Innovation as a strategy for academic libraries to survive change

Maria Ana Cosmelli Carvalho


Innovation is a strategy that has allowed organizations to survive in a context of changes, many of them disruptive. To evaluate the current most important innovations in academic libraries and aiming to understand if the organizational culture type present in academic libraries promotes innovation, a global Delphi study was undertaken. This technique allows identifying consensus based on the judgement of well-informed individuals. The results of the study were analyzed at the light of CHRISTENSEN’s (2006) innovation types and the CAMERON e QUINN’s (1999) organizational culture frameworks Competing Values Framework (CVF) and Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI). The study allowed identifying that the innovations with higher impact in academic libraries have a technological character and are in their essence mainly sustaining. The disruptive innovations identified were the Open access movement and the Web 2.0. The first was considered by the participants of the study as more important than the second. The data obtained showed that the clan’s was the most valued organizational culture type, while the adhocracy type, the one more related with innovation, was the less valued by the academic libraries. It is possible to conclude that despite the type and the degree of the changes that surround academic libraries, they are still not focused in innovation as a strategy. They still tend to incorporate innovations maintaining their culture.

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