Resource Allocation Strategies in Doctoral/Research University (extensive) Libraries Open Access
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The purpose of this study was to identify and understand the management of resources by library directors at 151 Public and Private Carnegie classified extensive university libraries in an environment of limited funding for higher education. This study examined the following research questions:1. What resource allocation strategies are used by the directors of doctoral/research university (extensive) libraries? Which strategies are most and least frequently used? From participant responses, does the use of a hybrid mode emerge? 2. What are the internal and external conditions of the library environment that precipitate the use of such strategies?An in-depth analysis of these resource allocation strategies were developed from the response of library directors. As a result, the rationally based strategies of formula, program or program-planning-budgeting system (PPBS), zero-based (ZBB), and the politically based strategies of incremental line item, performance/incentive, and responsibility/cost center budget were the focus of the budgeting activities in question. The results from the study indicated that the percentage and frequency distribution of resource allocation strategies used in extensive libraries were undetermined. Prior to this study, the strategies employed at the 151 libraries were found to be relatively unidentified. Research findings support the conclusion that the highly experienced professionals that direct the nation's top research libraries do employ specific budgeting strategies to allocate their scarce resources while navigating a sea of challenging obstacles that arise from conditions both internal and external to the library and the greater university. In addition, their use of more than one budgeting strategy for the management of the operating budget coupled with the directors' assertion of the importance of flexibility in managing and implementing the library budget would suggest the need for future study of the use of multiple budget strategies or budget hybrids in the academic library. Budget hybrids could provide the basis for an improved understanding of the management of large, complicated organizational units faced with navigated financial changes and uncertainty on a habitual basis.