To Whom Do You Report? A Look at Five Industries

Information Outlook, January 2000 | Go to article overview
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To Whom Do You Report? A Look at Five Industries


In an open-ended question on the 1999 Salary Survey, employee respondents were asked to provide the title and department of the person to whom they reported. This article will examine these data for those respondents who indicated they had the responsibility levels of Directors/Managers, in five industries: Health Care & Social Assistance (hospitals, individual and family services); Associations (professional/business) and Labor Unions; Publishing-Newspaper, Periodical, Book; Legal; and Federal Government. These five industries were some of the most common in which SLA survey respondents worked, and, therefore, there were a high number of titles and departments to analyze. Future research will attempt to examine over 1,000 responses from director/manager employees that work in all forty-five industry categories.

Due to the phrasing of the question, respondents may have indicated that they reported to the person in charge of the library or information resource center. After eliminating twenty such responses, the breakdown by industry of the remaining 305 responses of director/managers and the titles/departments to whom they reported was:

Associations and Labor Unions             46
Federal Government                        47
Health Care & Social Assistance           49
Legal                                    115
Publishing (Newspaper, Periodical, Book)  48

There were noted differences by industry, though some common themes across industries, as well. Results are reported by industry for this article.

In the Associations/Labor Union industry, there were forty-six director/manager respondents who provided the titles and departments of those to whom they reported. Two of the forty-six indicated they did not work in information centers/libraries: one reported to a VP of Marketing Programs, and one to a Director of Publications. Of the remaining forty-four directors/managers, 48% reported to Vice Presidents, 32% to Directors, 16% to Executive Directors, and 5% to Managers.

With seven responses (16%), reporting to an Executive Director was the single most common response. Among the departments of Vice Presidents, Directors, and Managers, director/managers of information centers/libraries were about equally likely to report to Marketing/Communication/Public Relations, Member/Corporate Services, Administration, and Research, with five or six responses each (eleven to fourteen percent). Other departments mentioned were Information Systems, Information Services and Knowledge Management, Strategic Development, Professional Development/Education, Programs and Publications.

Among the forty-seven SLA member directors/managers who worked for the Federal Government, five did not work in an information center. The remaining forty-two information center directors/managers were most likely to report to Directors (38%) or Chiefs (38%). Several also reported to Managers (14%) and Leaders (7%). The departments had a great deal of variety with no apparent patterns, perhaps reflecting the multiple agencies under the government umbrella. A few of the departments have been seen in other industries, such as Information Technology, Administration & Planning, Training & Education, and Finance. Others vary from Appeals Unit to Food Research Program.

Among the forty-nine respondents at the director/manager level in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry, forty-seven worked in information centers/libraries and two did not.

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To Whom Do You Report? A Look at Five Industries
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