Mergers and managers : what's needed for both to work? Reflections on a merger of two higher education libraries in KwaZulu-Natal

  • N. J. Muller Durban University of Technology Library
Keywords: Mergers - Higher education, Library mergers, Change management, Mergers - employee stress, Durban University of Technology (DUT)


Mergers are not an occasion; they are a process, and it is important to understand how such processes unfold and the concomitant stress factors that are brought about by the change. During a merger, staff can feel overstretched and overburdened. A logical output of this is that neglect of normal business operations occurs. There are various management strategies recommended in the literature which can be put into place to ensure that such overload and neglect does not lead to failure of the merger. This paper briefly outlines the various cycles that mergers take, as well as highlighting the stresses that mergers place on employees. It focuses more particularly on what skills and strategies are required by managers to ensure that such employee stress is diminished and that employees feel competent, able and willing to handle the operational requirements of the merger appropriately. The paper draws on experiences of the Durban Institute of Technology library during its merger process.
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