Developing Competent Child Welfare Leaders Who Can Successfully Implement Organizational Change
Method: Survey and interview data (30-minute telephone interviews with randomly selected LAMM managers) were gathered at baseline, post-training, and 3, 6, and 12 months after the training from 406 middle managers and 799 supervisors. Before attending the Academy, participants were required to write a comprehensive description of a change project they intended to initiate in their organization.
Participants rated (on 5-point Likert scales):
- Confidence and progress around implementing the CI (LAMM = 12 items, LAS = 3 items)
- Transfer of learning barriers/facilitators (TOL; LAMM =73 items in 4 domains: Motivation to Transfer, Individual Ability, Work Environment, and Training; LAS = 48 items in the first 3 domains; post-test only)
- Thematic analysis indicated that the top two CI categories for middle managers related to Organizational Climate & Culture and Data & Accountability, while supervisors selected Caseload & Workload and Self as Leader. Further analyses of barriers/facilitators to CI implementation gleaned from interviews will be presented.
- Of LAMM participants with available data, 59% reached the full implementation stage of their CI within 12 months of the training.
- Repeated measures ANOVAs examined changes in LAMM participants’ CI implementation over time, revealing significant mean increases immediately following the training, F(4, 116) = 102.76, p < .001, with subsequent timepoints proving to be significantly higher than pre-training levels. For LAS, an ANOVA comparing implementation means at 3, 6, and 12 months F(2, 440) = 2.97, p = .052 revealed significantly higher 12-month implementation scores compared to 3-month.
- Multiple regression analyses were used to predict 6-month CI implementation from TOL domains for LAMM and LAS [F(4, 279) = 8.33, p < .001, R2 = .11 and F(3, 125) = 22.13, p < .001, R2 = .35, respectively], where Individual Ability was a significant predictor for LAMM (Work Environment was trend level); and Motivation to Transfer and Work Environment were significant predictors for LAS.
Conclusions and Implications: Using a sample of child welfare managers and supervisors, these results support hypotheses that factors related to both the individual and work environment are critical for implementing organizational change. Also, examination of the types of organizational systems changes that child welfare leaders select provides a deeper understanding of the priorities of organizations, allowing for supports to be tailored around the needs of the leaders.