Session: Advancing Organizational and Management Research Trajectories in Social Work: Different Paths but Common Challenges (Society for Social Work and Research 23rd Annual Conference - Ending Gender Based, Family and Community Violence)

277 Advancing Organizational and Management Research Trajectories in Social Work: Different Paths but Common Challenges

Sunday, January 20, 2019: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Union Square 23/24 Tower 3, 4th Floor (Hilton San Francisco)
Cluster: Organizations & Management (O&M)
Alicia Bunger, PhD, Ohio State University, Karen Hopkins, PhD, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Jennifer Mosley, PhD, University of Chicago, Monica Perez Jolles, PhD, University of Southern California and Matthew Spitzmueller, PhD, Syracuse University
Background: Human service organizational and management (O&M) researchers cover a broad range of topics, base their work in all fields of practice, and draw from a diversity of theoretical traditions and methodologies (McBeath & Hopkins, 2018). Yet, despite the diversity in the field, organizational researchers in social work confront common professional challenges. Such challenges include: relatively few faculty positions focused on O&M in social work, a paucity of external funding in the area, field journals with lower impact scores than their importance would indicate, difficulties connecting with mentors and potential collaborators given the smaller size of the field, few relevant secondary data sets, and small available sample sizes. As a result, the field of O&M research struggles to showcase its relevance (such as in the Grand Challenges) and grow despite high interest among graduate students and early career faculty.

Purpose: This roundtable is intended to build capacity of organizational researchers in social work by addressing the unique professional challenges identified consistently by O&M researchers. Our discussion will focus on more in-depth exploration of the professional supports our field needs for expansion and identifying next steps. Specific objectives of our conversation include: (1) explore the diversity of organizational research trajectories and their challenges; (2) share concrete strategies for advancing scholarship; (3) build connections among organizational scholars to promote cross-institutional collaboration and mentorship opportunities; and (4) establish priorities for collective action that include broader engagement in the Social Work Grand Challenges.

Approach: Organizational scholars at multiple career stages, and from a range of institutions, will facilitate the roundtable. The facilitators will begin by illustrating the breadth and diversity of research trajectories in this field, challenges they have encountered, and strategic decisions made to advance their scholarship. Then, conversation will open up to the group and focus on trouble-shooting common practical/professional challenges including: 1) articulating an organizational research identity and agenda in social work, 2) securing funding, 3) publishing research on human service organizations and management in multiple disciplines, and 4) designing rigorous practice-relevant research studies (including but not limited to issues of sample size, data availability, measures, and analysis).

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