• Mie Nymann Jensen
4. term, Tourism, Master (Master Programme)
This thesis has investigated the perceptions of authenticity at Besættelsesmuseet and how the sense of authenticity is influenced by digital implementations. The thesis is originally inspired by a personal experience at Besættelsesmuseet in which I had a very entertaining and authentic experience while my older brother did not feel the same sense of authenticity. The main reason for our different perceptions of the experience was the use of digital elements. I personally enjoyed the elements whereas my brother preferred the more traditional physical exhibitions. This made me wonder how individuals perceive authenticity and whether the use of digital implementations improves or reduces the sense of authenticity.
As a consequence of my personal experience at the museum, the purpose of this thesis is to attain an insight into how the museum and its visitors perceive authenticity, the use of digital elements and the possible relation between the two. Subsequently, a literature review was made to assess the current research field in regard to the following three areas: experience, authenticity and digitalisation. The literature concerning experience and authenticity both supported the notions of how individual a tourist’s perceptions and preferences are. In other words, the perception of whether an experience is good or an experience is authentic will be based on the tourist’s personal perceptions. Moreover, the literature concerning experience and authenticity highlighted how digital elements are being implemented in order to better the experience or heighten the sense of authenticity. Due to digitalisation’s great variation, the use of digital elements can improve a variety of different areas within the tourism industry.
In order to structuralise the rather dynamic concepts examined in the literature review, the Service Quality model (SERVQUAL) by Parasuraman (et al. 1985) was selected to create a manageable overview of the museum’s and the visitors’ perceptions. Due to the SERVQUAL’s generic nature, the model was modified to suit the specific case of Besættelsesmuseet which resulted in the following gaps being used: 1, 5, A, D and AD. To recapitulate, gap 1 deals with the museum’s and visitors’ perception of expectations while gap 5 highlights whether the visitors perceive their experience to live up to their expectations. Gap A visualises the museum’s and visitors’ perception of authenticity. Next, gap D deals with the two parties’ perception of digital implementations at the museum. Finally, gap AD presents the perception of the relation between authenticity and digital implementations.
The knowledge gathered from the literature review and the structure of the SERVQUAL inspired the following research question:
Based on the SERVQUAL model, which gaps occur due to Besættelsesmuseet’s historical background and its implementation of digital elements, and how are the visitors’ sense of authenticity of the museum influenced by the possible issues related to these gaps?
In order to look further into the perceptions of the museum and its visitors, the thesis has used observations and interviews to gather in-depth data about these perceptions. The thesis has a phenomenological approach which entails that the individual is the centre of attention. The use of interviews is especially beneficial when having a phenomenological approach because the interviews provide in-depth and personalised data.
The data were coded with thematic coding and then analysed using the gaps from the modified SERVQUAL. The analysis highlighted the museum’s and its visitors’ perceptions as well as the possible gaps in relation to gaps 1, 5, A, D and AD. There were no major gaps between the museum’s and the visitors’ perception of the aforementioned subjects.
The analysis of the gaps revealed that the digital implementations at Besættelsesmuseet positively influence the museum’s sense of authenticity. The majority of visitors would express how the digital elements would create additional sensuous layers to the experience which would not only bring them closer to history but also amplify the sense of authenticity. Similarly, Besættelsesmuseet’s reasoning for implementing digital elements was to add additional features to the experience that could not be attained through traditional physical exhibitions while also providing an up-close experience for its visitors. Nevertheless, the museum and its visitors stressed that the digital implementations cannot create a sense of authenticity at Besættelsesmuseet on its own. The digital elements are highly dependent on the physical buildings and objects that the museum includes.
Publication date31 May 2022
Number of pages70
External collaboratorBesættelsesmuseet
Daglig leder og museumsinspektør Søren Tange Rasmussen str@dengamleby.dk
Information group
ID: 471660432