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Title: The quality maturity model: assessing organisational quality culture in academic libraries
Authors: Wilson, Frances
Advisors: Lycett, M
Keywords: Library/libraries;Culture;Assessment;QMM;Organisation
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Brunel University, School of Information Systems, Computing and Mathematics
Abstract: Academic libraries operate in a fluid environment, where they must provide, and demonstrate that they provide, a high quality service that is focussed on customers’ needs. It is broadly accepted that the way to provide a high quality service responsive to customers’ needs is to have a culture of quality that underpins all the organisation’s efforts, i.e. TQM. The literature on how to improve the service quality of libraries in particular, and organisations in general, is extensive and varied. But it is not informative to practitioners who wish to know what to do to improve the quality culture of their library. The literature provides many examples of what a high quality organisation looks like, and, by inference, what a low quality organisation looks like. However, anyone who has worked in an organisation knows that quality culture is not binary but is instead a developmental process. This disconnection between the published research and known practice has led libraries to avoid attempts to measure, and therefore improve, their culture of quality. The purpose of this research is to facilitate engagement by directors of academic libraries with issues of quality culture. This is achieved by producing a new representation of the concept of quality culture, the Quality Maturity Model. The QMM enables library directors to assess their location on a roadmap to a culture of quality, guides them as to the next step forwards, enables them to measure their progress over time, and enables them to compare themselves to others and so learn from best practice. The characteristics of the research problem suggest the use of Design Science Research as the most appropriate research paradigm. This is a novel paradigm for library and information science research; one that has the potential to bridge the research-practice gap prevalent in this field. Design Science is iterative, creative and evaluative in the process of devising useful artefacts to attain specified goals. This research applies the Design Science Research Methodology (Peffers et al., 2008) as a framework and uses interpretive synthesis and grounded theory methods to create the Quality Maturity Model consistent with both theory and practice. Practice was identified via interviews with a cross-section of staff at ten academic library and information services in the UK. The QMM delineates 40 elements of quality culture, grouped into eight facets: Management of the organisation; environmental sensing; learning organisation attributes; attitude to change; attitude to quality; leadership; investment in staff; and alignment. The QMM has five maturity levels describing the progression from low quality maturity to high quality maturity for each of the elements. As a companion to the QMM, this research applied standard survey design methods to develop the Quality Culture Assessment Instrument. The QCAI enables library directors to self-assess the location of their library on the QMM using feedback from their library staff. The QMM rubric then enables library directors to identify what the next level of maturity looks like for each element. The evaluation of these artefacts demonstrates that they fulfil the aims of this research: changed the representation of quality culture and so promote engagement with such issues by academic library directors.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University
Appears in Collections:Computer Science
Dept of Computer Science Theses

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