Career success – the perception of Open Distance Learning library middle managers

Janette Raubenheimer (Department of Information Science, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa)
Patrick Ngulube (Department of Interdisciplinary Research and Postgraduate Studies, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa)

Library Management

ISSN: 0143-5124

Publication date: 12 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to gain original evidence of the perception of Open Distance Learning (ODL) library middle managers towards the meaning of career success from the perspective of the individual.

Design/methodology/approach

This quantitative research study was conducted with the help of a survey questionnaire designed by the first researcher.

Findings

Results revealed that career success no longer only relates to criteria such as the hierarchical position or progression through high ratings obtained during performance appraisal. A high premium is placed by ODL library middle managers on other success criteria identified in the literature, such as the positive effect of their work on the institution, success achieved through a focus on work life and home life balance and personal recognition due to competence.

Research limitations/implications

The research findings presented in this paper form an important part of a comprehensive study on ODL library middle management development but is limited to the only ODL library in South Africa.

Practical implications

The paper provides current perceptions of ODL library middle managers to be considered during career path planning.

Originality/value

The paper provides the first findings of an overview of the perception of South African ODL library middle managers towards the meaning of career success. The study is timely as the number of ODL institutions is growing. The target population to benefit from this study is ODL library practitioners.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Part of this article was extracted from a larger PhD study by the first author. The authors would like to express their gratitude to Dr Helene Muller, Statistician: Unisa Institutional Research, who assisted with the interpretation of quantitative data and to the ODL library middle managers of the Unisa Library who participated in the survey.

Citation

Raubenheimer, J. and Ngulube, P. (2019), "Career success – the perception of Open Distance Learning library middle managers", Library Management, Vol. 40 No. 6/7, pp. 379-391. https://doi.org/10.1108/LM-03-2018-0021

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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