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Dissertation Information for Hweifen Weng

- Hweifen Weng

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- Rutgers University (USA) (1997)

- Betty J. Turock

- Daniel O'Connor
- Donald King
- Thomas W. Shaughnessy

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: A contingency approach to explore the relationships among structure, technology, and performance in academic library departments

Abstract: Purposes. This study was conducted to assess the applicability of structural contingency theory in academic libraries, and to explore what patterns of library structure were appropriate for achieving the highest performance in consideration of their technological characteristics.

Methodology. A questionnaire was mailed to department heads of libraries that have no branches and have a staff size larger than 11 full-time equivalent employees to collect data on structure, technology, and subjective dimensions of performance. Objective dimensions of departmental performance were collected from Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Academic Libraries surveys. The dependent variable of the study was library department performance. The independent variables included structural characteristics of unit specialization, professional qualifications, personnel specialization, hierarchy of authority, degree of participation, and formalization, as well as technological characteristics of task routineness, interdepartmental dependence, intradepartmental dependence, and degree of computerization. Difference analysis, subgroup analysis, analysis of variance, and multiple regression analysis were the primary statistical techniques used in exploring interrelationships among variables.

Principal findings. The structure of the departments was characterized by a medium level of complexity, centralization, and formalization. The characteristics of the technology included a somewhat high task routineness, a medium level of task interdependence, and computerization. Public and technical services were different in their degree of participation, task routineness, and years of computerization.

When departmental technology was routine, department members had lower degrees of education and participated less in decision-making. When work flow within the department was interdependent, department members rotated jobs easily without the need for extensive retraining, they participated often in decision-making, and they used more written documents. When one department depended often on other departments, it usually had a wider range of tasks, comprised more highly educated members, and tended to have a decentralized decision-making process. When a department was highly computerized, the structure tended to be complex and decentralized.

Different dimensions of performance were associated with different sets of structural characteristics. Technology was found to be a moderator on the relationships between structure and performance. Specifically, the correlations between structure and performance were different across low, medium, and high levels of task routineness, interdependence, and computerization.

MPACT Scores for Hweifen Weng

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:10:46

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