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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Top Management Teams in Academic/Research Libraries: Their Jobs; Their Responsibilities; Their Futures

  • Author(s): Roosa, Mark Strother
  • Advisor(s): Lynch, Beverly P.
  • et al.

This dissertation examines the extent to which chief executive officers (CEOs) in academic and research libraries are involving their top management team (TMT) members in strategic decision making that affects organizational performance, and, the extent to which this involvement is preparing top managers to assume leadership positions as CEOs. This is a critically important question because the current leadership in libraries is ageing out and unless knowledge, skill and ability transfer is taking place within today’s academic and research library environment, the next generation of leaders will be at risk of losing the opportunity to incorporate the cumulative knowledge and experience of their predecessors into their leadership portfolios. Strategic decision-making is one of the most important aspects of a top executive’s job. To better understand the dynamics taking place within top management teams that influence strategic decision-making, and top managers’ roles in strategic decision making processes in libraries, 34 top managers and their CEOs from academic libraries were interviewed on the dynamics surrounding strategic decision making in their organizations. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with participants. The results shed considerable light on the richly nuanced relationships that top managers have with one another and with the CEO and how these relations impact strategic decision-making. The study also revealed demographic characteristics of top managers that are related to strategic decision making within the TMT. Key strategic decisions that TMT members were involved in and their role in the decisions were examined in relation to the strategic issues that CEOs pointed to as important. A comparison of these citations revealed a series of variables that influenced co-citation of strategic issues by both CEOs and TMT members.

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