Sustaining High-Quality Human Service Managerial and Organizational Scholarship

Saturday, January 17, 2015: 10:00 AM-11:45 AM
Balconies N, Fourth Floor (New Orleans Marriott)
Cluster: Organizations, Management, and Communities
Bowen McBeath, PhD, Portland State University, Jennifer Mosley, PhD, University of Chicago, Karen M. Hopkins, PhD, University of Maryland, John Tropman, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and Michael J. Austin, PhD, University of California, Berkeley
Background: Research from different fields highlights the challenges of sustaining managerial and organizational (M&O) innovations (Aarons et al., 2011; McBeath & Austin, in press; Nair & Guerrero, 2013). Without continued resources, rigorous training, and leadership/mentorship, promising practices and early-stage interventions may not be implemented fully in relation to original goals. This workshop applies this basic logic in suggesting that human service M&O scholarship is enhanced through the regular provision of resources, training, and mentoring. Unfortunately, many schools of social work have limited capacity in the area of M&O training and research.

Objectives: The primary objective of this workshop is to build on the successes of a well-attended 2014 SSWR workshop on human service M&O scholarship to (a) assist doctoral students, early career investigators, and established scholars in incorporating appropriate theories and methodologies into their work and thus to (b) support the development of high-quality M&O scholarship. The workshop is also intended to create opportunities for human service M&O researchers to network, share resources, and develop new scholarly projects.

Content: Workshop content will reflect the general M&O scholarly interests of participants as well as the specific theories and methods participants are employing. Substantive foci for the 2014 workshop included: research on frontline work in human service bureaucracies; dissemination and implementation research; research on organizational change and functioning; connections between leadership and management practice and research; and connections between organizational behavior and organizational theory. It is anticipated that similar foci will be employed for the current workshop.

Approach: As with the successful 2014 workshop, the bulk of workshop time will be dedicated to small group dialogue led by six co-facilitators who have different M&O, theoretical, and methodological interests and who represent early, mid-career, and senior scholars. Each co-facilitator will be assigned to a small group of workshop participants organized by substantive topic. In small groups, participants will discuss and receive feedback from co-facilitators on an issue of concern related to their scholarship. Post-workshop, participants will be encouraged to remain in contact with co-facilitators.

To stimulate advance interest, co-facilitators will advertise the workshop via established M&O listservs (e.g., SSWR M&O special interest group, ARNOVA) as well as the GADE listserv. Participants pre-registering for the workshop will be asked to submit a short paragraph (a) identifying their general scholarly interests related to human service M&O issues and (b) summarizing a substantive, methodological, or theoretical issue related to an in-progress piece of scholarship they would like to focus on during the workshop. This information will be used by co-facilitators in pre-planning to organize small groups and thus to maximize workshop time for dialogue and learning.

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