Collecting as Consumption: The Entrepreneurial Art Gamble that Paid Off
Fillis, I and Lehman, K and Rentschier, R and O'donohue, J, Collecting as Consumption: The Entrepreneurial Art Gamble that Paid Off, Making Knowledge Work, 21-24 June 2017, Glasgow, Scotland ISSN 2466-7498 (2017) [Refereed Conference Paper]
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We utilise a case study approach, including embedding a biographical methodology, to
investigate how a privately funded art museum, the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), has
risen to become a key visitor destination on the island of Tasmania, Australia. At the centre of
our investigations is the entrepreneur and professional gambler David Walsh. Conventional
notions of how to launch and build a new venture have been overturned through the actions of
Walsh and his ability to identify and exploit opportunities in different ways to the competition.
Not only is Walsh an entrepreneurial consumer. Many of his customers as consumers have come
to appreciate what he has achieved as a place of pilgrimage in his created brand community.
What Walsh has achieved within a short time frame cannot be readily explained by normative
entrepreneurship theory. His achievements fit the unconventional entrepreneurship label and
are driven by his passion and consumption behaviour. Here we use the integrated lens of
entrepreneurial marketing, effectuation and consuming through collecting to frame the research.
Our analysis shows what can be achieved when alternative paths to creativity and innovation are
pursued. The creativity inherent in such actions does not necessarily have to be substantial.
Sometimes incremental approaches to achieving something different from the norm are