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KNOWLEDGE, KNOWING AND CHANGING IN A LIBRARY

Marjatta Maula
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Marjatta Maula: Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School, Postal: Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School, Blaagaardsgade 23 B, DK-2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark

No 8/2000, Working Papers from Copenhagen Business School, Department of Management, Politics & Philosophy

Abstract: The State & University Library (Aarhus, Denmark) has developed – as a result of a long, self-induced process where Ankerhus Konsulenter i Udviklingsledelse A/S has had a role in some parts of the process - better orientation on clients, services and technology. The Library has also dismantled its earlier patriarchaic organization. However, the directors of the Library and Ankerhus admit that the pace of change is too slow, and it seems to be difficult to speed up the process. The Library’s most important relations are the ones to the Ministry of Culture, the users (and especially the user organization), and other libraries with whom the Library cooperates and competes. The Library also uses consulting firms for various purposes. The State & University Library has cooperated with the consulting firm Ankerhus Konsulenter i Udviklingsledelse A/S from the year 1987 in several assignments. This report attempts to identify potential reasons for the slowness of the progress. For that purpose it investigates the roles of knowledge and perception (of environment) for change, by using the theoretical framework of autopoiesis theory. The study ends up to several conclusions concerning the relationship between knowledge, knowing and changing. It indicates that mere possession of relevant explicit knowledge (‘commodity knowledge’) does not facilitate change. The librarians’ professional skills (‘meta-knowledge’) to deal with knowledge are tied to traditions and rules and may even prevent changes on institutional and individual levels. Because of the historical tradition, change capability (a strategic ‘meta-meta-knowledge’) is relatively weak in the State & University Library as it may be in the libraries in general. Therefore, this report presents that there is a knowledge-knowing-changing gap in the Library that influences the pace of changes.

Keywords: Knowledge management; Change management; Competence management; Management consulting; Libraries; Public sector (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2000-07-23
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