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Seig, Mary Theresa, and Ken Bubp. “The Culture of Empowerment: Driving and Sustaining Change at Conner Prairie.” Curator 51(2) (2008): 203-20.


In this paper, we offer a case study of how Conner Prairie Museum recognized its institutional need for change and employed principles of staff empowerment that allowed the museum to adapt to the needs and interests of guests. The result has been a dramatic improvement in visitor satisfaction and learning. To achieve this transformation, Conner Prairie intentionally altered the organizational culture in large and small ways: by reorganizing staff assignments, restructuring staff assessment, and realigning communication between management and front-line staff in order to empower front-line staff. This story is not unique to Conner Prairie, but the details illuminate the vital role of empowerment in the process of cultural change.