The Guggenheim Foundation Cross-Border Challenge: How can a given International Art Management institution maintain let alone grow market position with respect to Cross-Border Rivalries?

Matteo Teodori

Student thesis: Master thesis


This paper displays the first attempt in the application of a new theory termed Cross Border Rivalry, which is derived from literature form the business of sports, international business competition and a review of the poor scholarship in the subjectmatter: the competitiveness of International Art Management (IAM) institutions. As the subject of research, a large player, the Guggenheim Foundation, is tanke. CBR represents both a strategy and an analytical framework, inspired by the philosophy of rivalry as mimicked from sports: it could be defined as the healthy and benevolent struggle between two or more competitors that are mutually motivated by confronting each other’s achievements and do better “than the other.” While rivalry is well known to sports fans and a few other industries (e.g. tourism, where it somehow originated), it has to date never been applied to culture institutions. This research carefully develops this novel CBR framework based on previous research and cross-disciplinary fields, and it validates and improves its design on the example of the Guggenheim Foundation. Three methods are used: 1) a web-based collection and analysis of web-based data (which also serves as the novel market research methodology that CBR-adhering organizations are supposed to apply); 2) an online survey (N=91) studying mostly consumers’ attitudes towards the museum “product” 3) in-depth, semi-structured interviews with two (anonymous) Guggenheim executives and one art management university professor. The research finds that CBR is a worthy framework deserving further research, although it is limited by its novelty and, as such, only partial validation despite the case study and empirical research. This paper advances scholarship in the now in transition field of cultural institutions, and provides a new perspective on international (cross-border) competition literature.

EducationsMSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2015
Number of pages95