MSc. Research Thesis: Western Art Museum's IP Licensing Activities in China: 
A Cultural-Economic Mediation Process 
硕士毕业论文 《西方艺术博物馆在中国的知识产权授权活动:一个文化与经济的中介过程》

Art museum | Intellectual property | International business

Milan, Italy (2021)

Western Art Museum's IP Licensing Activities in China: 
A Cultural-Economic Mediation Process

Abstract The reduction in public financial support for museums in the last decade and the recent global Covid-19 epidemic have put museums' survival worldwide in an unprecedented position. On the one hand, museum merchandising, which aims to increase museums' financial autonomy as non-for-profit institutions, has developed into a new form of intellectual property licensing; on the other hand, the potential of theChinese market is attracting the attention of practitioners from all over the world. However, the question is how Western art museums can realise their cultural and economic values in the China market through IP licensing, in the face of significant social, cultural, political and market differences? To answer, this research explores a questionnaire survey (n=331) to draw understandings from the demand side and a comprehensive database of Western museums' existing IP licensing activities in China (n=11) for a view from the supply side. A value chain is established based on the analysis, looking into changes of cultural and economic value at each stage. It has been discovered that the cultural-economic changes in this process are highly dynamic and deeply related to market strategies. Finally, the research argues that strategic management of museum IP licensing contribute to the museum mission sustainably, and Western museums can benefit tremendously from seriously considering their approach to intellectual property licensing in China.

Keywords: Art museum, Intellectual property, IP licensing, International business, Economic and cultural value

Western Art Museums IP Licensing Activities in China: Cultural Intermediation and Mediation in the Case of 11 Museums 西方艺术博物馆在中国的知识产权授权业务——11家博物馆案例中的文化中介与调解 (as part of the full thesis)

  • 27-11-2021 Invited to present the paper and accepted in the proceedings - The 5th Museum Studies Youth Forum, Shandong University 山东大学第五届博物馆学青年学者论坛 (link);
  • Preparing for submission to journal.

Abstract Viewing museums as animportant part of the cultural creative industries, this paper examines thecultural intermediation and cultural mediation practices of Western museums intheir intellectual property licensing activities in China. A multi-dimensionalcomparative analysis has been conducted by establishing a database of Westernmuseums engaged in intellectual property licensing in China by the end of 2020.This study finds that there is a practical necessity, rationality andpossibility for this activity; the process, under the linkage of agents,involves complex, dynamic and interactive dual cultural mediation - betweenEastern and Western cultures and between culture and commerce.

Keywords: Art museums;Intellectual property licensing; Cultural mediation; Cultural industriesmanagement; Comparative case study





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