Marketing culture of Finnish research libraries : an analysis of marketing attitude, knowledge and behaviour
Singh, Rajesh (2005-12-13)
Åbo Akademis förlag - Åbo Akademi University Press
Julkaisu on tekijänoikeussäännösten alainen. Teosta voi lukea ja tulostaa henkilökohtaista käyttöä varten. Käyttö kaupallisiin tarkoituksiin on kielletty.
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
The aim of the present dissertation is to investigate the marketing culture of research libraries in Finland and to understand the awareness of the knowledge base of library management concerning modern marketing theories and practices. The study was based onthe notion that a leader in an organisation can have large impact on its culture. Therefore, it was considered important to learn about the market orientation that initiates at the top management and flows throughout the whole organisationthus resulting in a particular kind of library culture. The study attempts to examine the marketing culture of libraries by analysing the marketing attitudes, knowledge (underlying beliefs, values and assumptions), behaviour (market orientation), operational policies and activities, and their service performance (customer satisfaction). The research was based on the assumption that if the top management of libraries has market oriented behaviour, then their marketing attitudes, knowledge, operational policies and activities and service performance should also be in accordance. The dissertation attempts to connect all these theoretical threads of marketing culture. It investigates thirty three academic and special libraries in the south of Finland. The library director and three to ten customers from each library participated as respondents in this study. An integrated methodological approach of qualitative as well as quantitative methods was used to gain knowledge on the pertinent issues lying behind the marketing culture of research libraries. The analysis of the whole dissertation reveals that the concept of marketing has very varied status in the Finnish research libraries. Based on the entire findings, three kinds of marketing cultures were emerged: the strong- the high fliers; the medium- the brisk runners; and the weak- the slow walkers. The high fliers appeared to be modern marketing believers as their marketing approach was customer oriented and found to be closer to the emerging notions of contemporary relational marketing. The brisk runners were found to be traditional marketing advocates as their marketing approach is more `library centred¿than customer defined and thus is in line of `product orientation¿ i.e. traditional marketing. `Let the interested customers come to the library¿ was appeared to be the hallmark of the slow walkers. Application of conscious market orientation is not reflected in the library activities of the slow walkers. Instead their values, ideology and approach to serving the library customers is more in tuneof `usual service oriented Finnish way¿. The implication of the research is that it pays to be market oriented which results in higher customer satisfaction oflibraries. Moreover, it is emphasised that the traditional user based service philosophy of Finnish research libraries should not be abandoned but it needs to be further developed by building a relational based marketing system which will help the libraries to become more efficient and effective from the customers¿ viewpoint. The contribution of the dissertation lies in the framework showing the linkages between the critical components of the marketing culture of a library: antecedents, market orientation, facilitators and consequences. The dissertationdelineates the significant underlying dimensions of market-oriented behaviour of libraries which are namely customer philosophy, inter-functional coordination,strategic orientation, responsiveness, pricing orientation and competition orientation. The dissertation also showed the extent to which marketing attitudes, behaviour, knowledge were related and impact of market orientation on the serviceperformance of libraries. A strong positive association was found to exist between market orientation and marketing attitudes and knowledge. Moreover, it also shows that a higher market orientation is positively connected with the service performance of libraries, the ultimate result being higher customer satisfaction. The analysis shows that a genuine marketing culture represents a synthesis of certain marketing attitudes, knowledge and of selective practices. This finding is particularly significant in the sense that it manifests that marketing culture consists of a certain sets of beliefs and knowledge (which form a specific attitude towards marketing) and implementation of a certain set of activities that actually materialize the attitude of marketing into practice (market orientation) leading to superior service performance of libraries.