Approaches for investigating university libraries as learning organisations


  • Saowapha Limwichitr Chulalongkorn University
  • Judith Broady-Preston Aberystwyth University
  • David Ellis Aberystwyth University



learning organisations


This paper presents research approaches for investigating the development of university libraries into learning organisations, using Thailand as a case study. Whilst the concept of the learning organisation has been in existence since 1970s, it remains problematic. Current debate centres on the lack of an agreed definition of the concept coupled with difficulties in implementing and measuring the extent to which organisations become transformed into learning organisations. These three main strands of debate are examined holistically in the study. Several studies employ a positivist perspective. This research adopts an interpretivist perspective to investigate the issues, given the need to investigate the extent of a shared understanding of the concept within university libraries, together with management practices, problems and a rationale for the development of learning organisations. This is a qualitative study, employing document analysis, semi-structured interviews, and observation. Triangulation was used to corroborate data derived from the multiple methods and increase validity and credibility of the research findings.