Managing across cultures : the experiences of three Hong Kong academic library directors

Anthony FERGUSON, Frederick NESTA, Colin STOREY

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to present the experiences of three western librarians in adapting their management styles for working and living in a new culture. Design/methodology/approach - Three university library directors who have been working as expatriates in Hong Kong for 2 to 18 years were asked to comment on their own personal experiences in moving to a new culture, a new language environment, and new management challenges. Findings - Moving to a new culture can be difficult for the expatriate and his family but work environments have many similarities. Developing an understanding of the local professional culture and working within is vital to success. Practical implications - The paper presents some guidelines for librarians who may be seeking a career abroad. Originality/value - There is very little literature on librarians, particularly those in management, who have chosen to continue their careers abroad. This paper provides first-hand experiences and demonstrates that librarianship shares a certain commonality and that management skills can be adapted to new cultures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-223
Number of pages11
JournalLibrary Management
Issue number4/5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


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