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Conclusions About Management by Objectives

MBO is a management theory that has had a great impact up until the present day. However, many libraries that tried to apply this management theory in the past faced difficulties in implementing it; in particular, the many hours needed and the high costs posed a great barrier.

The author presumes that the underlying factors that prevented MBO from being properly introduced were due to the staff members’ inadequate management skills and insufficient understanding of MBO. This situation could be understood from the way the Houston Academy of Medicine—Texas Medical Center Library diligently referenced Drucker’s works (according to their report), and the statement (in the same report) that it would be better to hire a management consultant with many years of experience in MBO. Even the Pennsylvania State University Libraries obtained help from a management consultant.

The purpose of introducing MBO was to have librarians learn to set objectives to comply with the organisation’s objectives. In addition, by voluntarily taking on the implementation, regulation and evaluation of MBO as their own responsibility, the librarians’ work motivation was enhanced and the organisation was revitalised. However, this led to the exhaustion of the librarians, such that achieving the goals of MBO itself became difficult.

The number of articles concerning MBO increased from the late 1960s to the 1970s. Ever since it was advocated by Drucker in the 1950s, it has been widely employed in the private sector in areas such as long- range planning and management strategies since the 1960s. It has also been applied in the area of personnel evaluation. MBO could be seen in libraries starting around the 1970s, indicating that this theory began to penetrate the library world 10 years later than it did in the private sector.

 
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