Session: Building Capacity for Human Service Organizational and Managerial Research (Society for Social Work and Research 22nd Annual Conference - Achieving Equal Opportunity, Equity, and Justice)

115 Building Capacity for Human Service Organizational and Managerial Research

Friday, January 12, 2018: 1:45 PM-3:15 PM
Archives (ML 4) (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Cluster: Organizations & Management
Erick Guerrero, PhD, University of Southern California, Jennifer E. Mosley, PhD, University of Chicago, Alicia Bunger, MSW, PhD, Ohio State University, Bowen McBeath, PhD, Portland State University, John Tropman, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and Ram Cnaan, PhD, University of Pennsylvania
Background: The concept of capacity building—involving the provision of organizational resources, role-specific training, and the development of supportive professional networks—has generally been applied to human services organizations and managers (HSOM) as opposed to researchers (e.g., Austin et al., 2011; Jones, 2003). Yet it is important to build the capacity of HSOM researchers to address the knowledge–action gap and promote the overall theoretical and empirical foundations of HSOM practice (Nair & Guerrero, 2013). Unfortunately, few capacity-building initiatives exist for HSOM researchers, resulting in a dearth of specific supports for HSOM research in university and agency settings.

Objectives: This workshop aims to build on the success of well-attended SSWR workshops on HSOM research during the previous four years. Building on lessons learned, the objectives of this workshop are to: (1) offer continued support to doctoral students, early career investigators, and established researchers to conduct original HSOM research studies; (2) offer continued support to the development of high-quality HSOM scholarship of relevance to practice; and (3) continue creating opportunities for HSOM researchers to network and develop new scholarly projects. These proximal workshop objectives support a mid-range goal of enhancing the overall capacity of HSOM researchers.

Content: Expanding on themes and experiences from the last three years, the content of the current workshop will reflect the empirical and methodological interests of participants and their specific questions. Research topics of emphasis during the 2017 workshop included identifying conceptual frameworks to guide research inquiry , best practices to conducting survey research in organizations, dissemination and implementation studies, program and policy evaluation studies, and translation of research. Similar foci are expected to guide the current workshop and participants will self-select based on their preferences.

Approach: The approach of the proposed workshop will be similar to previous workshops. Participants will be organized by substantive interest areas into small groups. The groups will engage in dialogue by cofacilitators with different HSOM substantive and methodological expertise and early, mid-career, and senior status. In groups, participants will discuss and receive feedback from cofacilitators and one another regarding an issue of concern related to their current research. Volunteer note-takers in each group will record specific research questions, strategies, and implications for theory and practice. Participants will receive a copy of the workshop meeting minutes and will be encouraged to remain in contact with cofacilitators and one another. With these efforts, we seek to achieve a minimum 35% follow-up rate with participants.

As in previous years, 2017 workshop cofacilitators will advertise the workshop via appropriate mailing lists (e.g., SSWR, ARNOVA, GADE, AOM and APPAM). Participants preregistering for the workshop will be asked to submit a paragraph about their main interest in participating. This information will be used by cofacilitators in preplanning to organize small groups and maximize workshop time for dialogue and learning. The main discussion themes and insights will be disseminated via a peer-reviewed paper to be published in the SSWR Management and Organizations special interest group' official journal, Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership, & Governance.

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