Business Librarians and Entrepreneurship: Innovative Trends and Characteristics: Leonard/Clementson


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Business Librarians and Entrepreneurship: Innovative Trends and Characteristics

Elisabeth Leonard, Associate Dean of Library Services, Hunter Library, Western Carolina University; Betsy Clementson, Research and Instruction Librarian/Liaison to the College of Business, Hunter Library, Western Carolina University

Innovation and entrepreneurship are seen as foundations for a healthy and vibrant national economy (and helpful to a university budget), yet we know little about how innovation occurs within academic libraries. We examined the innovative characteristics of the business librarians associated with the ten schools listed in America’s Best Graduate Schools as having the top entrepreneurship programs. We reported on the characteristics of innovation and organizational culture uncovered in the study, discussed these characteristics as they might relate to all types of libraries and librarians, and how administrators can develop best practices for innovation friendly cultures.

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  • Define diffusuion
  • Innovators are cosmopolitan- at home in many areas of interest. They are not necessarily influential in the adoption of new innovations. Innovators must have the financial resources to cope with the possibility that an innovation will fail; they must also have the ability to understand complex technological information and determine ways in which it can be applied. The innovator brings an idea in from another social system, and his/her role is to launch the innovation or idea into a new social system.
  • Early adopters are more integrated into social systems than innovators. The early adopter is the person you go to for advice before adopting or attempting a new idea or innovation. Their role is to adopt an innovation and then to evaluate it for their peers, thereby decreasing the uncertainty about it. Because the opinion of the early adopter is so highly valued, he or she must make well-considered decisions about which innovations to adopt. The early adopter is a role model for others in the social system.
  • Members of the early majority adopt new innovations or ideas just before the average member of society. They are the connector between innovators and those who are late to adopt. This group takes longer to decide to adopt an innovation – they seldom lead because of this.
  • The late majority approach innovations with a measure of skepticism. When they decide to adopt an innovation, it may be because it is economically necessary, or because they feel pressure from their social network. Due to scarce resources, they must be quite sure about a resource before choosing to adopt it – the innovation must receive a mostly favorable response. While they can be convinced of the usefulness of a new idea, pressure from their peers is required to motivate them to adopt it – they must see how peers use an innovation, for example. Role - ??
  • Laggards are the last to adopt new innovations. Their decision making process is focused on what has been done in the past. They associate mostly with others who have a similarly traditional orientation. Laggards possess little to no opinion leadership and can significantly slow the adoption of an innovation in an organization. Because of extremely limited resources, they must be very sure that an innovation will succeed. Many times an idea or innovation will have been superseded by a new one by the time laggards get around to adopting.
  • Define diffusuionNeed different approaches to different populationsSummary of survey resultsSocioeconomic status; personality variables; communication behavior
  • Business Librarians and Entrepreneurship: Innovative Trends and Characteristics: Leonard/Clementson

    1. 1. Business Librarians and Entrepreneurship<br /> Innovative Trends and Characteristics <br />Elisabeth Leonard<br />Betsy Clementson<br />Hunter Library<br />Western Carolina University<br />
    2. 2. In the beginning<br />Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovations (2003).<br />“an idea, practice, or object that is perceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption”<br />Elisabeth Leonard (!)<br />Innovation is the adoption of a new idea, service or product that provides value to the adopter.<br />Little research exists on innovation within libraries; less on innovativeness within libraries<br />We wanted to know how innovative are we (librarians) really…at work<br />
    3. 3. Methodology:grounded theory<br />“A qualitative research method that uses a systematic set of procedures to develop an inductively derived grounded theory about a phenomenon.” Strauss, A. & Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques. Newbury Park: Sage.<br />Provides building blocks on which theory can be constructed (no initial hypothesis)<br />Procedures so far: survey with a mix of open ended and Likert scale questions<br />To follow: interviews with managers, document analysis (mission statements, strategic plans, etc.)<br />
    4. 4. Methodology:participants<br />Web survey of business librarians associated with the ten schools listed in America’s Best Graduate Schools<br />Received IRB approval (and consent from participants)<br />Identified librarians via library websites<br />90% response rate for the schools/38% response rate for individuals <br />
    5. 5. participants<br />Babson College<br />UC Berkeley<br />Harvard University<br />IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University)<br /> MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)<br />Stanford University<br />University of Southern California<br />University of Texas at Austin <br />University of Pennsylvania<br />University of Arizona did not participate<br />
    6. 6. Adopters<br />Rabina & Walczyk. 2007. Information professionals’ attitude toward the adoption of innovations in everyday life. Information Research, 12(4), 1‐15. <br />
    7. 7. Another view of our results<br />Not all our participants were easily typecast!<br />Warning: results can vary by innovation<br />
    8. 8. Innovators: Venturesome<br />“They are very eager to try new ideas.”<br />“…must be able to cope with a high degree of uncertainty about an innovation…”<br />
    9. 9. Innovators: Venturesome<br />Innovator Early adopter Early majority Late majority<br />
    10. 10. Early Adopters: Respectable<br />“…has the greatest degree of opinion leadership in most social systems.”<br />“…the role of the early adopter is to decrease uncertainty about a new idea by adopting it…”<br />
    11. 11. Early Adopters: Respectable<br /> Innovator Early adopter Early majority Late majority<br />
    12. 12. Early Majority: Deliberate<br />“They follow with deliberate willingness in adopting innovations, but seldom lead.”<br />
    13. 13. Early Majority: Deliberate <br /> Innovator Early adopter Early majority Late majority<br />
    14. 14. Late Majority: Skeptical<br />“The weight of social norms must definitely favor the innovation before the late majority are convinced.”<br />
    15. 15. Late Majority: Skeptical<br /> Innovator Early adopter Early majority Late majority<br />
    16. 16. Laggards: Traditional<br />“The point of reference for the laggard is the past.”<br />“…precarious economic position”<br />
    17. 17. Laggards: Traditional<br /> Innovator Early adopter Early majority Late majority<br />
    18. 18. And this affects me …….how?!<br />Rabina & Walczyk. 2007. Information professionals’ attitude toward the adoption of innovations in everyday life. Information Research, 12(4), 1‐15. <br />
    19. 19. Diffusing innovations:key players<br />Look internally and externally for influencers<br />Innovators, early adopters, and early majority<br />Change agents <br />Managers<br />Institutional inertia inhibits risk-taking<br /> [where I work, there is a] culture to support risk-taking.<br />I am rarely taken seriously when talking about the use and benefits of new products and services.<br />I don't have enough time to experiment and try out new tools or services <br />Think about the message you are sending…and the one you are receiving<br />
    20. 20. What’s next?<br />Begin a real discussion<br />Expand survey?<br />National definition of innovation?<br />
    21. 21. Check us out<br />