Developing Business Cases for New Services in Research Libraries

Summary Literature Review

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Clearly, planning for forward movement in library-based scholarly communication programs will entail a thorough review of local needs, opportunities, relationships, questions of institutional culture, and more. It will also require rigorous and objective review of operational and financial elements. A blueprint for creating sustainable services and structures must be created.

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 The framework presented in this article was based on a thorough review of the library, nonprofit, and business literatures. The full review may be found in the appendix; the salient points are summarized here.

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 A compelling case for broadening the literature search came from one of the valuable reports issued by Ithaka on creating sustainable electronic resources, where the authors remind readers that, while the academic environment may not furnish processes and procedures that support entrepreneurial success, the non-profit and commercial worlds certainly do. These should be adapted: “Accepting and even embracing the mechanisms of the marketplace, if properly placed in a mission-oriented context, can enhance the value that a project generates by sharpening its understanding of where need is greatest and how it can most usefully deploy its resources. The project leaders that are most likely to succeed in this environment are those who can operate successfully under the pressures of competition and accountability, and in the messiness of innovation and continual reinvention” (Guthrie, Griffiths, and Maron 2008).

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 Good models, then, require drawing from mission- and market-oriented thinking, and two sources form the basis of the service case model presented here: Peter C. Brinckerhoff’s Social Entrepreneurship: The Art of Mission-Based Venture Development (2000) and June Paradise Maul’s Developing a Business Case (2011).

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 According to Brinckerhoff (2000), social entrepreneurs are nonprofit leaders who are constantly looking for new ways to serve their constituencies and add value to existing services, and who are willing to take reasonable risks on behalf of those their organization serves. They understand the difference between needs and wants and that resource allocations are stewardship investments, and they weigh the social and financial return on each investment they make. They consider mission first, but know that without money there is no mission output. Unlike for-profit business planning models, Brinckerhoff’s seven-step process for nonprofits, he maintains, is mission based. Brinckerhoff’s social entrepreneurial model provides an extensive set of tools for constructing better mission-based policy as well as for realizing improved operational, financial and service planning, and it has been cited frequently in the literature as offering a step-by-step means for nonprofits to achieve their planning goals. As well, because the model is well known and contains many of the basic components included in the other approaches reviewed, this study will rely largely on Brinckerhoff for its definition of business planning.

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 Coming from the market-oriented literature, Maul (2011) provides guidance on how to make the case for some change within an existing organization or business. The approach contains detailed models, templates, and commentary on how to maximize the chance for success in making a significant business decision. Maul succinctly defines the business case as: “a tool for identifying and comparing multiple alternatives for pursuing an opportunity and then proposing the one course of action that will create the most value.” The guide then provides the reader with a step-by-step guide for executing the business case including templates for selecting the best solution and documenting the details of the implementation plan. Combined with Brinckerhoff’s mission-oriented approach on preparing organizations to meet their goals, Maul’s business case structure enables the creation of a robust framework for decision making and the developing of healthy, sustainable services.

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Source: http://mcpress.media-commons.org/businesscases/literature-review/