This exploratory qualitative study examines the experiences of eleven county human-service agencies as they worked through the budget reduction process during the Great Recession (2008–2013). The principles and values that guided decisions are identified retrospectively through an analysis of 46 individual interviews with members of the senior management in each organization. The findings include decision-making strategies that include the engagement of stakeholders as well as the tactics employed for balancing the budget. The study informants reflect upon the success of their actions and upon the environmental and organizational factors that facilitated and constrained managerial decision making. The study concludes with implications for practice and future research.
December 18, 2015