Engaging and marketing to stakeholders in World Heritage Site management: a United Kingdom multiple case study perspective

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This research addresses the limited studies which apply stakeholder theory to World Heritage Site (WHS) management and managerial theory to heritage management. WHS management highlights a context where sites rely on numerous interests uniting through goodwill. This is intensified by the multiple-ownership patterns which characterise many WHSs, necessitating a need for collective action. This study aims to explore how managers attempt to manage stakeholders and generate involvement and support. This study adopts a multiple case study approach, exploring three United Kingdom WHSs. Data were collected through interviews, documentation and physical artefacts. The analysis found that through representation, raising awareness and support, managers were able to generate stakeholder patronage. However, this required managers to look beyond informative engagement toward participatory means. Furthermore, the findings highlight the importance of the facilitators, time and money in successful stakeholder engagement. Lastly, conclusions, limitations and future research are offered. Underpinned by stakeholder theory, this paper contributes to the understanding of stakeholder engagement within WHS management and adds to limited empirical studies on multiple sites. This investigation found that engagement is constrained by managers’ limited time and resources. Furthermore, participatory engagement is essential in fostering stakeholders’ responsibility for site management and developing relationships with managers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1392-1418
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Marketing Management
Issue number15-16
Early online date13 Jun 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Jun 2016


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