The impact of leadership development on the organizational culture of a Canadian academic library


Objective – To determine the perceived impact of leadership development on the behaviours and competencies of employees and the organizational culture of the University Library, University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Methods – Using grounded theory methodology, the study was conducted in an academic library serving a mid-sized medical-doctoral university in western Canada. Twenty-one librarians and support staff who had completed the University Library’s Library Leadership Development Program (LLDP) participated in one-on-one interviews of 40-60 minutes duration. Interview transcripts were prepared by the researcher and reviewed by the participants. After editing, those source documents were analyzed to reveal patterns and common threads in the responses. The coding scheme that best fits the data includes the following four headings: skill development, learning opportunities, strategic change management, and shared understanding of organizational vision and values. Results – According to the responses in interviews given by graduates of the Library Leadership Development Program, the library’s investment in learning has created a cohort of employees who are: self-aware and engaged, committed to learning and able to develop new skills, appreciative of change and accepting of challenges, or accountable and committed to achieving the organization’s vision and values. Conclusion – Competencies and behaviours developed through exposure to leadership development learning opportunities are changing the nature of the organization’s culture to be more collaborative, flexible, open and accepting of change and challenge, supportive of learning, able to create and use knowledge, and focussed on achieving the organization’s vision and values. These are the characteristics commonly associated with a learning organization

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