investigating the role of managers' attitude towards the change and development of human resources with knowledge management in university libraries

Document Type : Original Article

Author

Department of Knowledge and Information Science, Marvdasht Branch, Islamic Azad University, Marvdasht, Iran

Abstract

Objective: Nowadays, students and the scientific community look forward to enhancing their access to and gaining support from information services. Libraries and information centers are making significant changes to keep pace with this phenomenon.

In the evolving world of knowledge, the role of information specialists has also changed. Some researchers believe that the only solution available for information professionals to overcome all the problems caused by the ever-changing environment in the digital age is change management. Therefore, the present study was conducted with the aim of investigating the role of managers' attitude towards the change and development of human resources with knowledge management in university libraries.

Methods: In terms of nature and purpose, the present research is descriptive, and in terms of data collection and approach it is a correlational survey. The statistical population of the research included 49 individuals from university library managers in Fars province in 2021-2022 who were considered by census method. To collect the data, ADKAR's Model (Hiatt, 2006) organizational change questionnaires including 6 components (participating in change, supporting change, not resisting, preparation for change, informing and understanding the need for change), Shai's (2006) human resource development in 4 components (staff training, competence development, information sharing and empowerment) and Lawson's (2003) knowledge management in 6 components (applying knowledge, disseminating knowledge, organizing knowledge, storing knowledge, knowledge creation, knowledge absorption) were used in the Likert scale.

The validity of the questionnaires was confirmed by measuring the face and content validity. The results of estimating the reliability of the questionnaires were 0.74, 0.81, and 0.78, respectively, and hence their reliability was confirmed. To check the normal distribution of the data, the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was run, and in order to test the research hypotheses, beta regression coefficient (path coefficient), the t statistic and Pearson correlation coefficient were used with PLS software.

Findings: The results of the research indicated that the effect of attitude towards the change on the development of human resources of academic libraries is significant with a path coefficient of 0.733 and a t-value of 7.016 with a probability of 95%; it means that with an increase of one standard deviation in the attitude towards the change, the development of human resources of academic libraries will increase by 0.733 standard deviation. On the other hand, the effect of attitude towards the change on knowledge management was confirmed with a path coefficient of 0.746 and a t-statistic value of 254.8. The value of Pearson correlation coefficient between the two mentioned variables is equal to the value of 0.735 and given the significance level of 0.00, it can be concluded that there is a positive and significant correlation.

Knowledge management also had a significant effect on the development of human resources with a path coefficient of 0.483 and a t-statistic value of 397.2 in the libraries investigated. By confirming the direct effect of attitude towards the change on the development of human resources, it was determined that the variable of knowledge management acts as a mediator in the direct effect of attitude towards the change on the development of human resources. Given the obtained data, with a probability of 95%, all effect of attitude towards the change on the development of human resources (0.483 x 0.746 = 0.360) has been done through the mediation of knowledge management.

Conclusion: The current research offered a new perspective towards change in the university libraries under the study. Exploring the mediating effect of knowledge management and attitude towards the change and the positive and direct impact of it on the development of human resources can provide a suitable strategy for the development of university libraries that consider new ways of providing services to their customers in line with national and international standards.

Based on the obtained results and the confirmation of all research hypotheses, it is recommended that university library managers emphasize the benefits of changing the direction of human resources development and increasing the capabilities and skills of employees.

Creating a strategy to implement change as a positive action to achieve organizational goals and objectives requires the training and development of new skills and capabilities of improving individual and organizational knowledge of all library employees based on new goals as well as reducing the challenges of change so that they can effectively participate in its implementation.

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