ERIC Number: ED330342
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Nov-8
Reference Count: N/A
Technological Capabilities and Human Constraints: Automation and Organizational Change in Academic Libraries.
Arguing that technological change often affects the organizational structure of library workplaces, this paper presents two alternative approaches to the implementation of change in organizational structures, provides several examples of each approach, and suggests related reading materials. It is noted that the configurational approach concentrates on the capabilities for organizational change provided by automation, while the coactivational approach focuses more on the human side of the organization, taking into account the need for communication and interaction among employees. Library managers are advised to consider both the configurational and coactivational perspectives when planning for library automation. Two caveats are given: (1) if used by itself, the configurational approach can destroy patterns of coactivation; and (2) if the coactivational approach is implemented alone, too much attention may be focused on current patterns of interaction between employees and new patterns of interaction may not be predicted that might produce motivation and productivity in a new organizational structure. It is concluded that managers may more successfully implement change in libraries if they combine a knowledge of technical capabilities with a concern for the constraints posed by patterns of human interaction. (MAB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Media Staff; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Illinois Library Association/College and Research Libraries Forum Fall Conference (Urbana, IL, November 8-9, 1990).