Leadership Reflections: Organizational Culture

Maggie Farrell, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


Organizations function as small societies with their unique behaviors, patterns, and communication. Organizational culture describes how individuals work within libraries and the patterns, assumptions, values, attitudes, and behavior that help an organization to operate within its environment and achieve, or not achieve, its mission. Effective leaders must understand the operational framework of their libraries in order to be successful in managing or to change the culture in support of strategic goals. Changing the culture of an organization is difficult and a long-term process with a realistic understanding of the current behaviors and a determined vision for how an organization should work. There are some specific strategies that may aid leaders in transforming a library culture into a productive and effective set of behaviors that will contribute to a library’s success.