Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to review the organisational change processes in an academic library in the context of change management theory. Design/methodology/approach – The process of achieving organisational change in La Trobe University Library, a medium‐sized Australian academic library is examined. The focus is the library's experience of effecting wide reaching changes in interconnected areas of organisational structure, client services delivery and the physical service environment and facilities. The drivers for undertaking change in service delivery are outlined and the changes that have been implemented are discussed. The practical experience of achieving change is examined using the framework of key change management theory and expert advice. Findings – La Trobe University Library has been a leader in innovative service delivery and an early adopter of technologies to improve services; however it had not previously experienced significant organisational change. The library initiated a number of strategies to address resistance to the changes, achieving some success. Workshops for staff to better understand and cope with change were introduced. Extensive consultation and communication with staff was undertaken; finding the balance between perceived inadequate communication with staff and communication overload was a challenge. People are the key factor to success in any organisational change and the library's experiences confirmed the need to attend to the people element in any change process. Planning and leadership were core elements to achieving successful change. Originality/value – The paper provides a useful comparison between management theory and expert advice on organisational change and the practical experience of a library.
Library Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 10, 2008
Keywords: Change management; Organizational change; Organizational structures; Academic libraries; Australia
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