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Revisiting the museum experience

Claire Roederer (EM Strasbourg Business School, Strasbourg, France)
Marc Filser (IAE Dijon, Dijon, France)

Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Article publication date: 10 September 2018

Issue publication date: 10 September 2018




This paper aims to contribute to the area of museum experience research, by exploring how consumers build stories to tell different experiences generated from a visit to a museum and by viewing these inductive findings in the light of recent research on consumption experiences (Lanier and Rader, 2015).


A qualitative study is conducted. Twenty-three narratives were analysed relating a visit to ZKM museum in Karlsruhe (Germany) using narrative analysis techniques, as they are suitable to capture sensations, emotions and feelings.


ZKM museum emerges from the analysis of the narratives as a cradle for stochastic experiences (Lanier and Rader, 2015). The narratives develop several episodes that correspond to performance and liberatory experiences. A reconceptualization of the museal experience is proposed as a mesh of performance, stochastic or liberatory episodes, that capture the subject’s perspective.

Research limitations/implications

The study was limited to students who were 19-23 years of age and to one museum. Future research should include a wider age group and other museums.

Practical implications

The findings provide useful insights for curators, educators and exhibit designers staging museal experiences.

Social implications

The findings provide a better understanding of different experiences occurring in the same experiential context and their meaning from the subject’s perspective.


Lanier and Rader (2015) typology has not yet been tested in a museal context. The findings suggest that the same context can generate a set of various episodes (performance, liberatory, stochastic) within a given experience. From a methodological perspective, the results show that qualitative approaches are relevant to segment the museal offer based on sought experiences.



Roederer, C. and Filser, M. (2018), "Revisiting the museum experience", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 567-587.



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