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Institutional evaluation and its influence on organizational learning

Kuan‐Nien Chen (Kaohsiung Medical University Library, Kaohsiung, Taiwan)

Aslib Proceedings

ISSN: 0001-253X

Article publication date: 23 January 2007




The purpose of this study is to investigate the nature of organizational learning within Taiwanese Institute of Technology academic libraries, and in particular the nature of the relationship between the institutional evaluation of those libraries by the Ministry of Education and the responses of the libraries.


Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with 24 library personnel, including directors. These interviews explored issues arising from a survey of the related literature and resulted in the emergence of five important themes.


The results of this study show that few libraries seem to be achieving what might be considered an adequate level of organizational learning, largely it seems because of internal barriers and structural problems with how the evaluation is implemented.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this study apply only to the particular types of libraries studied and to the concept of evaluation and organizational learning as it applies to these types of libraries. The research implications are that library management needs to operate in a transformational manner; then continue with assistance and consistency to give support needed to all parts of the library organization so that comprehensive and meaningful choices can be made.

Practical implications

Libraries must engage more in a learning dialogue with their particular contexts, thus enhancing their capacity for true organizational learning. These implications concerning learning processes can also be applied widely to academic libraries outside Taiwan.


The contribution of the study lies in two directions: extension and development of existing conceptual frameworks in organizational learning; and examination of the use of evaluation procedures in an unusual setting.



Chen, K. (2007), "Institutional evaluation and its influence on organizational learning", Aslib Proceedings, Vol. 59 No. 1, pp. 5-25.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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