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Dissertation Information for Paul Borchuck

- Paul Borchuck

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- Rutgers University (USA) (1978)

- Ralph Blasingame

- Ernest Deprospo
- Bernard Goldstein
- Thomas H. Mott Jr.

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: Executive succession in university libraries: an examination of succession using oral history

Abstract: This study tested in an exploratory manner, twenty-nine propositions and four provisional hypotheses that described possible outcomes of executive succession in thirteen university libraries. The propositions and hypotheses were derived from administrative succession research literature. They were grouped within eight general variables for developmental analysis and discussion of the findings. The variables were: 1) executive successor type, 2) origin of successor, 3) mean and variable rate in succession, 4) executive role, 5) communication, 6) technology, 7) the executive group, and 8) size of the library.

An experience survey was used to acquire first-person information for the study, and involved oral history interviews of thirteen successor respondents appointed to directorships during 1971-73. Information about succession events and organization characteristics was also gathered from nine predecessor executives using a survey instrument containing twenty-nine questions.

A total of twenty-two executives were involved in the experience survey. Oral history interviews of successors were transcribed and evaluated using a content analysis technique that provided a relative measure of verification of the propositions in the study. Predecessor ad successor responses were then compared and analyzed.

Five propositions were judged to have a high level of support, one of them in a null version. One provisional hypothesis received high support. Six propositions received moderate support; three in full versions. A summary of important findings follows.

university administrators and faculty had the most influence in determining the successor type, similar to descriptions by Glickman. Most successors had not specific mandate from the university supervisors. The lack of any directed prescripts resulted in development of succession agenda, and a gradualist program compatible with descriptions by Brecht and Dimock.

Communication problems were more intense for Outsider successors, confirming propositions by Gouldner and Guest. Outsiders were not more inclined that insiders to use "strategic replacements," supporting descriptions of "representative" bureaucracy by Guest.

The extent of instability in succession was judged inversely related to the amount of organizational knowledge and influence attained by a successor, confirming outcomes predicted by Grusky.

In considering the successor type, career and ability were revealed as important components, confirming propositions by Throw and Kriesberg. Outsider origin was almost a prerequisite for executive succession, but did not appear to be the same predictor of performance described by Carlson.

Some executive role parts in succession included intense learner, consultative administrator, and identification with an agenda. The need to clearly define or reaffirm roles of executive group members, and some manager-dependency experiences were considered significant in the cases studied.

The mean rate of succession was determined less significant than variability of rate because of low predecessor turnover in most of the cases studied. Large libraries were judged to experience instability at succession to the same degree as the smaller libraries in the study. Large libraries did not experience more frequent succession as had been suggested in other studies.

Technology in succession was judged the least significant general variable in the study.

Organizational stability occurred in almost all of the successions. "Wide-gap" succession, in which successors did not enter officer until almost one year after the predecessor exited, were not especially unstable.

Concerning the diffusion of Participated Management practice, successors were judged as not necessarily better prepared than predecessors to use FM. One succession-induced tendency suggested by the findings included increased administrative centralization.

The advantages and disadvantages of using oral history in succession research are described. Suggestions for further research and importance of succession planning are also discussed.

MPACT Scores for Paul Borchuck

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-04-20 14:24:43

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