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Breaking out of “Sacred Cow” culture: The relationship of professional advice networks to receptivity to innovation in academic librarians

Advances in Library Administration and Organization

ISBN: 978-0-7623-1488-1, eISBN: 978-1-84950-528-4

ISSN: 0732-0671

Publication date: 3 June 2008

Abstract

University libraries have traditionally been the primary caretaker of scholarly resources. However, as electronic modes of information delivery replace print materials, expectations of academic libraries have evolved rapidly. In this environment, academic libraries need to be adaptable organizations. Librarianship, though, is deeply rooted in strong values and beliefs which inherently limit receptivity to change and innovation, but these constraints are not absolute. Social network research indicates that professional advice networks play a significant role in how one thinks about and performs work and that individual perspectives are broadened when diverse input is received. Based on social network analysis methods, this study explored the relationship between individual receptivity to innovation and the composition of a person's professional advice network through a purposive sample of academic librarians in Illinois. The group completed a survey that explored two dimensions: (1) the nature of relationships within their professional advice network and (2) the individual's personal receptivity to innovation. Analysis of the nature of relationships within the professional advice networks was based on a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques, in contrast to the analysis of the respondents’ receptivity to innovation which was based on quantitative measures. Based on the information from the 440 respondents, the results of this research indicate that there is a relationship between the size of the professional advice networks and individual's receptivity to innovation, but additional aspects of the professional advice network may play a role in an individual's overall receptivity to innovation.

Citation

Cervone, H.F. (2008), "Breaking out of “Sacred Cow” culture: The relationship of professional advice networks to receptivity to innovation in academic librarians", Garten, E.D., Williams, D.E., Nyce, J.M. and Golden, J. (Ed.) Advances in Library Administration and Organization (Advances in Library Administration and Organization, Vol. 26), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 71-149. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0732-0671(08)00203-4

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited