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The benefits of a quality management system: The case of the merger of two universities and their libraries

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Purpose ‐ At the turn of this century, it was decided to renovate higher education in Finland and, as a result, three new universities were created by merging existing units. One of these new universities is the University of Eastern Finland, which was formed from the Universities of Joensuu and Kuopio. The merger started in 2007 and in 2008 and 2009 there was a reorganisation of the two previous libraries' management and service provision to create a single new library. The quality management system that the library has been building was used in this process. This paper aims to describe how the strategy was defined; how the organization developed as well as the working order and how a quality manual for the new merged library was created. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The paper is a case study. Findings ‐ The library could utilize its quality management system in merging the two libraries and their service production. It is important for the whole staff to participate in the process. Research limitations/implications ‐ The paper is based on Finnish experiences. Practical implications ‐ Models for managing a merger process are presented in the paper. The benefits of a participant management style as well as retaining the best practices from the old libraries into the new unit are emphasised. Originality/value ‐ The paper discusses the merger of two libraries and the change management processes involved.
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Keywords: Acquisitions and mergers; Finland; Higher education; Organizational change; Quality management; University libraries

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 22, 2011

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