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VOL. 1, NO.

2, Oct 2010 E-ISSN 2218-6301

Journal of Emerging Trends in Computing and Information Sciences

©2009-2010 CIS Journal. All rights reserved.


A Systems Approach for Dealing with Resistance to Change: With Reference

to Library and Information Professionals Working in Academic and
Research Sector Libraries in India
Kshema Prakash
Deputy Librarian
Indian Institute of Technology Rajasthan, Camp Office: MBM Engineering College
Jodhpur – 342011, Rajasthan, India
Email: kshemaprakash@gmail.com

Library and information landscape is changing rapidly and continuously in response to the dynamic changes in the
environment. This paper attempts to identify the causes of resistance among library and information professionals in India
and suggests measures of improvement for a smooth transition in this scenario. The authors examine the concept of
systems approach and its application to library and information field. A systems model for dealing with resistance among
the library and information professionals for a positive acceptance of change and rendering better service is recommended.

Keywords: Change Management, Resistance, Library and Information Professionals (LIPs), Systems Approach.

Change is the order of the world. It is the change,
particularly, developmental changes that have been key
drivers in societal transformation at large. The present
stage of the society is that of information based knowledge
society. Libraries are in existence ever since the recorded
knowledge has started to be preserved for future. The
traditional concept of library is being redefined from a
place to access paper records or books to one that also
houses the most advanced media. Libraries are changing in
response to changes in the learning and research
environment and also changes in the expectations of
library users. These changes are evolutionary.
Consequently, Library and Information Professionals
(LIPs) are increasingly combining traditional duties with
tasks involving changing technology. Traditional library
performance measures fail to explain fully what is Fig. 1 Nature of change in information services (Source:
happening in libraries today because their scope is too Pugh, L., 2007)
narrow to encompass the field of change.
Characteristics of emerging library and information
2. LITERATURE REVIEW environment: Modern library and information
environment is characterized by electronic
Nature of Change in Information Services: According communication, both synchronous and asynchronous,
to Lyndon Pugh [1] the nature of change in information web-based information sources, multimedia information,
services characterized by the factors like diversity and and is uncontrolled largely as a result of the Internet
unpredictability of the services and staffing of libraries, facilitating information creation, distribution and access.
they are cross-boundary specialization, the structural Accordingly, typical user expectations of the present day
change in library and information services, the amount of include – everything in full text and downloadable or
complexity driven by mixed economy, personalization of printable; faster service; uninterrupted service availability,
library and information services, competition and/or virtual reference service librarian available online, easy
collaboration with network giants like Google etc. All access; easy-to-use web resources permitting self-service;
these constantly demand new skills and competencies over a librarian who knows all subjects and all databases;
the traditional ones. everything should be in electronic or digital format;
several options / alternatives to choose from; a library web
site that is capable to conduct all library transactions
online viz., library registration, document delivery request,
loans and renewals, etc.; and a web search engine to find
required information.

VOL. 1, NO. 2, Oct 2010 E-ISSN 2218-6301
Journal of Emerging Trends in Computing and Information Sciences

©2009-2010 CIS Journal. All rights reserved.

Dynamics of Library and Information Profession: The learning process.
next few decades will continue to be ones of transition and Changes in Increase in Advising users on
role redefinition for the LIPs. Even as they grow and make scholarly journal costs, publishing and
an effort to stay current in the rapidly changing technology communication shift from journal cost-
environment, they will always be faced with the challenge acquisition to effectiveness,
of simultaneous learning, implementation and planning. access and finding alternatives
The LIPs can no longer afford to remain institutionalized licensing to print resources,
passive spectators, instead they have to find new ways to models, increasing e-
add value and remain relevant in this rapidly changing changing resource
confusing and competitive environment. All the activities preservation subscriptions,
will now have to be tailored to give long distance and methods, resource sharing
often home delivered information, which is the demand of archiving, and cooperative
time. Following table illustrates some sources of copyright and acquisitions,
challenges faced by the LIPs in the present environment. access developing
restrictions institutional
Table 1: Sources of challenges faced or implications on repositories and
Library and Information Professionals due to various encouraging open
attributes, and their responses to them. (Adopted from: access publications
Cardina, C. and Wicks, D., 2004 [2]) and open archive
Attribute Impact / Response initiatives.
Developments Self-sufficient Innovation-driven The biggest challenge for Indian librarianship is to
in ICTs users, less and customer bring about attitudinal change among the library staff.
library use, oriented, Libraries and librarians are still the lowest priority in the
reluctance to use development of decision making process and the librarians are least visible
physical electronic and persons. If this main challenge is confronted by librarians
materials digital collections, and libraries in real earnest it is only then that one can
providing proactive expect all the necessary changes within the system itself.
support and training But a serious pre-requisite to overcome this challenge is to
to users. upgrade the competencies and skills of the library and
Changing Demand for Adopting consortial information professionals, since it is imperative to become
economy speedy delivery power to obtain deserving before asking for something. Ingraining these
of information better prices of competencies will motivate the LIPs to serve their
and increasing information customers in a better manner, thus helping them to
e-commerce resources, self- contribute towards reaching organizational goal. A major
sustenance through road block in this task often confronted by LIPs is the
marketing of library resistance to change.
services, and
adapting business Resistance to Change: Change is a ubiquitous element of
system design organizational life; so too is resistance to change.
methods to library Understanding why and how opposition to change occurs,
management. and developing the ability to respond effectively to
Changing Life-long Making the library manifestations of change resistance, is crucial to the
education and learning fully accessible both success or failure of organizational change.
learning emphasis, physically and Change, in organizations as elsewhere, involves
environment information intellectually via moving from a known state to a new state – one that is to
divide – info electronic networks, some degree unknown. Change involves letting go of
rich and info and by providing things as they are in order to take up new ways of doing
poor due to ICT support for things. Organizational change challenges the statusquo
monopoly of remote users like and it may challenge the values and perceived rights of
publishers and off-campus users or workers and workgroups. People working in organizations
copyright, distance learners on respond to change in many different ways. For some,
subject a 24-hour basis, change is welcome – fresh and exciting. These people, the
specialization developing co- early adopters and change leaders, tend to welcome and
diversity operative online embrace change enthusiastically. Others may be more
learning and cautious – responding to change by seeking to test and
educational examine changes before proceeding. For some, change
programmes, may threaten their established values and understandings
incorporating into and therefore be deeply unsettling. For this latter group
the teaching and change is something to be strongly resisted.

VOL. 1, NO. 2, Oct 2010 E-ISSN 2218-6301
Journal of Emerging Trends in Computing and Information Sciences

©2009-2010 CIS Journal. All rights reserved.

The action of opposing something that we disapprove Internet and electronic resources. Libraries today
or disagree with can be called as ‘resistance’. Introduction are increasingly acquiring and providing access to
to change is a highly complex process. The uncertainties electronic resources of any kind. This results in
caused by the expected change and in-equilibrium, as a increasing expenditures of money and workload
consequence of changes, sometimes results in resistance to for librarians without any certainty about the
change. The resistance may adversely affect the positive preservation of these resources.
features of an individual or organization and make the vi) Lack of quality: A major concern among
individual or the organization counter-productive. librarians seemed to be that of the poor quality of
Resistance to change arises from individual’s attitude information delivered by Internet resources which
rather than technical issues of change. are not controlled or short of organization. There
1) Causes of Resistance to Change in Library and is no overall structure on the Internet that allows
Information Centres: Some of the causes of resistance to reference librarians to navigate to quality
the changes occurring in the environment and resistance information claiming for the definition of
towards acceptance of these changes in the present library standards for the description and classification of
and information scenario can be explained as follows: Internet resources.
i) Fear of change: It is recognized that change, vii) Competition of search engines and commercial
above all technological change, often produces tools etc.: Finally it seems that since the advent
fear and anxiety in Library and Information and development of the World Wide Web
Professionals. Internet related technologies are (WWW), users have been migrating to
pushing them towards the establishments of new commercial services and search engines to fulfill
information spaces such as digital libraries, their information needs, tools that are thus seen as
technology centres, and learning resource centres. concurrents to reference librarians’ work. WWW
Here it becomes necessary to involve staff with appears to be the major information provider to
varying levels of knowledge and expertise. patrons, librarians should work towards offering
However, there are many difficulties in letting viable alternatives to their commercial
people accept change. Some will be optimistic competitors [3].
and proactive, while others will feel threatened
and react with resistance. 3. THE RESEARCH STUDY
ii) ICT as a sense of lost control: The Internet has Methodology: A study of library and information
also represented for some professionals a sort of professionals was conducted by administering a structured
attack on the prestige of their career. With the questionnaire. The objectives are to find causes of
technologies readily available at every one’s resistance among the LIPs towards change and to suggest
desk, some librarians began to feel left on the measures for a smooth transition.
margins, because patrons really seemed to make • Profile of respondents: The respondents for the
it work without their help. It was like a direct survey were Library and Information Professionals
assault to the role of gatekeepers which librarians (LIPs) of academic institutions (universities) and
had assumed believing they knew better than research organizations. They are serving in
those whom they serve. executive/managerial cadre in these information
iii) Unsure scenarios: Unpredictable future regarding centres.
the role of library and information professionals • Data Characteristics: One hundred (100) copies of
that creates a sense of uncertainty among questionnaire were administered to randomly selected
professionals. LIPs and valid responses were received from 88 LIPs
iv) Technostress: Another important issue related to across India after pursuasion.
technology when we deal with networking, is a. Library wise distribution: The libraries were
technostress. Today librarians have to shift their categorized into two groups viz., academic and
focus from relatively stable and knowable local research libraries. Out of 88 valid responses, 42
collections to a plethora of information sources (47.73%) were from academic libraries and 46
with diverse characteristics located anywhere on (52.27%) were from research libraries.
the global information network. A variety of new b. Age wise distribution: The age of respondents
tasks, skills and competencies are required by was categorized into two classes. 20-40 years
those who in general understand the benefits that category is for young professionals, whereas 40-
applications of modern technologies are meant to 60 is for senior professionals. 37.50% (33)
achieve. Technostress affects staff and users as respondents are in the age group of 25-40 and
libraries offer more and more information 63.5% (55) respondents are in the age group of
through websites and other remotely accessible 41-60 years.
electronic systems. c. Qualification wise distribution: The
v) Lack of standardization: Several authors have qualifications are classified into four levels as
lamented over the years the lack of follows.
(classification, cataloguing, retrieval) standards
when their working life comes to terms with the

VOL. 1, NO. 2, Oct 2010 E-ISSN 2218-6301
Journal of Emerging Trends in Computing and Information Sciences

©2009-2010 CIS Journal. All rights reserved.

i. B.L.I.S –Bachelors in Library and positive or negative response to a statement. This
information science with a master’s degree in technique presents a set of attitude statements. Subjects are
any other subject. asked to express agreement or disagreement of a five-point
ii. M.L.I.S – Masters in Library and information scale. Each degree of agreement is given a numerical
Science with or without any other master’s value from one to five. Thus a total numerical value can be
degree. calculated from all the responses. Since these statements
iii. M.Phil – Master of philosophy in library and are also related to attitude towards change i.e., resistance,
information science. Likert scaling technique was used.
iv. Ph.D. – Doctorate in Library and information R1: Lack of proper attitude of LIPs towards change
Science. Many times when the employees fail to comprehend
v. Others changes happening around and in their profession it is
According to the results, 1.14 % of respondents observed that they do not display proper attitude towards
carry a bachelor’s degree in Library and change. They may not participate actively, rather choose
Information Science with a master’s degree in to be passive. This may result in resistance. From the 79
some other subject. 55.68% of respondents (89.76%) responses generated, for weights 1 and 2,
possess a master’s degree in Library and indicate that the professionals agree that lack of proper
Information Science with or without another attitude towards change results in resistance.
maters degree. 5.68% respondents are Master of R2: Poor motivation
Philosophy in Library and information science. Motivation is both internal as well as external factor. Also
Whereas 35.23% of respondents hold doctorate in it can be positive and negative. When there is very low
Library and Information Science. Those having motivation either internally or externally an employee may
other qualifications constitute to 2.27% of the not understand completely the need for change and may
sample. resist. Even when there is some negative motivation or
d. Gender wise distribution: Out of 88 discouragement, resistance may creep in. From the 73
respondents 18 were women and 70 were men. (82.96%) responses generated, for weights 1 and 2,
That corresponds to 20.45% of female indicate that the respondents agree that poor motivation in
respondents and 79.55% male respondents. the employees causes resistance, while 7 (8%) of them
Primary Data Findings: The causes of resistance faced cannot determine whether this is a cause and 8 (9%) of
by the library information professionals have been them do not agree to the statement.
identified based on the systems approach as discussed R3: Inadequate training to support change
earlier. Accordingly ten statements relating to the causes Change that has been planned by the authorities, if
of resistance faced by them were framed. The statements implemented without fulfilling the prerequisites like
are: providing the employees with necessary training to accept
R1. Lack of proper attitude towards change causes and support the desired change, such a situation leaves
resistance. ample scope for resisting change in employees. From the
R2. Poorly motivated personnel pose resistance to 71 (80.68%) responses generated for weights 1 and 2, it is
change. indicated that the professionals feel inadequate training
R3. Inadequate training causes resistance. leads to resistance. While 8 (9%) of them could not decide
R4. Difficulty in understanding fast and complex whether this can be cause, 9 (10%) of them do not agree to
changes in the environment sets off resistance. this fact.
R5. Deep rooted dogmas and technophobia produce R4: Difficulty in understanding fast and complex
resistance towards technology coupled change. changes
R6. Underdeveloped competencies cause resistance The pace of changes taking place in the external and
for the transformed environment. internal environments in which libraries operate is very
R7. Unavailability of adequate resources and rapid. Even before a new technology can be completely
infrastructural facilities triggers resistance. understood and implemented it becomes obesolete due to
R8. Lack of customer orientation creates resistance. proliferation of another competent technology. This
R9. Absence of management support causes creates a lag in understanding, appreciating and accepting
resistance. the change. The 62 (70.46%) responses generated for
R10. Resistance is raised due to absence of weights 1 and 2, indicate that the library and information
supportive / conducive work atmosphere. professionals agree that difficulty in understanding the fast
The responses to these statements elicited by the and complex changes taking place in the information
library and information professionals in the questionnaire environment produce resistance. Out of 88 respondents 10
were used to collect information regarding resistance (11%) of them opted to be neutral, whereas, 16 (18.18%)
posed by the LIPs and are summarized below. For of them did not agree to this reason.
convenience, the statements are coded as R1, R2, R5: Deep rooted dogmas and technophobia
R3….R10. This statement relates to the set traditions, procedures,
Responses are categorized on a five point Likert scale methods etc. that have been followed by librarians since
from Strongly Agree (1) to Strongly Disagree (5). Likert ages. These traditional methods of managing libraries may
scaling is a bipolar scaling method, measuring either not match with the current requirements if the library has

VOL. 1, NO. 2, Oct 2010 E-ISSN 2218-6301
Journal of Emerging Trends in Computing and Information Sciences

©2009-2010 CIS Journal. All rights reserved.

to remain relevant in the society. Similarly these deep receive support from his management in terms of
rooted doctrines and dogmas may have an impact on the identification, acknowledgement and appreciation, he may
employee to make him a technophobe. These may one of not continue to provide the same. In turn he may pose
the probable reasons to pose resistance. The 56 (63.63%) resistance to any further change initiatives. As many as 76
responses generated for weights 1 and 2, indicate that the (86.36%) respondents agree that absence of management
respondents agree that deep rooted dogmas and support will cause resistance among the library and
technophobia could form a probable cause for resistance information professionals. While 5 (6%) of them do not
among the professionals to embrace change. While 15 lament anything upon this statement, 7 (7.95%) of them
(17%) of them have chosen to remain non-committal to show disagreement.
any opinion, 17 (19%) out of 88 respondents do not agree R10: Lack of conducive work atmosphere
with this view. Work atmosphere plays a vital role in productivity of
R6: Underdeveloped competencies employees. It also influences the attitude of employees.
Improved education and training are necessary to assist Improper work atmosphere may cause stress and burnout
individuals in developing the competencies they will need in library and information professionals. That too in wake
on the job. The competencies required by a library and of so many changes taking place rapidly, lack of
information professional have been discussed in the conducive work atmosphere can overstress them. As a
previous sections. The concept of core competencies result they may not be interested in facing any further
involves knowledge, which should be acquired through changes, thus posing resistance even to positive or
formal education and training; skills or abilities, which are productive changes. As many as 71 (80.68%) respondents
acquired through practice; and attitudes, which involve agree that if the work environment is not conducive to the
emotional and social aspects. Underdevelopment of such professionals, they will mount resistance. 5 (6%) of them
essential competencies may lead to lack of comprehension do not say anything about it, whereas, 12 (13.63%) show
of change and its subsequent acceptance. This may inturn disagreement to this statement.
lead to resistance [4]. The 65 (73.86%) responses
generated for the weights 1 and 2, indicate that 4. RESULTS & DISCUSSION
underdevelopment of competencies can lead to resistance Data Analysis: Data analysis is conducted in three phases
in library and information professional, towards change. as follows:
Also, 8 (9%) of 88 respondents did not comment anything A. Semantic Differential Profile
upon it and 15 (16.91%) of them chose to disagree to this B. Factor Analysis - to identify the significant
statement. combination of causes of resistance to change
R7: Inavailability of adequate resources surfaced by the professionals.
Acceptance of change is a process involving various steps. C1. Comparison of mean scores of responses of
Although the employees are competent enough, they are academic sector and research sector to test the
trained and motivated to an optimal level to accept change difference of opinions between groups, which is
to implement technologically advanced quality services in further validated by z-test.
libraries, if adequate resources are not provided to C2. Comparison of mean scores of responses of junior
implement the desired services, this may prove fatal. Such and senior age groups corresponding to 20-40 yrs.
a situation will lead to considerable resistance to change. and 40-60 yrs. respectively, further validated by z-
Out of 88 (100%), 65 (73.86%) respondents think that non test.
availability of adequate resources and infrastructure will The data collected from the responses are analyzed by
lead to resistance, while 8 (9%) cannot opine anything using suitable statistical techniques such as Mean
regarding this statement. 15 (16.91%) of respondents do Comparison, t-test and z-test using MS Excel and SPSS
not agree to this factor being a cause of resistance to packages. Mean score comparison was carried out based
change amongst library and information professionals. on type of libraries and age. A majority of respondents
R8: Lack of customer orientation were male members and there was a skewness towards the
When a library and information professional is unaware or qualification of master’s degree and above among the
does not seek to understand his customer / users’ respondents. Due to this skewed distribution of profiles of
requirement, he will not be in a position to extend service respondents, mean score comparison based on these two
as per the users’ needs. When he is not willing to alter the categories was not done.
way in which he provides service, he fails to customize
service according to the users’ needs. This is a form of A. Semantic Differential Profile: Semantic differential
resistance to change and customization of service. 69 profile is a graphical representation of the mean
(78.4%) out of 88 (100%) respondents feel that lack of weights of the responses given by the respondents
customer orientation is a cause for resistance towards related to causes of resistance in the questionnaire. The
change, while 5 (6%) of them cannot say anything semantic differential profile of the probable causes of
regarding this. But 14 (16.36%) of them have opposed this resistance to change, surfaced by the library and
view. information professionals indicates that there is general
R9: Absence of management support agreement regarding the statements related to causes of
Inspite of the professional’s willingnes to provide new or resistance. They agree strongly on the following
customized services to the users’, he may sometimes not aspects.

VOL. 1, NO. 2, Oct 2010 E-ISSN 2218-6301
Journal of Emerging Trends in Computing and Information Sciences

©2009-2010 CIS Journal. All rights reserved.

• Lack of proper attitude towards change. R5 - Technophobia .677 .366 .342
• Inadequate training. R6 – Competencies .582 .123 .561
R7 – Resources and infrastructure .040 .106 .889
• Non-availability of adequate resources and R8 – Customer orientation .314 .692 -.020
infrastructural facilities.
R9 – Management support -.101 .792 .341
• Absence of management support. R10 – Work atmosphere .135 .790 .170
Factor 1 is Personal Attributes. It has a positive
loading with Lack of proper attitude, Poor motivation,
Difficulty in understanding fast and complex changes
in the environment, Deep rooted dogmas and
technophobia, and Underdeveloped competencies.
This explains that the respondents have a consensus
regarding the facts that lack of proper attitude towards
change, difficulty in understanding fast and complex
changes taking place in the information environment
cause building barriers or resistance to change. They
also agree that poorly motivated personnel, with
ingrained technophobia due to deep rooted dogmas
pose resistance towards technology coupled change
initiatives. There is a common agreement regarding
underdeveloped competencies being a resisting factor.
Fig. 2: Semantic Differential Profile for responses related to Factor 2 is Work Environment. It has a positive
resistance posed by library and information professionals loading with Lack of customer orientation, Absence
of management support, and Absence of conducive
B. Factor Analysis: Factor analysis was deployed to find work atmosphere. The consensus of respondents over
out the significant factors that cause mounting of this factor indicates that support from higher
resistance from the library and information authorities or management, and creation and
professionals towards change. Using data from the maintenance of a conducive or suitable work
large sample, factor analysis applies an advanced form atmosphere plays a major role in managing resistance.
of correlation analysis to the responses to a number of Lest, absence of management support and conducive
statements. The purpose of this analysis is to determine work atmosphere will become sources of resistance
if the responses to the statements are highly correlated. among library and information professionals. Also
The results of the factor analysis are as follows. they agree that lack of customer or user oriented
thinking serves in building up resistance.
Table 2: Total Variance Explained Factor 3 relates to Support Facilities. This shows a
Co Initial Eigen Values Rotation Sums of positive loading with Inadequate training,
mpo Squared Loadings
Underdeveloped competencies, and non-availability
nent Total % of Cumul Total % of Cumu
Varian ative % Varian lative of adequate resources and infrastructural facilities.
ce ce % The analysis indicates that management support and
1 3.912 39.123 39.123 2.443 24.434 24.434 provision of adequate infrastructural facilities by
2 1.398 13.980 53.103 2.080 20.803 45.237 management plays a major role in bringing about
3 .989 9.888 62.991 1.775 17.755 62.991 change. Absence or lack of these components will
4 .865 8.655 71.646 contribute to mounting up resistance. The
5 .657 6.568 78.214 professionals also feel that inadequate training to
6 .638 6.381 84.595 develop skills to face challenges brought in by
7 .589 5.887 90.482 changes, will also contribute towards building up
8 .439 4.386 94.868 resistance in library and information centres.
9 .319 3.188 98.056 The three factors have Eigen values equal to or
10 .194 1.944 100.000 greater that 1.0 indicating that they best fit the data
obtained from the responses to the challenges in part 2 of
Three factors were extracted using principal component the questionnaire. Also, the three factors together explain
analysis and varimax rotation.
almost 62.99% of the total variance in the responses to the
Table 3: Factor Loading of Causes of Resistance
Component C1. Comparison of mean scores – Academic vs.
1 2 3 Research: The mean scores of the responses elicited
R1- Attitude .682 -.151 .127 to the statements relating to challenges in the part 2 of
R2 – Motivation .719 .195 -.066 questionnaire are tabulated below in two categories
R3 – Training .255 .234 .539 viz. Academic Library Professionals and Research
R4 –Fast and complex changes .687 .271 .313

VOL. 1, NO. 2, Oct 2010 E-ISSN 2218-6301
Journal of Emerging Trends in Computing and Information Sciences

©2009-2010 CIS Journal. All rights reserved.

Library Professionals followed by its graphical 7 6 4
representation for a clear picture. 2.19047 1.08735 1.01510
R8 6 2.23913 7 3 -0.18 NS
Table 4: Mean Score of Academic and Research Sector 1.76190 1.86956 0.88465
R9 5 5 0.84995 2 -0.6 NS
LIPs R1 2.10869 1.03769
0 1.97619 6 0.84995 5 -0.66 NS
Type R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10
R1 to R10 – Attributes related to causes of resistance
Library 1.83 2.05 2 2.09 2.29 2.19 1.67 2.19 1.76 1.98 A-MS (x1)– Mean Scores of Academic Sector Responses
Research R-MS (x2) – Mean Scores of Research Sector Responses
Library 1.83 1.78 2 2.33 2.37 2.24 2 2.24 1.87 2.11 A-SD (σA) – Standard Deviation of Mean Scores of Academic
Sector Responses
R-SD (σR) - Standard Deviation of Mean Scores of Research
Sector Responses
ZC – Z Critical Value
ZS – Z Static Value (Calculated)
αLevel of significance of difference in variance
Sig / NSig – Significant / Not Significant
µ - The mean of the population

Fig. 3: Comparison of mean scores of responses elicited by LIPs

of academic and research sectors

The above graph indicates that inspite of majority

consensus between both the groups towards the general Fig. 4 Sampling distribution of difference between means
nature of the causes of resistance to change, there is little
difference in their opinions in certain areas like poor If the difference between the observed sample means
motivation in professionals, difficulty in understanding falls within the acceptance region it inferences that there is
fast and complex changes, non-availability of adequate no difference between population means scores of
resources and infrastructural facilities. responses. There were no significant differences observed
In order to explain the difference, a two-tailed z-test between the mean scores of two groups for each of the ten
for each attribute was further carried out with 0.05 level of attributes relating to causes of resistance faced by library
significance. A z-test is a statistical test used in and information professionals except for R7. It indicates
inferencing if the difference between two population that the professionals have a common consensus over
means is significant based on the difference between two majority of the issues in this part of the questionnaire.
sample means. According to the Central Limit Theorem, 1. There is not much significant difference between the
the sampling distribution of difference between means mean scores of the responses elicited by professionals
approach that of a normal distribution as the samples are belonging to academic and research groups regarding
large. The table below gives the difference between the Z the statements related to causes of resistance from R1
scores. through R6. There is general agreement upon these.
Table 5: Z test for Resistance related statements 2. There is a significant difference in responses related
Zc = α= to the statement R7. It may be due to nature of their
+1.96 0.05
Sig /
parent organization. Research institutions and
A-MS R-MS Zs NSi organizations are generally well equipped and
(x1) (x2) A-SD σΑ R-SD σR Value g facilitated. This implies to their support facilities also.
1.82926 1.82608 0.91930 0.67673 Hence their library and information centres are well
R1 8 7 5 6 0.017 NS
equipped with required resources when compared to
2.04761 1.78260 1.01097
R2 9 9 3 0.75757 1.402 NS academic set up.
0.98711 0.89442 3. There is no significant variance between the mean
R3 2 2 2 7 0 NS scores of academic and research library professionals
2.09523 2.32608 1.05482 1.01224 for resistance related statements from R8 to R10.
R4 8 7 7 4 -1.054 NS
2.28571 2.36956 1.13235 1.01890
R5 4 5 6 3 -0.36 NS C2. Comparison of mean scores – Junior vs. Senior
2.19047 0.99359 1.03676 Age Groups: The mean scores of the responses
R6 6 2.23913 2 4 -0.23 NS elicited to the statements relating to challenges in the
R7 1.66666 2 0.72133 0.84327 -2.07 S part 1 of questionnaire are tabulated below in two

VOL. 1, NO. 2, Oct 2010 E-ISSN 2218-6301
Journal of Emerging Trends in Computing and Information Sciences

©2009-2010 CIS Journal. All rights reserved.

categories viz. Junior Age Group and Senior Age Sig / NSig – Significant / Not Significant
Group followed by its graphical representation for a
clear picture. From the above table, it is evident that there is no
Table 6: Mean scores of Junior and Senior Age Groups significant difference between the observed sample means
R1 of the two groups based on age. However, inspite of
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 0 general agreement with respect to the causes of resistance
to change, the respondents also suggested some measures
Grou for a smooth transition. These suggestions were analyzed
p in detail using content analysis method. Major suggestions
(20- 1.7 2.0 1.8 2.1 2.2 2.2 1.9 2.1 1.7 1.8 that emerged related to administrative support, employee
40) 6 3 5 2 1 1 1 2 6 5
development programmes, lifelong learning, and personal
or attributes etc.
(40- 1.8 1.8 2.0 2.2 2.4 2.2 1.8 2.2 1.8 2.1
60) 7 4 7 7 0 2 0 7 5 6

Fig. 5 Comparison of mean scores of responses elicited by

LIPs – Age wise
Table 6: Z test - Resistance related statements - Age wise
Zc =
+1.96 α = 0.05
Junior Senior
Grou Group J-SD S-SD Sig /
p MS MS (σJ) (σS) Zs Value NSig
1.870 0.613 0.891 Fig. 6 Content Analysis of Suggested Measures
R1 1.758 4 9 2 -0.76 NS
1.836 0.876
R2 2.03 4 0.918 9 1.05 NS The measures for improvement as suggested by the
2.074 0.712 1.043 respondents to face the challenges and manage resistance
R3 1.848 1 4 4 -1.27 NS indicate requirement of more attention in certain areas.
2.272 0.892 1.113
R4 2.121 7 9 1 -0.71 NS
These are management support and administrative
1.023 1.098 measures, promoting employee development programmes,
R5 2.212 2.4 4 8 -0.84 NS readiness for lifelong learning, improving upon personal
2.218 0.992 1.030 attributes of employees, change management related
R6 2.212 2 4 8 0.00 NS measures like change orientation, readiness for change,
0.842 0.779
R7 1.909 1.8 7 4 0.58 NS resistance management. Also the Information &
2.272 0.992 1.079 Communications Technology (ICT) related measures,
R8 2.121 7 4 3 -0.68 NS honing management skills, improving work culture,
1.854 0.791 0.911 networking and partnership initiatives, changes in LIS
R9 1.758 5 8 2 -0.55 NS
curriculum, service orientation and customer orientation
R1 2.163 0.833 0.995
0 1.848 6 7 6 -1.68 NS also need a significant attention.
R1 to R10 – Attributes related to causes of resistance in part 2 of
questionnaire The following four areas discussed here showed a
Junior Group MS (x1) – Mean Scores of Junior Group Responses good precedence over the rest. These are related to
Senior Group MS (x2) – Mean Scores of Senior Group Responses administrative measures, employee development, lifelong
J- SD (σJ) – Standard Deviation of Mean Scores of Academic learning and personal attributes. Amongst the suggestive
Sector Responses measures, administrative measures and Employee
S-SD (σS) - Standard Deviation of Mean Scores of Research Development Programmes gained larger consensus over
Sector Responses
all others. 54 suggestions for administrative measures and
ZC – Z Critical Value
ZS – Z Static Value (Calculated) 53 suggestions for Employee Development Programme
α − Level of significance of difference in variance were received.

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©2009-2010 CIS Journal. All rights reserved.

In administrative measures, respondents suggested
that there is a need for empowering library and Systems Approach in Library & Information Services:
information professionals with decision making positions Academic institutions and research organizations can be
in organizations. They also suggested that the management viewed as complex knowledge systems consisting of
should positively provide incentives to LIPs. Such steps by several interconnected subsystems that work in synergy
management or administration will motivate the and harmony with each other in order to achieve this
employees to take up challenges and initiate new / vision and mission. One of these subsystems is the library,
customized services to the patrons as well as perform well where every LIP can be viewed as a systemic entity in
in their jobs. Suggestions were also received in terms of himself.
promoting participative management, skill based job
assignment to employees, etc. Organization
To meet challenges, pressure from authorities to
perform better and also to meet user expectations a
systematic employee development programme is
absolutely essential. This will not only help employees to
integrate with the vision, mission, and key strategic
directions of the library and organization, but also help the
library towards becoming a learning organization because
“learning organizations are skilled at creating, acquiring
and transferring knowledge, and at modifying behaviour to
reflect new insights” [5]. Next higher score was for
lifelong learning with 39 suggestions. The attribute of
lifelong learning can be associated with the concept of
Fig. 7 Organizational System
learning organization because organizations are made of
up of employees. Organizations can become learning The immediate operational environment of LIPs is
organizations if its employees adopt lifelong learning impacted upon by changes in the external environment.
attitude. Thus, the challenges faced by them and their subsequent
Thirty five (35) suggestions were received under the resistance to them are a result of these changes. Owing to
category of personal attributes. They include attitudinal the systems nature of libraries and LIPs, adopting systems
change, readiness to face challenges boldly, inculcate thinking is recommended to be adopted in order to face
reading habit themselves to promote good reading habits these challenges and successfully dealing with resistance.
in users, learning from the changing environment,
proactive nature, self-motivation, work commitment, and External Environment
welcoming criticism. These attributes can be either self-
developed or gained through training. It is desirable that
the professionals improve and sharpen their personal
attributes as they prove to be of help during chaotic
situations also.

Fig. 8 Operational Environment of LIPs

According to systems thinking approach each entity in

a system is interconnected with every other entity and the
behaviour of the system as a whole is shaped by the
interconnectedness of these entities. It also advocates that
the whole is bigger than the sum of individual entities [6].
Therefore interconnectedness can be achieved by not
isolating oneself from the system and by viewing oneself
as a part of it i.e., to see the “big picture”.
Some of the previous studies conducted using systems
approach, are as follows.
• Peter Checkland [7] reports application of Soft
Systems Methodology (SSM) in achieving desirable

VOL. 1, NO. 2, Oct 2010 E-ISSN 2218-6301
Journal of Emerging Trends in Computing and Information Sciences

©2009-2010 CIS Journal. All rights reserved.

and feasible change in the information and library • Somerville, M.M. and Mirjamdotter, A. [13] present
function of a U.K. based company in a science based an applied model for cultivating ‘better thinking’ for
industry. SSM uses systems models in an organized working smarter within dynamically changing
learning system to improve and make more apparent information organizations through systems thinking
the process by which ‘what obviously ought to be and application of Soft Systems Methodology (SSM).
done’ emerges for particular people at a particular • Somerville, M.M. [14] and others report application
situation with its own unique history. of Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) tools and
• John Knowles [8] presents how a soft-systems information literacy principles and practices to
analysis was carried out for a CD-ROM network for a advance data driven dialogue on design and
multi-site polytechnic at Liverpool Polytechnic development of enhanced information and knowledge
Library Services. The project involved looking at management tools at California Polytechnic State
effects of current situation on the users, in terms of University, California. They report about the library
antagonism between different types of users, practitioners’ increased confidence and capability to
antagonism between library staff and management, predict productivity enhancement and continuous
and the general increase in pressure on staff dealing learning as they assume new roles as architects of
with the running of the current CD-ROM system. The digital information and knowledge learning spaces.
study concludes with a system specification for the • Delbridge, R. and Fisher, S. [15] provide an overview
recommended CD-ROM network. of soft systems methodology (SSM) and review the
• Sulaiman Al-Hassan and A.J. Meadows [9] studied ways in which the methodology has been applied by
application of soft systems methodology for managers and researchers to gain a broad
improving library personnel management in Kuwait. understanding of library and information service
Their study conducted between 1989-91 considering activity.
the pre and post Gulf war issues in Kuwait’s libraries,
focused on the investigation of experiences of Systems Approach for Dealing with Resistance to
recruitment, training, appraisal, job satisfaction and Change: On similar grounds, systems approach can be
conditions of service. They have stated that the “study applied to managing change in library and information
has shown that soft systems methodology can be centres in India also. Systems thinking can be applied for
usefully applied to the examination of library dealing with resistance in LIPs, as detailed further.
personnel management”. Systems’ thinking allows library and information work to
• Gilbert Tan [10] explains how managers can foster be effective and innovative because library is a part of
and sustain creativity in their organizations using a bigger environment and is interconnected with other
total systems approach. He depicts the organization as departments and units, it cannot function as an isolated
having four subsystems viz., culture, techno-structural entity. LIPs should view themselves as an integral part of
subsystems, management and people. Each system the organizational system. In response to the changing
will create unique barriers to creativity. The suggested environment, there is a need to develop attitudes and
framework identifies three types of interventions – competencies in such a manner that they correspond to the
cultural, organization and design, and training changing requirements of the organization, changing
development that can help the ingredients of technology and user expectations. When LIPs take this
creativity, foundations, competencies, and support. view, it helps them to situate library as proactive and not
• Christian Boissonnas [11] addresses the issue of reactive to changes. This requires strong and effective
technical services to re-emphasize it to be a reader leadership.
service, which is often seen as something other than a
reader service. According to this study, the
implementation of digital libraries cannot be
successful without a comprehensive system-wide
approach that calls for people with different
experiences and expertise to work together across,
rather than in, functional gropus. This systems
approach assumes a level of organizational readiness
that can be achieved through the deep integration of
separate functions.
• Giesecke, J. and McNiel, B. [12] explore in their
article why organizations consider attempting to
become learning organizations. They include an
overview of the theory of learning organizations,
present steps to becoming one, and describe examples
of learning organization efforts at the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries and other libraries. They
adopt Peter Senge’s principles which include ‘systems

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©2009-2010 CIS Journal. All rights reserved.

approach. Positive stand from LIPs for change will enable
the authorities also to offer continuous support in terms of
corroboration for their development and better services
Some of the important recommendations are as detailed

The following competencies and attitudes are

recommended to be developed by LIPs.
• Competencies: Library and information professionals
require two types of competencies in this changing
environment. They are – Professional and Personal.
‘Professional Competencies’ in LIPs are:
o To align with organizational vision, mission and
also with key stake holders.
o To assess and communicate the value of
information organization. This competency can
be linked to knowledge management related
Fig. 9 Systems Approach to Meet Various Challenges o To build a dynamic collection of information
resources based on deep understanding of users.
Effective library leaders should possess qualities like self- Thus, suggestive measures received pertaining to
awareness, embracing change, customer focus, service and customer orientation can be leveraged
collaborative spirit, courage and truthfulness, vision, in terms of developing innovative methods to
dreams, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, restructure and customize services as per
planning, trust, values, passion for work, caring for customers’ requirements.
colleagues, communication, transformation and o To develop and maintain a portfolio of effective
inspirational motivation. Though there can be only one and aligned information services.
effective leader, yet it is desirable that all LIPs imbibe o To acquire knowledge of new concepts and
these leadership qualities so that they have a better products or enhanced information solutions. This
understanding of the systemic requirements. relates to implementation of ICT and
management skills.
‘Personal Competencies’ in LIPs are:
o To build and improve upon personal attributes,
which relate to implemeting suggestive measures
of developing personal attributes like attitudinal
change, being proactive, self-motivation, work
commitment, welcoming criticism etc.
o To see the “big picture”, thus enabling the LIP to
understand that he is a part of the bigger system
and not an isolated entity.
o To create partnerships and alliances. This realtes
Fig. 10 Causes, Capabilities & Corroboration Model (3Cs to implemeting measures related to networking
or CCC Model) and partnerships like interaction on professional
platforms, resource and knowledge sharing,
Figure 10 explains systems approach to dealing with professional networking, and with other
resistance in LIPs. The impeding technological impacts departments.
and ever growing user expectations from LIPs for o To employ a team approach; recognize the
seamless service are placing heavy pressure on the LIPs to balance of collaborating, leading and following.
change. By this way both these factors are forming the In order to understand continuously happening
causes of change. Lack of competencies and negative changes and ever increasing user expectations, LIPs
attitudes among LIPs towards change cause resistance should make a habit of taking feedback from their
among them. Also the lack of support from authorities in customers with respect to their service offerings. This will
terms of resources and infrastructure contribute further to help them stay relevant even in turbulent times.
this resistance. • Attitudes: The attitudes that are required to be
In such a condition, the LIPs need to develop their developed by LIPs pertain to that of learning and
capabilities in terms of competencies and attitudes. This service.
can be achieved by encouraging them to undergo o Learning: Learning can be of two types –
continuous professional development and imbibe lifelong workplace learning and lifelong learning. It is
learning attributes. Any action requires a two way recommended that the LIPs should possess a zeal

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Journal of Emerging Trends in Computing and Information Sciences

©2009-2010 CIS Journal. All rights reserved.

for learning. LIPs should not only value the comprehensive learning domain in thrust areas viz.,
opportunity to learn for themselves but also Information & Communication Technologies, effective
encourage the same opportunity for those around usage of various electronic and digital resources,
them. Learning takes place in a variety of methods. management skills, marketing, strategic planning, total
It can be through enhancing professional quality management, leadership skills, corporate
qualifications, continuing education, scholarly storytelling for library managers and leaders,
research and communication, participating in organizational learning, building learning organizations,
training programmes, workshops, seminars, knowledge management etc. is the need of the hour. Focus
conferences. Learning also takes place through on organizational communications, service provision, and
discussions over professional platforms, exchange culture building encompassing customer service and
of views, experiences, ideas and knowledge employee relations, supervision and team building,
sharing. Learning can be augmented by systematic personnel related subjects like legal and effective
personal knowledge management, by adopting and performance appraisals, performance management should
using emerging technologies to the optimum. also be developed and initiated for the library and
o Service Orientation: It is recommended that every information professionals at all functional levels. Modules
Library and Information Professional should strive related to stress management, self development and
towards rendering quality service in spite of the ergonomics and healthy working conditions also can be
challenges brought about by changes in the included depending upon the need. Such programmes
information environment. The concept of duty and provide better understanding of organizational
service inspired by professional values and a desire development concepts to the LIPs and will help them in
to serve users better should be the guiding light for developing both competencies as well as attitudes.
all LIPs.
Even in this digitized environment of virtual libraries 5. CONCLUSION
and repositories, there is still no better theory of library or
the role of librarians than the universally incontrovertible Instead of searching for solutions in the environment and
and applicable Five Laws of Library Science enunciated expecting support in terms of extrinsic factors, application
by Dr. S. R. Ranganathan [16], that form the bedrock of of ‘changing self to change others and in turn the system
library and information profession. These are profound yet as a whole’ approach is desirable. This will lead to a
simple principles based upon linking people, libraries and positive change in the attitude of the professionals, which
information they use. In case of any change or in turn will lead him to contribute in achieving
transformation, it always holds true to check and recheck organizational excellence. As nature mirrors systems in
if the change or transformation satisfies these laws, each and every of its parts, so also every individual and
provided the words ‘book’ and ‘reader’ are not taken too organization mirror a system in their own way. Realization
literally and read as ‘user’ and ‘information’. They are: 1. of existence of these systems to harness their potential to
Books are for use; 2. Every Book – Its Reader; 3. Every their optimum is needed.
Reader – His Book; 4. Save the time of reader; 5. Library
is a growing organism. Adhering to these axioms always REFERENCES
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©2009-2010 CIS Journal. All rights reserved.

in Action. Conference at Henly, April 1985 (Sep., [13] M. M. Somerville and A. Mirjamdotter, “Working
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©2009-2010 CIS Journal. All rights reserved.


Questionnaire for the Research Topic: Causes of Resistance to

Change among Library and Information Professionals in India

I. Causes of Resistance (Kindly rate your responses) as

Strongly agree (1) Agree (2) Cannot say (3) Disagree
(4) Strongly disagree (5)

1. Lack of proper attitude towards change causes

2. Poorly motivated personnel pose resistance to change.
3. Inadequate training causes resistance.
4. Difficulty in understanding fast and complex changes
in the environment sets off resistance.
5. Deep rooted dogmas and technophobia produce
resistance towards technology coupled change.
6. Underdeveloped competencies cause resistance for
the transformed environment.
7. Unavailability of adequate resources and
infrastructural facilities triggers resistance.
8. Lack of customer orientation creates resistance.
9. Absence of management support causes resistance.
10. Resistance is raised due to absence of supportive /
conducive work atmosphere.

II. Suggestions for improvement and smooth







Name of the respondent (optional):





Professional Qualifications: