Competing values:an examination of libraryadministrators’ perceptions andbehaviors in competitive andperformance measurement informationuse in developing strategic responsesand reporting strategic impacts andvalue for their organizationPresented byLarry Nash White, PhD
Libraries tell great stories…
Background of problem
Research Question Competitive or not? Competitive info used? Overarching Research Question: PM info used? How do head library administrators in North Carolina use competitive and performance information in generating their library’s strategic responses and reporting their strategic value?
Research Questions - Context “The government are extremely fond of amassing great quantities of statistics. They are raised to the nth degree, the cube roots are extracted, and the results are arranged into elaborate and impressive displays. What must be kept in mind, however, is that in every case, the figures are first put down by a village watchman, and he puts down anything he damn well pleases.” Josiah Stamp, English economist and banker (1880 – 1941)
Research Sub-questions 1-3Michael Porter What competitive perceptions do head library administrators in North Carolina have aboutThomas Davenport themselves, their fellow head libraryDoes counting count? administrators, and their library? What types of competitive / performance measurement information do head library administrators in North Carolina use to perform administrative functions in their library? What types of competitive / performance measurement information / data do head library administrators in North Carolina use to address strategic value questions posed by stakeholders?
Research Sub-questions 4-5 How do head library administrators in North Carolina allocate resources to perform performance measurement? How do libraries in North Carolina compete to recruit / retain strategically important staff and administrators?
MethodologyResponse rate: 39 % (73/194) The research design is a three stage, mixed15% use Escape question! methods research design involving:Al Capone method used… Stage 1: surveys of academic and public library administrators’ perceptions and practices in using competitive and performance measurement information to generate strategic value (addressing sub- questions 1 - 5); Stage 2: interviews with key informants (addressing sub-questions 1-4); and Stage 3: case studies (addressing sub- questions 1 – 3, 5).
Participants InformationF/M ratio: 2.5:1 The study population included all of the HeadAverage respondent age: 54 Library Administrators (HLA) of North Carolina:MLS awarded: 1970-2008 77 public libraries 58 community college libraries 59 academic library (private and public funded) 194 respondents. Response Rate by Library type: (37.7% PL, 39.3% AL) Pub Lib HLA note: All public library directors must have completed a library administration course in their MLS / MLIS professional education in order to be certified: 1) as a public librarian and 2) as a library director in order for their library to receive State Aid.
Findings: Sub-question 1HLA Exp 19 years (1,39) Competitive or Not?In-library admin exp. 6+ years (1,39) Comp or Answer Response % not?84% have no prior administrative Yes 44 75.86%experience before becoming HLA No 14 24.14% Total 58 100.00%
Findings: Sub-question 2Comp / PM information used to perform administrative functions?
Findings: Sub-question 3Comp / PM information used to address strategic value questions?
Findings: Sub-question 4No strong correlations to experience!Over $2,000,000 in costs!Academic costs pending!Resources to perform PM?
Findings: Sub-question 5 Compete to recruit / retain strategically important staff Compete to recruit / retain strategically important admin?
Other Findings: Sub-Q 1 Few key informants known! No case study volunteers! Libraries feel small! Competitive Perceptions Quest 16 17 18 19 20 21 Self desc Others desc as Self rate comp at Rate other HLA Rate other HLAQuest comp? Self comp rate comp work comp comp 4 Gender (0.058) (0.349) 0.065 (0.204) (0.150) (0.013) 5 Age (0.099) 0.141 (0.009) 0.026 (0.032) 0.246 6 Library Setting 0.096 (0.130) (0.104) 0.359 (0.267) (0.152) 8 Year MLS awarded 0.181 (0.142) 0.113 (0.014) 0.030 (0.099) 9 2nd degree 0.006 (0.145) 0.050 0.121 (0.122) (0.252) 11 HLA exp total 0.103 (0.010) 0.173 0.171 (0.064) 0.244 12 HLA exp current library (0.269) 0.186 (0.205) (0.009) 0.027 0.059 13 Prev admin exp before MLS – Gov’t 0.015 (0.267) 0.060 0.050 0.128 (0.515) 13 Prev admin exp before MLS - For $ (0.093) (0.115) (0.027) (0.048) 0.139 (0.006) 13 Prev admin exp before MLS - Non $ (0.024) 0.108 (0.287) 0.151 0.036 (0.169) 15 Yrs exp before 1st HLA position (0.241) 0.118 (0.273) 0.046 0.055 (0.092)No significant correlations to resources; recruitment or retention practices; nor to the types of metrics uses or which admin functions they are used in!
Other Findings: Sub-Q 2 Competitive / PM information collected by your library is used to address which types of accountability / value questions?
Other Findings: Sub-Q 5 There is a potential negative impact on the library organization’s ability to use competitive / PM information to develop strategic responses due if the current internal focus and recruitment over retainment emphasis continues. This will make it difficult for library organizations to keep attract / keep experienced HLA / staff with experience in using competitive / PM information to make strategic decisions in place.
Conclusion: Overarching Question How do head library administrators in North Carolina use competitive and performance information in generating their library’s strategic responses and reporting their strategic value? the overall levels of respondent interest, organizational capacity and ability to use competitive / PM information in the areas of developing and reporting strategic impacts / value and addressing stakeholder strategic value questions is sporadic in use; is primarily internally focused; and is more reporting than responsive in nature there is little / no alignment between the competitive / PM information available and how it is used by HLA / libraries in admin functions or to address stakeholders questions regarding strategic value resource allocations (e.g. $/staff/admin time) to support competitive and PM information use activities are perceived as limited yet HLA seem to have high expectations for the results of these activities staff / administrators retention practices focus more on recruitment than retention, inferring there is less experience / ability available within the library organization for use in the competitive / PM information process to generate strategic responses and values.
ImplicationsResearch! Results additionally suggest that:Education! I now have more questions than answers… research is needed to better document andResponding will be harder! understand the use, alignment, expertise, and effectiveness of competitive / PM information by HLA in developing strategic responses and reporting strategic impact and values. educational opportunities and resources are needed by North Carolina HLA in order to more effectively develop strategic responses and report strategic impacts and value for their libraries. North Carolina libraries have limited potential in employing organizational intelligence and analytics to convert competitive / PM information into strategic responses or address questions of strategic impacts and values.
Limitations & Future ActionsNeed replication, larger sample size! This study’s conclusions are limited to the academic and public library administrators inKnowledge / interest needed! North Carolina who are participants and presently serving in HLA positions in their“This survey is a hoax!” libraries. Future actions will pursue determining how to better understanding and explain the results of this study. Additional actions will include replication of the study in another state in the coming year to determine validity of findings and reliability of the study instrument; and extended efforts at conducting the key informant interviews and case studies to further examine and understand the problem and HLA information behaviors.
Closing Thoughts…. “You’ll never have all of the information you need to make a decision. If you did, it would be a foregone conclusion, not a decision.” David Mahoney
Closing Thoughts…. “You’ll never have all of the information you need to make a decision. If you did, it would be a foregone conclusion, not a decision.” David Mahoney There was a man who dreamed….
Questions? Contact information for questions, collaborations, or copies of the presentation: Larry Nash White Department of Library and Information Studies Graduate School of Education University at Buffalo 534 Baldy Hall Buffalo, NY 14260-1020 Email: email@example.com Office Phone: 716.645.1473 Office Fax: 716.645.3775