the magazine The Economist, the growth at long term will be kept around the 10 per cent annually, due, in part, to the liberalization of radio and television, as well as the commercialization of the institutions of the cultural field at world scale, what means it is higher than in many other industrial and commercial fields" (UNESCO, 1996)9.

In the recent Malraux Seminar about culture and creative industries, celebrated in Cartagena-Colombia, in October 2010, it was reiterated "In Colombia, according to a survey of the World Organization for the Intellectual Property (OMPI) in 2005, cultural industries generated more than one million of direct employments, which also invoiced exports for U$2.000 million and imports for U$4.000 million. In 2003, according to the World Bank, cultural industries registered a participation of the 7 per cent in the pib of the planet and probably it will increase, in an average of 10 per cent annually. According to the UNESCO data, the growth of this sector in dollars was of 300 per cent, between 1980 and 1998"10.

There are many differences between people who construct concepts and negotiators, regarding actors and promoters of culture. On this respect, the State and social organizations develop initiatives and processes of several ways and scopes that impact the strategic assumption of culture as carrier of country brands.

In a basic exploration of the concept country brand, for instance, it can be mentioned Natural Uruguay. This country brand, besides being supported by the government, is a decree or law and, a scenery not only of the private enterprise, but a construction of public home. It gathers all the national efforts in a State project, like Daniel Bell (1989) proposes. Then, Uruguay is named Natural Uruguay expressed in logo and seal. Argentina, in July 2005, launched its country brand promoted by President kirshner, as a result of recommendations made by international organisms, to promote the moral sense of this society in debacles and social and economic catastrophes. Despite the apparent innovation, the term is old like it is visible in Italy, France, Spain. On this respect, it is important to mention that Catalans have come into Barcelona, constituted in several autonomies, in such a way that they are capable of integrating themselves under a Spanish brand. This experience, however, has contradictory and weak points that should be explained in the construction of this case. Thus, it is necessary to consider the comprehension of the local historical context and its political and cultural process for the definition of their autonomies, territories and expressions.

The country brand is a matter of strategic management of cultures, from their dimension of market, as the country brands take part in the symbolic dimensions and sell distinction labels from a community, what means a differentiating cultural affair (García, 2004). Although cultural sector does not appear explicit as mediator of this power, the country brand indicates ideological sublimity, charged towards the commercial, seeking to generate self-esteem from the consumption. It is assumed as an instrument too, or indeed, it is consider a means to generate state selfesteem, during social and economic recovery process, because country brands, as many other cultural expressions, participate from market in commercial exchange. It lifts the moral tone of societies with its public, private and communitarian organizations. Country brand involves the competitive and comparative advantages, whereas local11 ones become elements of strategic production for the improvement of the quality of life and the appropriation of what one is, what one has, what should be done, what can be done and what is expected.

The strategic cultural management is also amade in economic, a made in country, from the expressive facts of nations that reflect identity, belonging and pertinence, not only from the commercial brand, but the capacity of making real the promise of looking for happiness. It means quality of life, related to the interaction as rule of the confidence game and the internal and external, as well as individual and collective enjoyment. It is like a key or code of entry that leads to the interlocutionand interaction valid by what is meaningful. At the same time, it generates aggregated value shared among those that enjoy and those who offer (Yudice, 2002).

Strategic cultural administration involves the management of the country brands, which consists in the identification and evaluation of the power of brands, of negotiable goodsin the glocal economy; in this sense, all economic activity is mediated by the cultural features peculiar to contributors of aggregated value of ethos, which goes beyond of the simple value of usage and value of change. It goes into the lands of symbolic values generators of confidence and intercultural frame, towards the social realization of economies in the symbolic consumption. It is dialogic ethics of the satisfaction in the transaction for the collective self-fulfillment based on the agreement of seeking an including economy.

In the game of the transactions of this economy, the made ins play an asymmetric normative role, as they can include or exclude the products and services of a country, a region, a field or an entrepreneurial and institutional organization from any agenda; an example is given with the producer Andean Countries, key authors in the raw materials of the narcotraffic king para-market. Systems of preferences renewed and postponed do coexist with stigmatizations and discriminations, which operate as para-duties barriers in social and cultural senses. The imposed culture and there maining cultures also assume the effects of that asymmetry based on the regulation of the human rights treaties in the global environment and with local scope.

Cultures' strategic administration is an emergent discipline in the sense of new field of interdisciplinary work, not delimited with clarity. They do need key elements to reach thinking and a dynamic and integral service of the products and cultural resources glocally offered.

3.1. Cultural Administration for the Integral and Lasting Development

Culture, as an expressive complex activity,is concreted in the diversity of products and multiple interconnected fields that compose it and relate to each component of the productive chain: creation, production, distribution, circulation and consumption. The cultural administration is a field of intellectual work, which means, a field for the scientific and pedagogical research, a function of the development of social and human capital, from the culture as ground. It not only comprises the survey of the subject, but also integrates the creation of professional administrators of culture with interdisciplinary emphasis, strategists and promoters of the cultural activity, as a key for the development, capable of strategically administrating the wealth and, cultural and social capital (Kliksberg, 2000). Administrating means to think strategically and to promote management underneath creativity.

3.2. Strategic Thinking in Cultural Management

Productivity is one of the most problematic concepts or variables of the social, economic and, overall, cultural system, because of a game of interests in the results obtained and the investment of the resources for different intentionality. It is part of the generative circuits of symbolic values, usage and change value. There is a generation of products for the market, in addition to the application of learning and, generation of knowledge or accumulated experience that promotes the cycles of the productive system and the social interrelation, as the objective of direction, organization and execution of the different resources. It is not only a matter of generating product with its incorporated profit.

Strategic thinking is vested of great importance when innovations, transformation of the knowledge and unpredictable changes are accelerated. Innovation does not consist on being part of the ideological and consume boom of the moment, but on the appropriation of the accumulated and a contextualized knowledge. Theoretical knowledge like epistemic and political suppositions, as the practical knowledge that feed the experience, does constitute basic elements of the administrative thinking12. Their strategic character derives from the comprehension of the historical time and the social spaces where their performance points out as a lasting process, not as a transitory event and ephemerides of its structuring form of the social aspect.

An actual need is the capacity and ability of surviving in environments and contexts of limited expectations, as Krugman (1991) criticize short placists thinkings, in relation to the last decades of the 20th Century and the beginning of the 21st Century, generalized in the era of "the economy that goes up and down (…) it is what one finds in the entrepreneurial pages of the newspapers or in television (…) this type of economy has the reputation of being terribly boring, a reputation that is almost entirely justified (…) the economy of airport is the best sellers language (…)" (Krugmann, 1991:8) and predicting the complexity of the new conditions for the glocal society.

Facing this, a task of the governments, which cannot be postponed, consists in assuring the future of nations; in the same way, it is for the leaders and directives in charge of carrying out the missions and visions of their enterprises. Strategic thinking focuses on human being, family, local community and, institutional and private capacity to imagine and concrete their proposals into present action, intentions and interests related to its survival and its permanence.

Strategic thinking focuses on the direct idea of action, which it translated into policies, provisions, plans, programs and projects in management of conventions, alliances, nets and cooperative compromises of large purpose. The management of productivity is concerned with the construction of the capacities efficient and operative development to concrete ideas and projects that finally are translated into the achievements according to the purposes, whether named as materialor spiritual products in function of the yield, performance and impact that generate sustainability or, if this fails, no viability translated into the redefinition of identities.

As it was planned in 70's (Lecture of Venice), cultures need to administrate themselves for the efficient usage, socially and economically sustainable of their resources and consequently, of the societies and their cultural product. In the frame of the cultural globalization, these transformations of societies mean a glocalization of cultures as strengths of negotiation and strategic affair.

3.3. Challenges of the Strategic Administration of Cultures

The challenge of cultures is the need of forming or training for thinking and the generating and mediating cultural action of the transition between acquiring knowledge and knowing how to do it. Knowing how to be and how to make things, according to the creation of the different country brands withtheir logo-symbols of multiple expressions and circulating products in the market, related in social and cultural constructs, from a carup to an online software, artistic expressions, intellectual production with popular knowledge, geo-gastronomy and ideological speeches,social representations of the consume and its classifications of social distinction are necessary, indeed, in a cultural and not dominant globalization. If it fails, a "globalization" of culture, in the way of Renato Ortiz (1994) and the French political theory of culture sector, which with its concept of cultural industries, is opposed to the entertainment industry, like USA. Culture is object of management and must be strategically intervened and managedfor its lasting purposes in environments of intense inter-multicultural activity, where it is necessary a positioning of the public homeas a condition for existence.

Strategic administration of cultures is a challenge, resulted from what was learned in the 20th Century, not only for the patrimony preservation that today is a substantive product of the local and worldwide economies through the internal and external tourism, now called cultural, but also as theoretical practical instrument of the great developments of cultures that today are known as cyber-cultures. The strategic cultural administration becomes a way of productive social and individual service, with all technological asymmetric advances, whose principle is to facilitate the construction and performance of the organizations that reproduce and spread imaginaries circulating in the cyberspace or imaginaries that remain as small local circuits without possibility of development, because of the scarcity of administration. It is also a challenge of culture to decide if it remains in the game of the exclusion or if it takes the opportunity to be a vehicle of inclusion for the sustainability of the projects of individual and social life (Licona-Velez, 2004).

Strategic administration of cultures is the social organism necessary in the countries of the region, for the current times when the world economy is constituted by symbolic transactions in systems of input and output, concaves, convexes and complementary, of supply and demand, of interaction and transaction negotiated agreement. Societies interact from agreements supported in the culture of the country brands with barriers and asymmetries. For this task, the strategic administration of cultures is an interdisciplinary competition. A country that does not administrate its cultures is a country subjected to the hegemonic imposition that does not establish power of brand. It is a weak country for negotiated exchanges, a country without basic differentiation.

4. Culture Power within Economic Powers

Force, influence, control, direction, authority, regulation and domination, disagreements and consensus of the democratic praxis and power features in a society are not executed in abstract, but are expressed in the structuring construction of societies and their forms of organization and reorganization. This is legitimated through a speech and some relational actions that determine asymmetries, product of the developments, distributions and unequal assimilations, obviously of the same resources not only invested, although obtained by collection with destination to expenditure and income. The power is expressed not only in sense of force of imposition of arguments and actions in the game of the exchange. It is also expressed in the modernizing dynamics from ontological assumptions or those of social reality conceptions, on onehand, and human conceptions, on the otherhand. They are determined as ideologies and doctrines, policies and provisions, decisions and directive actions characteristics of the hegemonizant force.

The economy is a structural force of the social affair. It is a social construction itself. As speech, it determines and conditions the social life, from its premises and logical principles. It is a language that establishes some common rules of game for human relationships with their own cultural characteristics. In the globalization, the principles of competition and utilitarianism impose their presumptions, as far as possible, economy creates its own cultural spirit of negotiated exchange and rivalry, mixing up the essence of the economy as man sustenance with the economy as market itself. Confusion in economy and culture raises ruptures and separations within them, as a serious mistake of the modern societies. Nowadays, this dichotomy has been acknowledged and academic sceneries are opened since the national and supranational organisms for the reinterpretation of the intrinsic relationship between economy and culture as a source of social power.

Culture, as construct of the human action, support and sense to the institutional construction of the power in the correlations of forces and interests game, in which different human and social groups are included or excluded in the search and conquest of the quality of life. All the international organisms have debated, understood and recommended from these premises, the interlocution and the empowering of the culture and all its multiple expressions, as keys of the development. Therefore, it is the social and of economic power recognition that also preserve and spread the cultures.

Culture figures its power out in the identity of brand. Roots, extended and differentiated identities, are relevant elements of the importance of the culture that was acknowledged in the report named "Our Creative Diversity" (1996) of the World Commission of Culture and Development, and reaffirmed in the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Lecture of Stokolm (1998) about cultural policies for the development, titled "The Power of Culture". In the dynamic of current economies, culture is an indispensable condition that acts as force and power of negotiation and reaffirming support of identity and interaction.

The culture in each country becomes power upon being the shield and barrier in the sceneries of exchange and internal and external negotiations. It is the target of politics and administration work. It creates the present time and previously figure the future when uncertainty, disruption of processes and conflict of interests. Culture is a substantive argument of force in the field of negotiation of the powers centered in the market (trade, consumption, investment, income and risks).

Economic powers establish a frame of a game apparently opposed to the world of the life and of the locally originated culture. Supported by that, they generate a world of negation of the idleness, creating a tragic world of business where an utilitarian ethics is imposed. The culture, being the main element affected by this logic, is the strategic variable of this game in the globalizing neoliberal current world. Cultures are the vital resource of the interaction of the societies of economic powers. It is the power of geo-culture for the economic development of all countries.

The economic powers figure their scopes in the strategic rationalities of their projects of expansion, concentration, olygopolies, control and domain of the market, financial profitability. Concerning the cultural field, they have developed some fields of the artistic expressions through the cultural industries and have discarded what is considered not profitable, to leave it generally to the budgets and politic decisions of the states, which in their career of modernization under estimate the culture or become it a variable of transformation. At the light of the economic powers, culture must promote the risk of the private initiative and consolidate its economic activity as collective strategic objective.

"In the two last decades, creative and entertainment industries have registered a growth in the trade of goods and services with an increasing impact in the world economy. As the World Bank indicates in its report 2003, a participation of the 7 per cent of the world PIB is registered and predicted that they shall grow 10per cent in an annual average.

The cultural industries in Europe generate between the 5.5 and the 6 per cent of the PIB, a figure that in the United States goes between the 7 and 8 per cent. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the average contribution to the PIB goes between the 3.5 and 4 per cent. In the case of Colombia, it is of 3.3 per cent according to a survey realized by the World Organization for the Intellectual Property OMPI in the year 2005"13.

Cultural fields as manifestation of the social behavior, well-being from the individual or the collective, are strong positions of the glocalizer competitivity, determined in three great variables that frame paradigmatic tendencies like science and technology with economic and social purposes, culture and a esthetic as constructors of the individual and collectivity, administration and undertaking as means for the interactive strategic thinking, bases of creativity.



2 See José Luis Brea. The Contemporary Museum and the Public Sphere. Available at

3 Press report of incom, available at:

4 See Cristina Fuentes La Roche about the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum and the There is Festival of Literature. Reflections about the globalization of cultural brands, available in:

5 marcapais.htm.

6 Available survey at

7 The following reports (Publisher in the Magazine Apuntes del cenes n.°40, II Semestre of 2005. Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences, of the Pedagogic and Technologic University of Colombia. Pags 155-170), belong to the works realized by professor Ángel Rodrigo Vélez Bedoya. With his cooperation, we are researching subjects of strategic administration of the cultures and the entrepreneurial reality, in the frame of the project of Sciences of the Direction of the Faculty of Administration of the University del Rosario.

8 Glocalización is a nelogism use throughout the text to describe the relation between the global and the local.

9 (World Report of the World Commission of Culture and Development: Our Creative Diversity. 1996).

10 See: To invest in culture is an alternative before the economic crisis. Available in Tuesday 15 of September 2009.

11 Beach, winds and sea, rum and sound, salsa and rock, geocultural gastronomic industry, patrimonial tourismsm ecologic tourism, USA entertainment, industries of the idleness and the ancient civilizations, until the tourism in the modern cosmopolitan cities.

12 Read the works on strategic leadership and evolution of organization theory from the mexican professor Luis Arturo Rivas Tovar.

13 See: 2009.


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