Accepting the challenge: what academic health sciences library directors do to become effective leaders

Rick L. Fought, Mitsunori Misawa

Abstract


Objective: This study sought to better understand effective leadership through the lived experiences of academic health sciences library directors.

Methods: Phenomenological interviews were conducted with eight academic health sciences library directors to capture the essence of their shared leadership experiences. The research question that guided the study was: How do academic health sciences library directors understand their leadership effectiveness? The interviews were transcribed and coded, and the data were analyzed thematically.

Results: Three main themes emerged from data after analysis: assessment of the environment, strategies and decisions, and critical skills. Assessment of the environment includes awareness not only of trends in libraries and technology, but also the trends in health information, higher education, and current events and politics of their institutions and states. The strategies and decisions theme is about the ability to think both in the long-term and short-term when leading the library. Finally, critical skills are those leadership skills that the research participants identified as most important to their leadership effectiveness.

Conclusions: The study identified three main themes capturing the essence of the research participants’ leadership experiences. The three themes constitute a wide array of leadership skills that are important to learn, understand, and develop to increase leadership effectiveness. Effective leadership is fundamental to obtaining long-term strategic goals and is critical to the long-term future of the libraries.

 This article has been approved for the Medical Library Association’s Independent Reading Program.


Keywords


Leadership; Effectiveness; Administration; Phenomenology; Academic Health Sciences Libraries; Librarianship

Full Text:

PDF HTML

References


Chemers MM. An integrative theory of leadership. In: Chemmers MM, Ayman R, eds. Leadership theory and research: perspectives and directions. San Diego, CA: Academic Press; 1993. p. 293–319.

Rosser VJ, Johnsrud LK, Heck RH. Academic deans and directors: assessing their effectiveness from individual and institutional perspectives. J High Educ. 2003 Jan/Feb;74(1):1–25. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/jhe.2003.0007.

Bolman LG, Gallos JV. Reframing academic leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass; 2011.

Wolverton M, Gmelch WH, Montez J, Nies CT. The changing nature of the academic deanship. Vol. 28; no. 1. ASHE-ERIC High Educ Rep. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers; 2001.

Fagan JC. The effectiveness of academic library deans and directors. Libr Leadersh Manag. 2012;26(1):1–19.

Fought RL, Misawa M. Effective leadership in academic health sciences libraries: a qualitative phenomenological study. J Libr Adm. 2016;56(8):974–89. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01930826.2015.1130548.

Giesecke J. Finding the right metaphor: restructuring, realigning, and repackaging today’s research libraries. J Libr Adm. 2010;51(1):54–65. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01930826.2011.531641.

Lynch BP, Murray-Rust C, Parker SE, Turner D, Walker DP, Wilkinson FC, Zimmerman J. Attitudes of presidents and provosts on the university library. Coll Res Libr. 2007 May;68(3):213–28.

Oakleaf M. Value of academic libraries: a comprehensive research review and report. Chicago, IL: Association of College and Research Libraries; 2010.

Weiner SG. Leadership of academic libraries: a literature review. Educ Libr. 2003 Winter;26(2):5–18.

Del Favero M. The social dimension of academic discipline as a discriminator of academic deans’ administrative behaviors. Rev High Educ. 2005 Fall;29(1):69–96. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/rhe.2005.0066.

Fincher C. Theory and research in administrative leadership. In: Smart JC, ed. Higher education: handbook of theory and research. Vol. 11. New York, NY: Agathon Press; 1996. p. 307–36.

Käufer S, Chemero A. Phenomenology: an introduction. Malden, MA: Polity Press; 2015.

Moustakas CE. Phenomenological research methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications; 1994.

Lester S. An introduction to phenomenological research [Internet]. Stan Lester Developments; 1999 [cited 9 Feb 2018]. .

Moran D. Introduction to phenomenology. New York, NY: Routledge; 2000.

Patton MQ. Qualitative research & evaluation methods: integrating theory and practice. 4th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications; 2015.

Seidman I. Interviewing as qualitative research: a guide for researchers in education and the social sciences. 4th ed. New York, NY: Teachers College Press; 2013.

Glesne C. Becoming qualitative researchers: an introduction. 4th ed. Boston, MA: Pearson; 2011.

Saldaña J. The coding manual for qualitative researchers. 2nd ed. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications; 2013.

Creswell JW. Qualitative inquiry and research design: choosing among five approaches. 3rd ed. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications; 2013.

Glesne C. Becoming qualitative researchers: an introduction. 5th ed. Boston, MA: Pearson; 2016.

Peskin A. In search of subjectivity—one’s own. Educ Res. 1988;17(7):17–21. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3102/0013189X017007017.

Young AP, Hernon P, Powell RR. Attributes of academic library leadership: an exploratory study of some Gen-Xers. J Acad Librariansh. 2006 Sep;32(5):489–502.

Altbach PG, Gumport PJ, Berdahl, RO. American higher education in the twenty-first century: social, political, and economic challenges. 3rd ed. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press; 2011.

Lederman D. No letup from Washington. Inside High Educ [Internet]. 2010 Apr 13 [cited 9 Feb 2018]. .

Bell S. Keeping them enrolled: how academic libraries contribute to student retention. Libr Issues. 2008 Sep;29(1):1–4.

Luther J. University investment in the library: what’s the return? a case study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. San Diego, CA: Elsevier, 2008.

Mezick EM. Return on investment: libraries and student retention. J Acad Librariansh. 2007 Sep;33(5):561–6.

Volentine R, Tenopir C. Value of academic reading and value of the library in academics’ own words. Aslib Proc. 2013;65(4):425–40.

Vance JM, Kirk R, Gardner JG. Measuring the impact of library instruction on freshman success and persistence: a quantitative analysis. Commun Inf Lit. 2012;6(1):49–58.

Hernon P, ed. Shaping the future: advancing the understanding of leadership. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited; 2010.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2018.350

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Copyright (c) 2018 Rick L. Fought

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.