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Scenario planning for an uncertain future?: Case study of the restructuring of the Academic Services team at UWE Library

Chelin, Jackie; Maggs, Pete; Chelin, Jacqueline


Jackie Chelin

Pete Maggs


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide a case study on the practical application of scenario planning techniques to complete a re-structuring of an academic liaison team within the Library at the University of the West of England in 2011. Design/methodology/approach: The application of scenario planning as a technique for mapping a realistic future for the team within the wider library service was evaluated using questionnaires. After detailing the scenarios developed, the paper concludes with consideration of the feedback received from the staff involved and the learning for future iterations of the technique. Findings: The case study concludes by reflecting, 18 months on, how certain things might have been done differently. The feedback from staff on the process was used in honing a wider, more radical ranging staffing review. Research limitations/implications: The study has limitations as it was a time bounded exercise. The process began in March 2011 and new structures had to be agreed and in place by summer 2011. Practical implications: The comparison of the scenarios can assist managers in evaluating and selecting the appropriate scenario planning model based on organisational need, while reinforcing the importance of effective consultation/dialogue with staff. Originality/value: The article shows that Library managers can benefit from the deployment of scenario planning techniques when effecting organisational change, and that being as inclusive as possible in the process is probably the best approach, if practical. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Oct 28, 2013
Journal Library Management
Print ISSN 0143-5124
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 34
Issue 8
Pages 664-676
APA6 Citation Chelin, J., Maggs, P., & Chelin, J. (2013). Scenario planning for an uncertain future?: Case study of the restructuring of the Academic Services team at UWE Library. Library Management, 34(8), 664-676.
Keywords libraries, change management, United Kingdom, organisational change, universities, scenario planning, restructuring, communication.
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