Perceived Authenticity of the Visitor Experience in Museums: Conceptualization and Initial Empirical Findings

Anne-Marie Hede, Romana Garma, Alexander Josiassen, Maree Thyne

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Purpose -This paper aims to investigate the authenticity concept and its antecedents and consequences within the context of museums. Design/methodology/approach - A higher-order scale of authenticity is developed and then tested for reliability and validity using a sample of museum visitors. To investigate authenticity in a model with two antecedents and two outcomes, an additional data set was collected. Hypotheses were tested using structural equation modelling.
Findings -The results show that perceived authenticity of the museum, the visitor and the materials in the museum are dimensions of perceived authenticity, resonating with Bal's (1996) research in this area. Findings also confirm that consumer scepticism and expectations are antecedents to perceived authenticity of the visitor experience in museums, and that perceived authenticity in turn affects visitor satisfaction and perceived corporate hypocrisy.
Practical implications -This research provides a framework for museums to manage visitors' perceptions of authenticity, and to plan and design exhibits accordingly.
Originality/value - Our research, set in the museum context, articulates the basis of perceived authenticity, its antecedents and outcomes. This study sets the foundation for research to further explore how perceived authenticity interacts with other constructs relevant to consumption.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Issue number7/8
Pages (from-to)1395-1412
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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