Motivation and quality management in academic library and information services
As management fashions go, few have been more pervasive than Quality Management Systems (QMS) like Total Quality Management (TQM) and BS EN ISO 9000 (ISO 9000). Their prominence was fuelled by a mixture of ideological and economic considerations as, by the early to mid-1990s, many organisations were keen to indicate that they were active participants of the `quality revolution'. The exponential growth of interest in QMS was reflected in the library literature although only a small percentage of academic library and information services (LIS) subscribed to the systems. The thesis examines the relationship between QMS and motivation in such organisations. It ventures beyond the benign vision of the `quality gurus' by critically considering the relevance QMS might have for understanding contemporary developments within the organisation and management of academic LIS. The investigation determined that the quality of implementation is a key factor. In addition to senior management commitment, staff are motivated to QMS if there are accompanying changes in communication and training. The more successful LIS were those that did not treat staff as if they were barriers to change, but involved them in the process of implementation. While there were many stated improvements it was discovered that many of the `new' practices within the QMS LIS were not dissimilar to many of the initiatives in their non-QMS LIS counterparts. The investigator identified factors that also limit QMS as a framework for motivation and posits that the crux of the problem can be traced to the concept of `quality' itself. As a self-evident good, workers become morally bound to quality, which enhances their own exploitation. There was evidence that managers can use this legitimating device to quell resistance, via peer pressure, and instil cultural homogeneity.