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Library staff recruitment and retention for managerial positions in Vietnam

Trang Thi Huynh (School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Can Tho University, Can Tho, Vietnam)

Information and Learning Sciences

ISSN: 2398-5348

Article publication date: 10 July 2017




This paper aims to conduct an exploratory research of recruitment source and professional staff retention for succession planning, as well as suggests some experiences of keeping qualified staff in Vietnamese libraries. It stems from the context of academic and public libraries in the Mekong Delta region, Vietnam.


This research draws on transformational leadership theory initiated by Burns (1978) and expanded by Bass (1985). It was conducted through a multi-method case study approach at 13 public and 4 academic libraries in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Data collection consisted of an online survey with 162 responses and 23 in-depth semi-structured interviews.


Research result indicates that staff recruitment for managerial positions in Vietnamese libraries is mainly from within the organisation. Staff retention relies on differing factors, of which salary was considered the most important by several participants. However, succession planning itself may be a good way to keep qualified employees who would like to be promoted. For those employees attracted by high salaries rather than future managerial positions, supplemental income is believed to be a possible solution.

Research limitations/implications

A larger research coverage will be suggested to further research, so as to get further information about staff recruitment and how to retain qualified staff in Vietnamese library settings.

Practical implications

This study aims to benefit library leaders by providing good insights into which recruitment source is suitable to look for qualified staff for managerial positions in Vietnam. Most importantly, the research would inform library leaders and the local government in the Mekong Delta of the possible reasons for staff turnover. This study also helps to raise library leaders’ awareness of how to retain their qualified professional employees within a highly dynamic environment.


This research contributes to literature about qualified staff recruitment and retention in an Asian country context, which has not been discussed so far. It also helps to raise awareness of library leaders about applying some practical strategies, including succession planning, into retaining managing employees in their organisations.



Huynh, T.T. (2017), "Library staff recruitment and retention for managerial positions in Vietnam", Information and Learning Sciences, Vol. 118 No. 7/8, pp. 354-363.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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