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An academic library position in a university: understanding the position and its positioning process.

Md Yusof, Mazni


Mazni Md Yusof


Simon Burnett

Adrienne Muir

Roddy Smith


This study explored the issues related to academic libraries' position and the positioning process. The study adopted an inductive and grounded theory approach to illuminate the academic library's position and positioning process through the perceptions of the study's participants. Seventeen semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted as the main source of data and 46 related documents were analysed as secondary data support. The findings show that an academic library's positioning is a dynamic process, which is described as movement through the positions of surviving, striving and thriving. These positions are influenced by the library's operational effectiveness, the library's legitimation strategies and the library as a knowledge symbol, which are the themes that emerged from the findings. To further enhance the understanding of academic libraries' position, a model of academic libraries' dynamic position was developed based on the findings. It was found that academic libraries' dynamic position is influenced by the striving position, which is based on the level of success of the legitimation strategies, and failure to progress to the next position will lead academic libraries to a situation of a false sense of legitimacy.

Thesis Type Thesis
Institution Citation MD YUSOF, M. 2018. An academic library position in a university: understanding the position and its positioning process. Robert Gordon University, PhD thesis.
Keywords Academic libraries; University libraries; Libraries in higher education; Organisational legitimacy


MD YUSOF 2018 An academic library position (2.6 Mb)

Copyright Statement
Copyright: the author and Robert Gordon University

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