Open access peer-reviewed chapter

Leadership in Non-Profit Organisations

Written By

Beste Gökçe Parsehyan

Submitted: 15 April 2016 Reviewed: 17 August 2016 Published: 01 February 2017

DOI: 10.5772/65268

From the Edited Volume

Contemporary Leadership Challenges

Edited by Aida Alvinius

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Emerging at the end of the twentieth century, non-profit sector has taken on a new significance. Non-governmental organisations, health institutions, educational institutions and museums are examples for the variety of non-profit organisations. Museums are defined as the symbols of national cultures and bridges uniting the past with the present. However, it may be suggested that this definition has lost its validity on a large scale due to globalism that penetrated into our lives in the twentieth century. Globalism and multiculturalism played an important role in the industrialisation of culture, and being the symbols of culture, museums assumed the form of dynamics within this industry. Accordingly, the concept of museum leadership gained importance. The increasing competition amongst museums makes leadership more crucial. Compared to other sectors, museums have not been studied enough in terms of leadership and the late, but the necessary attempt to improve museum leadership is of vital importance for cultural industry. This study first discusses leadership and non-profit organisations separately, and afterwards, it investigates into leadership in non-profit organisations. Lastly, it elaborates on museum leadership, which is a popular concept of the modern day.


  • leadership
  • non-profit organisations
  • third sector
  • museums
  • museum leadership

1. Introduction

Non-profit organisations emerged with their own features and dynamics all around the world towards the end of twentieth century. The sector, in which these organisations take place, especially in developed countries, is called non-profit sector, voluntary sector, non-governmental organisations or the third sector.

There has been a remarkable change regarding the number, employment shares and incomes of non-profit organisations after 1980s, and this acceleration has been revealed through researches [1]. Modern democratic countries are divided into three sectors in general. The first one is called the public sector whose employees are officials providing public service at municipalities and at general or annexed budget boards. The second one is the for-profit sector constituting the fundamental economic power of the state. The third and the last one comprises voluntary organisations such as foundations and unions which are also called citizen sector, voluntary organisations sector, the third sector or sector of non-governmental organisations.

The third sector affects both the public and the private sector, and its effects are social, economic and political. When the related literature is examined, it could be observed that sector-based studies use terms related to the third sector according to their subject matters and that the organisation-based studies use the terms of non-profit organisation. Corneulle defines this sector as an independent sector. Its first use as ‘the third sector’ dates back to 1970s. This definition was first used by American social scientists like Etzioni, Nielsen and Levitt. The European counterparts—Douglas, Reiehord, Ronge—however, started to use the term in 1980s. Salamon and Anheier consider the emergence of non-profit organisations as the greatest novelty of the twentieth century [2, 3].

Non-profit organisations operate in several fields such as education, culture, religion, health, politics, environment, public and prosperity works. Such organisations also have functions like raising the rate of employment, organising income-net worth and providing social security services. They usually serve to interests beyond the individual, and they collaborate with other non-profit organisations while competing with them. Either public or private, these non-profit organisations became a part of the knowledge society as the third sector.

Non-profit organisations, with their increasing number, go through various problems like any other organisation in public or private sectors [4]. These problems could be gathered under five titles:

  • Absence of profit rate: evaluating the success of a firm in accordance with the profit rate is the common subject analysed within the definitions of business administration in social sciences. However, this is not the case when non-profit organisations are concerned. For this reason, the leaders of these organisations state that profit is a criterion used to control the administration and they use it to evaluate the performance of organisations.

  • Absence of competition: competition is considered to be an element raising the quality of service and enhancing the firm in for-profit organisations. However, competition is not common amongst non-profit organisations, and even if it occurs under certain conditions, it is not a motivation tool that betters the organisations.

  • Policies: policies have a significant role in public sector organisations. Even the establishment of public organisations can be based on policies. On the other hand, non-profit organisations tend to develop their own policies. They make effort to give their service especially to receivers with the same policies.

  • Administrative structures: the responsibility of administration in private sector organisations belongs to top manager. In non-profit organisations, however, a committee owns the authority. Responsibilities are shared and decisions are taken by more than one person. As a result, decisions are delayed and the quality gets weaker. What is more, in such organisations, committee members are assigned according to their political and financial power as well as their self-devotion instead of administrative characteristics.

  • Attachment to traditions: non-profit organisations are attached to traditions. For instance, there is an important common view in Turkey suggesting that the senior manager of an organisation should be an engineer or a technical staff member. It is considerably difficult to change these traditions and to apply modern administrative techniques instead of them.

When the above-mentioned problems are taken into consideration, it could be seen that the main problem stems from management. In his work titled ‘Managing for the Future’, Drucker’s statement on how non-profit organisations are in need of effective leadership more than firms, as they do not have a good functioning administrative structure, is still valid [5]. It could be observed that the administrative committees of non-profit organisations are still deficient. The members should go through a training process, and new methods should be developed to evaluate their performances.

Leadership is one of the most controversial and investigated subjects. While there are several analytical and theoretical researches on leadership in private sector, studies on leadership in non-profit organisations are limited and most of the researches that have been done so far are on non-governmental organisations. However, being a new sector, leadership in charities and unions is very open to research.


2. Leadership

Before a detailed investigation into leadership in non-profit organisations, it would be beneficial to mention how the concept of leadership has developed briefly.

The question ‘whom the communities should be governed by’ has been a discussion topic since the emergence of city-states. Related debates that had been initiated by Ancient Greek philosophers like Socrates and Plato could be based on a scientific basis by the twentieth century. The qualities that should be owned by community leaders and the leaders themselves were addressed in statements about leadership made before twentieth century.

It was Socrates who came up with the first argument. He opposed the idea that communities should be governed by nobles only, and he emphasised that people leading communities need to be virtuous and knowledgeable. Just like his master, Plato also took attention to the significance of education. Dividing the society into three as producers, auxiliaries and guardians, Plato stated that each class must receive education. Therefore, he took the guardians to war to exhibit their heroism. Candidates for guardianship were subjected to education until they got to their 20s. Following this education, Plato regarded another educational period of 10 years in which the candidates were taught mathematics, geometry, harmony and astronomy necessarily. When they got to their 30s, candidates would start to study philosophy for a period of 20 years, and when they got to their 50s, they took an exam. The ones who passed the exam gained the right to be community leaders. Plato foresaw a tough education system and he demanded that community leaders be purified from all ambitions. He claimed that only philosophers who are virtuous and knowledgeable are capable of self-devotion for the state [6]. Regarding Socrates’ and Plato’s discourses, one could infer that leaders must be virtuous and knowledgeable, and a long process of education is needed in order to achieve wisdom and virtue.

Niccholó Machiavelli, an Italian Renaissance philosopher who is deemed to be the founder political science, stated that human beings are selfish, evil, self-seeker and acquisitive by nature. To him, leaders should be aware of these features while leading people and they should make use of every mechanism including religion. He argues that authority does not derive from God, but from man. Contrary to Socrates and Plato, he claims that political success is more important than morals. The society might be afraid of their leader and Machiavelli indicates that the fear stems from love and compassion [6]. The idea that leaders should possess virtue had lost its popularity during its journey from ancient Greece to Renaissance. Power became the most important feature to be a leader.

Religious beliefs started to be questioned with the commencement of French Revolution in eighteenth century. Philosophers like Kant and Voltaire claimed that humans could determine their own fate and control it through rationalism. Two separate beliefs were born out of rationalism in nineteenth century: the belief in humans’ capability for perfection and advancement [7]. As the concept of god was put into question, humans were believed to be individuals who could display rational behaviours.

Sigmund Freud and Max Weber following him came up with ideas against rationalism; therefore, the beliefs it had provoked started to disappear. The reason why the concept of leadership cannot be defined clearly is attributed to Freud’s and Weber’s destructive approaches to rationalism. Freud discovered that the unconscious mind settled behind the rational mind and he theorised his idea that a significant amount of human behaviour stemmed from the unconscious. Weber, on the other hand, was intrigued by the limits of reason and he investigated rationalism devoid of morals, which he called technical rationalism. To him, bureaucracy is a solid example of technical rationalism. The most horrifying aspect of bureaucracy is that it dehumanises people and demolishes productivity. Weber believed that it was only the charismatic leadership that could stand against bureaucracy. However, Hitler, who was depicted as a charismatic leader in the twentieth century, overshadowed Weber’s belief with the ferocious genocide he caused [7].

Disappearance of the belief in rationalism led to an acceleration in studies on leadership. Social scientists began to argue whether leadership was a trait gained through nurture or nature. They concluded that one might be born with certain characteristics suitable for leadership and that these characteristics could be improved by means of education.

Centres for leader training were first established in the USA and today one could find them everywhere. The initial reason of setting up such centres was to teach what leadership required. Organisations have made great effort to raise lead managers in recent years.


3. Leadership in non-profit organisations

Leaders must be eager to make choices. Organisations, whether they are for-profit or non-profit, determine strategies and are shaped in accordance with these strategies. Leaders play a crucial role in designating the strategies of organisations. For this reason, it is important that they, leaders, do not hesitate while making decisions and that they use initiatives. Most of the organisations charge leaders only with keeping up with the recent developments and monitoring the process. However, one of the important responsibilities of leaders is to teach the organisational strategies to their staff and to make them embrace these strategies.

The absence of leaders could result in dramatic consequences. To illustrate, organisations might lose their ability to keep pace with the changes in their environment fast and consequently, they might lose their sustainability.

It would be wrong to consider leaders as officials working in senior manager positions. Leaders could be in any status of an organisation. On the contrary, most of the organisations today prefer that their middle-ranking staff take on a leadership role. The very reason for this preference is that the staff is supposed to compete with the rapidly changing circumstances in the sector.

Leaders of an organisation are able to cope with difficulties and come up with solutions against them. However, managers may not know what to do when they face changes. Contrary to them, leaders set a course for the future predicting any possible change to come. Apart from the rapid change in the environment, technological developments and the increase in specialisation also threaten the sustainability of organisations. Managerial skills on their own are not enough to lead groups. Therefore, organisations need leaders who would evoke groups. Some organisations, on the other hand, choose to work with lead managers.

Leaders of organisations are not only important for sustainability but also for the employees. Influencing the employees and leading them towards the target through motivation are amongst the responsibilities of leaders who also play an important role in arranging the internal and external environment of organisations. What is more, leaders are needed to benefit from the employees on an optimum level and to give organisations the success they need.

The related literature presents us different forms of leadership, which brings a question to mind: Is leadership in non-profit organisations different from leadership in for-profit ones? At the first glance, ‘profit’ seems to be the sole element distinguishing them from each other. However, there are several other differences in administrative terms. It would also be wrong to claim that only one type of leadership is suitable for non-profit organisations. Leaders of non-profit organisations are supposed to have different features. Therefore, one could observe that the recent form of visionary leadership is more integrative.

When museums are concerned within the scope of non-profit organisations in Turkey, the job adverts and one-to-one interviews reveal—especially using popular term ‘vision holder’—that potential administrators are expected to have visionary leadership qualities.

The exact date when the concept of ‘vision’ got involved in the leadership literature for the first time is unknown, but it came into use after 1990s. Together with the works by Burns, Bennis, Bass and Tichy & Devanna, the outputs of related publications and studies grew in number; thus, subjects like ‘the new century’s approach to leadership’, ‘fundamentals of success’, standpoints, components and definitions started to be revised with the contributions of different disciplines [8]. There are various interpretations of vision and visionary leadership produced by several authors. To Conger, vision stands for means providing success for future [9]. His definition is supported by Yukl [10, 11]. Boal and Bryson suggest that vision is the picture of the future that clearly displays the values and goals [9]. Using similar definitions, Snyder and Graves define vision as the energy of the leader and the employees, directing resources towards a specific target and an outstanding way of making, discussing and presenting the image completely [12].

The sustainability of organisations is in relation to vision carrying the future to the present. On the other hand, vision—in organisational terms—is designing, developing and sharing the future of the organisation together with picturing the organisational future. Senge backs up this description by saying that vision shapes and directs the future of an organisation and it is a means through which an organisation identifies its objectives [13]. A visionary statement shows the destination and it certifies what happens when the destination is reached.

Leaders are pioneers. They are the ones taking firms to new horizons, taking elusive opportunities and guiding the employees. What guides leaders is the vision. In this respect, vision is significant for leaders and visionary leadership is crucial for organisations. If the leader and his followers do not know where they are heading to, leadership does not mean anything. According to Taylor, however, a leader not only establishes the vision but also shares it with the employees [14]. Leadership is the ability to design a common pursuit and a process in which the vision and objectives of people, groups or organisations are influenced in their way to reaching targets. Visionary leadership is the ability to establish a vision that is realistic, trustworthy and interesting for a whole organisation or for a part of it and to express it. If this vision is chosen and applied properly, it strengthens all the sources together with the skills and abilities of the employees. A vision holder leader is the person who not only forms a vision but also possesses the ability to explain it to the employees. Accordingly, the employees should be informed about the way they will follow and their targets by means of clear, oral and written communication. Last of all, activities should be identified first and be classified according to their priorities in order to make vision applicable under different circumstances.

A visionary leader not only conveys the vision orally but also demonstrates it to the employees through his behaviours. As visionary leaders, business administrators of today should establish a vision that could bring success to their organisation and to the employees by foreseeing the future and through participative understanding of management. They need to develop strategies and make progress fast with a proactive approach that changes threats into opportunities. Being aware of the benefits constant learning provides visionary leaders must build up organisations that always learn and they need to believe in the necessity of training while catching up with the novelties and changes. They should inspire the employees and integrate them into the process by giving them authorities. Visionary leaders motivate employees with the help of the vision. The master of the organisation is the leader and he ensures that the employees focus on the future aims of the firm. Visionary leaders always pay attention to what the employees say and they respect the values while doing that which strengthens their position. When the employees feel that their views are appreciated, they embrace the vision appointed by the leader and sincerely make an effort to realise it.

A visionary leader gives the employees responsibility by assigning authority to subordinates; however, he holds the utmost power to establish a vision and to plan it. Nonetheless, the vision should not be taken over by the senior ranks. It should be claimed by the whole organisation and checked regularly to make sure that its values are transmitted to each employee and the leader needs to evaluate the performance within the organisation according to competitors. Innovations and changes should be followed closely.

In sum, visionary leaders are people who draw the picture of the future together with the employees in organisation’s way to success by taking the performance of employees to the peak point with high levels of motivation and collaboration. Being aware how essential change and development are, they build up a strong organisational culture and spread it within the organisation.

The foregoing description of leadership could be deemed as a synthesis of many others and it draws attention to the leader’s capability of motivating and establishing a vision. Leader’s power is attributed to the level at which his employees want and accept the vision he establishes. According to this approach, the leader symbolises the source of reason and authority. The employees hope to be attached to the leader and to his vision. As a result, visionary leadership today means a common understanding of management that is active and dependent on a team.

It gets more and more difficult for organisations to be sustainable within the third sector, which includes non-profit organisations. The competition environment is not as complicated as the private sector. Nevertheless, third sector organisations have difficulty in gaining income and the reason is that most of the non-profit organisations survive with the aid of external donations. Visionary leaders motivate and organise their employees well so that they can persuade them to make strategic moves in line with the vision of the organisation. To illustrate, when the histories of art organisations are investigated, it could be observed that they were state organisations exhibiting art only. The first step—taken in the USA—of transferring art organisations to foundations or the establishment of new art organisations by foundations got serious reactions. As it was all about art, art historians protested when some specific parts of museums started to be rented to restaurants or cafés or even to special occasions like fashion shows, premiere nights and when they multiplied as branches with museum shops in them. Despite all these, the leaders of such organisations were able to suppress the critiques with the vision they had, and although they could not do away with them, they managed to tone them down.

It is very challenging for museums to survive nowadays. The most distinguished and contradictive example for this is the Guggenheim Museums. The Guggenheim Foundation sets up branches similar to those of a fast food chain. For this reason, many people renamed it as ‘McGuggenheim’. There are failures amongst the branches as well as those that achieved successful business.

It would be narrow-mindedness to think that tickets are the only income source for museums. Museums cannot afford their expense items such as administrative or personnel costs solely through visitors. The preliminary aim of museums is to make art works accessible to as many people as possible. Therefore, they provide service free of charge once a week. Museum leaders rent some spots to food or retail sector for extra income. What is more, they make deals with other brands of private sector and organise award ceremonies, special exhibitions and fashion shows (for example, Guggenheim-BMW collaboration). They offer workshops, in addition to online and onsite seminars. They put the works of the artists on the market at premiere nights. Museum cards provide them with membership income. They also accept sponsors and donations as works or cash.

Leaders use different methods each year to generate an income. There is no doubt that while visionary leaders soften the criticism they face with the help of those methods, some of them make strategic mistakes. For instance, renting a museum for wedding ceremonies is a wrong strategy and the leader who allows that has to face the results. Only highly qualified works of art can get into a museum collection and insuring such works is considerably expensive. When the value of art works and the organisational prestige is taken into consideration, letting museums used as wedding venues is unacceptable. Once an organisation is discredited, sustainability becomes impossible. This is the reason why decisions taken by the leader are vital and as mentioned before, the job adverts look for the quality ‘vision holder’ as a prerequisite.

Museum leadership became a subject matter in the last decades of 1990s. There are several universities around the world offering postgraduate programmes on museum leadership. In addition, certain institutions open up certificate programmes. Symposiums and conferences are arranged each year to host studies of museum leadership. When Turkey is concerned however, it has not become a topic to be researched yet since art organisations are still not popular study objects. It could be assumed that museum leadership will become a specific topic to work on only after a few years.


4. Museum leadership

The professionals working at a museum—from the lowest ranks to the highest one—should adapt themselves to the external environmental conditions quickly. They should be able to use the technological equipment that they are supposed to possess. As a quality, leadership is a must for all the employees since each professional at museums is in the foreground no matter what their position is. For instance, everyone—from the managers to the assistants—at the curatorial department deals with the artists, visitors, donators and sponsors. A team performs the tasks, and there is only one leader organising and directing the team.

Museum leaders should have a good grasp of business administration and finance in addition to their knowledge of art. Universities include ‘arts management’ into their graduate and postgraduates curricula in order to educate leaders with related qualifications because only individuals equipped with learning of both administration and art history can possess the vision that can lead an art organisation. A managerial approach to works on its own brings a museum down. Likewise, dealing with a museum through the standpoint of an artist or an art historian may result in a perfect museum, but after some time the lack of administrative knowledge causes gaps in administrative departments, which can bring the museum to an end.

Semmel stated that museum leaders—at any level—need six core skills as follows [15]:

  • Strategic agility: regardless of their level, museum leaders should be good at taking quick and clever steps and they should approach problems from different angles being flexible and open to ambiguity.

  • Getting personal: each successful move and change within a museum necessitates cooperation of workers. One thing that affects cooperation is the relations set up amongst workers, and another thing is the level at which the leader is self-aware and skilled in social terms.

  • Communication: the way an organisation stands with its executive team, external partners, fields of activity and how regular, consistent and honest this stand is what matters. The messages given by the museum through its plans, exhibitions, programmes, campaigns and partner relations lead it to success or let it down.

  • Data fluency: museum leaders of any level must detect, adjust and apply field or sector-related metrics and benchmarks.

  • Rapid and rigorous prototyping: fast standardisation is useful when new programmes are identified in terms of their activeness, capability and scalability.

  • System leadership: system leadership necessitates seeing the big picture, being involved in productive enterprises and directing the focus from reactive problem solving to working together for the future. Seeing the big picture prevents each person in the organisation getting distracted so they pay attention to the mission which culminates in additional value for the community and the public.

Museums leaders should be efficient in making plans and they should identify the objectives and targets clearly while conducting plans or establishing the organisational schema. The business plans draw the course of action and they include personnel employment, the financial sources and the necessary equipment which are the instructive elements within it. On the other hand, strategic plans are significant in terms of the organisational development and just like in other organisations, the characteristics, vision, mission, the success criteria, aims, targets and the position of a museum within the sector are presented through its strategic plans. Setting up such plans requires team work. The interaction between the leader and his followers is another factor that determines the application and execution of the plans. Visionary leaders are good at putting the plans into use.

Private museums in Turkey are as prevalent as state museums. The most outstanding ones are Sakıp Sabancı Museum, Istanbul Museum of Modern Art and Pera Museum which are also active worldwide. Each of these museums operates according to the foundations they are affiliated to. Sakıp Sabancı Museum is connected to Sabancı University (a foundation university), Istanbul Museum of Modern Art is connected to Istanbul Modern Art Foundation and Pera Museum is affiliated with Suna and Inan Kıraç Foundation.

Private museums, which became popular after 1970s around the world, began to spread around Turkey after 2000s. The first private museum is Sadberk Hanım Museum, which was established in 1980 in connection with Vehbi Koç Foundation. The common point that makes Sabancı Museum (2002), Istanbul Modern (2004) and Pera Museum (2005) significant is that their permanent collections have been exhibited worldwide and that they have hosted important artists and visitors from all around the world for their temporary exhibitions. They all have similar organisational structures. As they are non-profit organisations, their income sources are donations, sponsors, special activities, museum shops, cafés and restaurants.

The establishment of private museums in Turkey is a tumultuous process due to bureaucratic obstacles. Turkey has private museums due to the decisive stance leaders have taken for the establishment of museums. The attitudes of leaders who get things are shaped due to their vision. Social scientists underline the importance of the need of visionary leaders to make a difference in a constantly changing environment [16]. Visionary leaders go beyond simply fulfilling common expectations; they are also a source of inspiration and encourage their employees to believe in the dream they put forth. Visionary leaders like Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King are leaders who arouse feelings of solidarity in people, liven institutions and call upon the necessary resources in order to turn their vision into reality. Turkey’s first modern art museum was also opened by this kind of visionary leader.

The establishment of the Istanbul Modern Art Museum was tumultuous. The chairman of the executive board Oya Eczacıbaşı took action to establish the museum in 1987; however, the museum was only opened in 2004. The attempts made at establishing a modern art museum were trumped by the government under the excuse that the country had to deal with more pressing issues. However, Eczacıbaşı did not give up on her dream and turned Turkey’s membership into the EU negotiations into an opportunity by opening up the first modern art museum. On social media, the Istanbul Modern Art Museum is the 11th most followed modern art museum in the world, right after the New York Metropolitan Museum.

The establishment of the Pera Museum also has a similar story to that of the Istanbul Modern Art Museum. Inan Kıraç, the vice President of the Suna and Inan Kıraç Foundation, dreamt of establishing a museum in Taksim at the beginning of the 2000s. He even had Frank Gehry, one of the most famous architects in the world, prepare designs of the museum, paying a significant amount of money for these designs. However, the project could not be realised due to the fact that the necessary permissions could not be taken from the local authorities. The Pera Museum was established in 2005 in Taksim, but in a different location that intended.

During the same years, the Louis Vuitton Foundation started the construction of a museum in Paris, and it is now one of the central attractions of the city. The museum has seven thousand visitors every day. The Paris Municipality has leased the land to the Louis Vuitton Foundation without charge for 55 years. Through this example, it can be seen that the culture and art policies of Turkey are far behind those of the United States and Europe.

Transactional behaviours are not sufficient to convince employees of organisations where hierarchal relations are intense of radical changes. This is why, especially for non-profit art institutions, visionary leaders will have to take personal risks outside of traditional behaviours in order to convince, motivate and gain the trust of their followers [17]. Nazan Ölçer, the manager of the Sakıp Sabancı Museum, is a risk taker. When they decided to exhibit the works of world famous artists such as Van Gogh and Matisse, the Museum had a low budget and limited advertising possibilities. Taking into consideration the limited interest in arts in Turkey, this can be seen as a risky decision outside of traditions. However, the exhibitions were met with enthusiasm, permitting many museums in Turkey to reserve higher budgets for the works of international artists. In this context, thanks to the vision of its leader, the Sabancı Museum was able to break new ground and serve as an example to other museums.

All three museums have added value to Turkey’s artistic circles and will continue to do so. Museology as a profession in Turkey is newly gaining meaning. However, thanks to the successful leaders and their teams of art institutions, this process is gaining momentum, turning Istanbul into one of the leading cities in the field of art.

It is important that those working for non-profit art institutions have a specialised education in this field. There are very few Turkish universities offering undergraduate courses on the management of art organisations. When the curricula of departments like arts management and museum studies are investigated, it could be observed that both business administration and art history courses are included in them. There are five universities offering arts management as a degree and two on museum studies. There are no programmes or seminars on museum leadership.

Nowadays, museums are still not being managed by professionals of the field. Museums are mostly managed by people who have only undergone studies in art, or who have only undergone studies in management. If the structuring of museums does not change in the near future, I believe that they will put their sustainability in danger. If interdisciplinary studies such as art management and museology become more widespread, this will provide a basis for the institutionalisation of museums. This way, there will be more museums that will artistically have more quality work and will be more professional on an organisational level. We can define the museums that are established in this manner ‘ideal museums’. Ideal museums today are limited in numbers. Especially in developing countries such as Turkey, where arts and culture policies are not developed enough, it is difficult for art institutions to find support. Museums are standing thanks to their own efforts, as opposed to government help. At this point, museum leaders have a big job to do.

The number of works concentrating on non-profit organisations is limited. Accordingly, museums—being a more specific topic—have not been studied enough but it could be suggested that this will change in the following years. Studies and education on museum leadership around the world are spreading rapidly, and at some point, Turkey will have to focus on them too. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to replace the aforementioned leaders in the near future.


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Written By

Beste Gökçe Parsehyan

Submitted: 15 April 2016 Reviewed: 17 August 2016 Published: 01 February 2017