HUGHNote the rising emphasis on evidence based librarianship and evidence based management generally.Offer various theories and examples..
HUGHDoes it boil down to the simple question – are we machines, unemotional, ruled by metrics..
HUGH...or are we full of emotion, sometimes a little bit too much
HUGHWe will advocate that the best managers recognise the evidence and its merits, but give as much regard (or more) to the human element – instinct and emotion
HUGHWe are not dismissing the role of evidence –far from it. But it’s been analysed in huge depth and we would like to explore the role of instinct, which is at least as important.
Evidence – the good and the bad:Informed – looking at the evidence lets us see the breadth of the issue – a ‘birds eye’ viewObjective – decisions based on evidence are more objective – does this make them fairer?Un-emotional – Evidence helps ensure our decisions are generally less prone to emotional considerations – who we like, what we favour personally. Long term – query – does it allow us a longer term view?Misleading – the evidence only tells us one part of the story (IReL example) – the evidence can be ‘gamed’ in a lot of cases (usage)All the evidence – it can be surprisingly difficult to get all relevant evidence – (IReL, surveys). If you make a decision on some of the evidence, is that worse than making a decision based on none at all?Empathy – people need to know there is a connection and to feel like a decision is being taken with their needs in mind.Human – There is always a human element – do decision based solely on evidence undermine this?Team diversity – teams are composed of multiple personality types – perhaps there is no ‘one size fits all’ scenario, so why try to do this?
E-resource usage? –cost per download. Cite example of Math & IReLBooks catalogued? – cataloguers hate this (and with good reason) – its not a complete picture – but it does have valueCirculation? – again not complete – people using in house, photocopying from a periodicalBooks re-shelved? – very useful to know what books are being looked at in house but again – not complete picture.Acquisitions – very useful for determining monetary value – but less so when considering ‘service quality’
MARYLook at instinct - - the good, the bad.Immediate – people get a quick response, in a time of flux or uncertainty, that can be a good thing.Responsive to need – making a decision based on the actual need – helps solves the problemEmpathic – a very human thing, we work with people, they see us trying to help them.Synergistic – instinct plays a two-way role, allowing for feedback and allowing for more precise decision making.Problem solving – linked to ‘responsive to need’ – aims to fix the problem, make things betterTrue to person – one of the key aspects of management is finding out who ‘you’ are. If ‘you’ have been placed in this role, shouldn't your ‘self’ help inform your decisions?Ill conceived? - Where’s the evidence? – ‘gut feelings’ can be wrong. The bigger the decision, the bigger the potential for risk. Should we put all that on a ‘gut feeling’?Fear driven? – “I must make a decision” “this CANT happen” – this is an unavoidable by product of the human condition..?Reactive? – Your decision making is based on issues that arise, or are presented to you – not on the bigger picture problems which may not have arisen as yet – but which the solving of is essentialIF it is reactive – does that make it short term?Not the best time to make a decision – isn't it wiser to try to make as dispassionate a decision as possible, having weight up all aspects.
MARYCustomer focus - User interaction? – Surely instinct is central to thisInfo literacy?Personal management? – “we were human beings before we were human resources” – people need to feel secure (polish example)The politics! – Closing down a branch, collection prep project – even if the evidence points one way, negotiating the maze of politics cant be done with evidence.
MARY – conclusion?
“The Quality Instinct”? : Getting the right balance between evidenced based decisions and instinct
“The Quality Instinct”?
Getting the right balance between
evidenced based decisions and
Mary Antonesa & Hugh Murphy
National University of
Evidence and Instinct
We recognise there is a critical role for both
We want to avoid paralysis by analysis or
extinction by instinct (Langley P63)
We base our argument on the literature and on
We believe that instinct is critical and will outline
Can be misleading
Do you have all the
People want empathy
We are human
Inherent diversity of
Evidence – where does it work?
Responsive to need
True to person
Short term response
Not the best time to
make a decision
Instinct in Leadership
Decision making comes from unconscious
Five Competitive Forces of Effective
( McMillan, P12)
Capacity to Listen
Capacity to Learn
Consider the value of Desk Teams, Subject
Librarian Teams for example
Metrics guide what we do but can instinct
guide how we do it ?
“We can discuss common pressure points
early and often as a way of wise pre-emptive
management” (Cottrell, P221)
...Makes a huge contribution to the module; brings
students into the library (our sessions are in the library
seminar room), they meet library staff whom they can later
approach; the students get a real appreciation of the rich
resources which our university library holds (including
electronic resources) and are enthused, resulting in many
cases in postgrad study plans
Libraries are naturally organisationally instinctive
Customer focus, relationship building, fast
changing environment, support/partnership model
Metrics become “part of the way we do business”
for analyzing and validating intelligence
(Mourier, P 27)
Measuring instinct is a challenge!
Instinct critical for future planning in our
Instinct- where does it work?
Customer focus - User interaction?
Collection Prep project – cant be solely metric
driven (different faculties use things different
ways + political dimension)
Auditing a library / doing a tender – we need to
recognise the importance of „service quality‟ not
Job interviews – exit interviews, performance
Langley, Ann, 1995, Between 'paralysis by analysis' and
'extinction by instinct Sloan Management Review; Vol.
36, Issue 3
McMillan, Charles, 2010, Five competitive forces of
effective leadership and innovation, Journal of Business
Strategy, Vo. 31, Iss.1 , pp 11-22
Mourier, Pierre, 2001, Velocity Management, creating
organisational instinct, Strategy and
Leadership, Vol.29, Iss. 2, PP 24-28
O‟Connor, Matthew, 2006, A review of factors affecting
individual performance in team environments, Library
Management, Vol.27, No. 3
Booth, Andrew, 2003, Bridging the research-practice
gap, New Review of Information & Library Research, 2003
Eldredge, Jonathan, 2000, Evidence-based librarianship:
an overview, Bulletin of the Medical Library
Association, Vol. 88, No. 4
Walton, Graham, 2007, Theory, research and practice in
library management 1: flexibility, Library Management, Vol.
28, No. 3
Senior Librarian, Learning, Teaching and Research
Senior Librarian, Collection Management Services