Under construction: Identity and isomorphism in the merger of a library and information science school and an education school

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Abstract

Utilizing organizational theory in understanding the progress of the construction of a new departmental identity in a former library and information science school that was merged with an education school is the focus of this qualitative study. There are conflicting literatures regarding how and to what extent organizations change when they are under pressure, the extent to which organizational identity is consciously constructed, and whether that identity is contextual or consistent. This study finds that, in this situation, members of the former library and information science school faced pressure both to become more like education and to stay closely connected to their disciplinary field. The new departmental identity they constructed resonated with the salient issues of the audience they were addressing; the identity was contextual. Yet because they always presented the same identity to a specific group, their identity was also consistent. These results are significant to scholars studying organizational theory and identity, especially institutional theorists and scholars studying isomorphism, as well as to scholars studying library and information science schools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-445
Number of pages23
JournalLibrary Quarterly
Volume70
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Library and Information Sciences

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