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Organizational learning and transformational leadership in the library environment

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Purpose ‐ This paper aims to provide librarians with an in-depth review of transformational management and its relation to organizational learning and adaptation. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The paper broadens the library literature related to management style, organizational learning and transformation, with concepts derived from the relevant management literature. Findings ‐ Librarians are experimenting with organizational learning and new management styles in an attempt to cope with rapid change. Transformational management styles can be learned and applied by library administrators. The extent to which library administrators are using transformational management techniques to cope with change remains obscured by the fact that appropriate surveys have not been conducted. Research limitations/implications ‐ The self-assessment tool is based on an adaptation of the multifactor leadership questionnaire (MLQ), developed by Bass and Avolio to study leadership styles in business, industry and the military. Relevance of the assessment tool to the library environment must be clarified by "factor analysis" before the questionnaire is used in formal statistical studies assessing management style and organizational learning. Originality/value ‐ The paper provides a useful review of the library and management literature relating organizational learning and management style. This information is presented with the objective of increasing awareness, debate and additional research. A self-assessment tool accompanies the paper. This tool will allow library professionals to determine informally the degree to which their organizational culture is either transformational or transactional in nature.
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Keywords: Management styles; Transactional leadership; Transformational leadership; Workplace training

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2006

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