Craig Tollini

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. David Hartmann

Second Advisor

Dr. Thomas Van Valey

Third Advisor

Dr. Timothy Diamond

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This paper seeks to uncover the factors that may have impacted how the officials of a medium sized, Midwestern city used the results of a survey of city residents, which had been conducted by the same university-based research center for sixteen years, in their budget and policy decision-making process. The researchers who directed the survey project and the officials who designed the survey and/or were in a position to use its results were interviewed, and various written materials related to the survey project, from memos between the city manager and the researcher to the final report the researcher provided to the officials, were analyzed. These sources of information were analyzed to determine if and how the survey was used and what factors (both those mentioned in the literature and new potential factors) might have impacted this use. This paper provides a list of the factors that appear to have either impacted or not impacted the officials' use of the survey results. Additionally, it discusses policy recommendations for the case analyzed. Although this project was designed to address gaps in the previous literature, there are gaps in this project as well, including a concern regarding the generalizability of this study' s findings. Therefore, recommendations for future research are also included.

Included in

Sociology Commons