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The Perception of Effectiveness in Merged Information Services Organizations: Combining Library and Information Technology Services at Liberal Arts Institutions

by Stemmer, John K.

Abstract (Summary)
Several higher education institutions have merged their libraries and computing centers/IT units to form a merged information services organization (MISO). It is believed that with the rise of information technology a natural convergence of these units is taking place and integrated organizations will best provide support in these areas. As information technology and libraries represent two of the largest, if not the largest support organizations on most campuses, it is important to understand how well merged units are succeeding. This descriptive, exploratory study is to ascertain the effectiveness of merged information services organizations at liberal arts colleges as perceived by chief information officers and academic deans. The study also examines their perception of how well these organizations have delivered proposed benefits in academic, administrative, institutional and organizational areas. A survey of MISO heads (CIOs) and academic deans of liberal arts colleges with merged information services organizations was undertaken. In addition to a general assessment of the MISO, a taxonomy of expected benefits was developed from the literature. A questionnaire was developed based on the literature to collect both quantitative and qualitative data. Respondents provided information that addressed the general effectiveness of the new organization, its delivery of the expected benefits, and costs their institutions have incurred using the MISO model. Both CIOs and academic deans had a favorable impression of the MISO and believed it was effective in providing support and delivering most of the expected benefits. The perception of effectiveness in institutional benefits was not as strong as in the other areas. The study identified areas of concern among both CIOs and deans with the implementation of a MISO. Concerns were raised that the MISO organization requires staff development time to ensure its role and functions are understood by MISO staff. A potentially significant cost identified was a loss of focus among constituent units, such as the library and computer center, on their ongoing functions.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Ohio University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:academic libraries computer centers information technology organizational restructuring evaluation merged services organizations

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2007

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