Dissertation Information for Tzvee David Morris
MPACT Status: Fully Complete
Title: AN ANALYSIS OF DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES IN PUBLIC LIBRARIES
Abstract: The decision process in libraries has been an interest and concern to the library profession for some time. As yet, however, hard data describing the types of decisions encompassed by this process, the relationship of decision method to decision subject area; and the effect upon this relationship of other pertinent and operative variables have not been forthcoming. In an effort to provide some of these basic data, the study surveyed decision-making by 499 department heads in 77 public libraries with budgets ranging from $1,500,000 to $7,000,000. It utilized a mail questionnaire designed to obtain data relative to the decision methods used by respondents for various kinds of planning and operational decisions. Responses were made on a seven-point rating scale reflecting a continuum of decision methods ordered from least to most influence/power sharing. Differences in the dependent variable, DECISION METHOD, were investigated with respect to eight independent variables-- decision subject area (DECISION AREA), library managers' age group (AGE GROUP), length of the managers' employment in the library (YEAR IN CURRENT LIBRARY), total length of the managers' library (YEARS IN LIBRARY WORK) and professional (YEARS AS PROFESSIONAL) experience, annual library income (BUDGET). size of respondents' respective departments (DEPARTMENT SIZE), function of the respondents' respective departments (DEPARTMENT FUNCTION), and presence of a collective bargaining unit (COLLECTIVE BARGAINING). Of these variables, three -- DECISION AREA, DEPARTMENT SIZE, and BUDGET-- were shown to impact upon the decision methods utilized. With respect to DECISION AREA, decisions regarding personnel matters, especially those involving hiring, promotion and firing, and decisions regarding budget matters, were shown to be treated by library managers as necessitating the least power-sharing methods. With respect to department size, department heads were shown to share more power with subordinated when in department heads were shown to share more power with subordinates when in departments of between 5 and 9 employees, to be less participative in departments having fewer than 5 or between 10 and 22 employees, and to exhibit more power-sharing behavior when the group size exceeds 22. With respect to library budget, power sharing was shown to decrease with increasing library budget but to rise again in libraries with the largest budgets. In addition, it was discovered that individuals heading certain kinds of departments, particularly circulation, technical services, community relations, and administrative services, were more constrained in the kinds of decisions for which they were given authority than other department heads; and that individuals who are so constrained also appear less willing to share with subordinates the responsibility for decision-making in areas where they do have the authority to make decisions.
MPACT Scores for Tzvee David Morris
Advisors and Advisees Graph
Students under Tzvee David Morris