Document Type





organizational culture, knowledge management, information technology, collaboration, collegiality, organizational effectiveness, competing values framework, CVF, libraries


Library and Information Science | Organizational Behavior and Theory


Theorists have suggested that organizational culture is a strategic resource that has value in ensuring the continuing existence and success of organizations (Michalisin, Smith, & Kline, 1997; Barney, 1986, 1991; Hult, Ketchen, & Nichols, 2002; Gordon, 1985). This assertion is supported by various studies that have linked organizational culture to broad strategic outcomes such as an organization’s ability to manage knowledge (Davenport, Long, & Beers, 1998; Storck & Hill, 2000), innovation capability (Hauser, 1998), and strategic management of information technology (Kaarst-Brown & Robey, 1999; Reich & Benbasat, 2000; Schein, 1985). Based on this research, we suggest that there are characteristics of organizational cultures in information-based organizations that lead to increased collaboration, collegiality, and organizational effectiveness. The present article explores these characteristics and examines whether organizational culture can be leveraged as a strategic asset to attract staff, create favorable assessments by administrators and funders, and cast library institutions in a positive light for independent media and accreditation bodies. We believe that identification of those characteristics of organizational cultures that are uniquely relevant to the growth and success of libraries can provide current and future library leaders with guidance, models, and intellectual resources to enhance personal and organizational success. To begin, we provide an overview of the concept of organizational culture, before exploring in more detail the competing values framework (CVF) as a lens though which to view library cultures. We then apply the key characteristics of the CVF to four prototypical library settings, before presenting our conclusions.


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.