Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Leadership Influence to Transform Organizational Cultures
by McNeill, Mary Kathryn (Kitty) Morgan, D.Bibl., Simmons College, 2017, 304; 27541105
Abstract (Summary)

To function in the fluctuating higher education context and to implement their vision and strategic direction for a library, one that is adaptable and establishes a vital and amplified institutional role, managerial leaders may need to influence, shape, and even create organizational cultures. For an organization to accomplish its mission, vision, and strategic goals, managerial leaders must understand the macro-cultures, subcultures, or micro-cultures of the organization. In addition, they must also comprehend the context of organizational cultures within the overall institutional cultures. Further, they must be able to recognize the levels of culture within the organization: artifacts, espoused beliefs and values, and basic underlying assumptions. Ultimately, these leaders must grasp the crucial interactions among leadership influence, macro-cultures, institutional, or organizational cultures, and adaptability that may contribute to, or impede, the radical transformation of a library.

While experiencing and responding to changing external and internal forces, managerial leaders may struggle to adapt and transform libraries. The study examined the key relationships and symbiotic elements that contribute to a library transformation (namely, leadership influence, macro-cultures, institutional or organizational cultures, and adaptability through creativity and innovation). An understanding of these interdependent elements may allow managerial leaders to cultivate sustainable and relevant libraries for the future. Further, university library directors may seek to influence organizational cultures to transform libraries, and for that reason, this study examined how they engage with and shape organizational cultures within the context of existing institutional and library cultures. The study explored the types and levels of culture present in the library including how a leader influences organization cultures using leadership embedding and culture change mechanisms.

Using narrative inquiry, the investigator explored the research questions at three academic library case study sites through structured interview questions about critical incidents, leadership embedding mechanisms, and adaptability through creative and innovative initiatives. Using the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI) from the Competing Values Framework (CVF), the investigator determined the culture types and dimensions for the three libraries.

The results for this dissertation revealed that leadership influence was foundational, along with the symbiotic interaction among the key transformation elements to the radical transformation of a library. Library leaders could benefit from a greater understanding of the interaction among these essential library transformation elements. A better appreciation of the interdependent elements may allow leaders to influence and transform organizational cultures and create agile, high performance libraries that add value to their institutions, the library profession, and higher education. The research study implications indicated that well-led libraries will have the advantage of agility and adaptability in response to internal and external forces; and, that managerial leaders may need to accept greater responsibility for, and actively engage with, organizational cultures.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Cloonan, Michele V.
Commitee: Neal, James G., Sapolsky, Harvey
School: Simmons College
Department: Library and Information Science
School Location: United States -- Massachusetts
Source: DAI-A 81/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Organization Theory, Library science, Management
Keywords: Academic libraries, Adaptability, Creativity, Leadership influence, Library tranformation, Organizational cultures
Publication Number: 27541105
ISBN: 9781392486740
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