SAGE Journal Articles
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Journal Article 13.1 McBeath, B., Carnochan, S., Stuart, M., & Austin, M. J. (2017). The managerial and relational dimensions of public-nonprofit human service contracting. Journal of Strategic Contracting and Negotiation, 3(2): 51-77.
Abstract: Public-nonprofit contracting for human services is complicated by the difficulty of fully specifying contracts in the face of complex human service delivery issues. To understand how public and nonprofit agencies resolve these complications while serving client populations effectively and meeting public accountability requirements, this article examines the following research question: given the complexity of human service delivery, how do public and nonprofit managers address the challenges of contract management? The study analyzes qualitative data from interviews and focus groups with managers from three San Francisco Bay Area county human service agencies and three nonprofit agencies contracting with these public agencies to deliver human services. Findings uncover the deeply relational and collaborative nature of human service contracting amidst technical challenges that reflect the underlying complexity of human service delivery. The results also show how public and nonprofit managers address these dynamics to inform the task of organizing and delivering human services.
Learning Objective: 13.1 Learn about the nature of human service organizations.
Abstract: Ongoing racism, structural inequity, dehumanizing institutional bureaucracies, unresponsive service delivery systems, and gaps in services for emerging needs are just some of the pervasive challenges in need of social work leadership. The multidisciplinary nature of social work practice also requires value-based leadership processes on multiple ecological levels to address the challenges inherent within social delivery systems. Social work encourages all social workers to lead these change efforts, but research on front-line social work leadership is lacking. Constructionist conceptualizations of leadership as social influence processes provide a unit of analysis to examine front-line leadership. A secondary analysis of qualitative data examining social work practice that promotes well-being and social justice revealed leadership processes in multiple social work practice settings. Findings: Front-line social workers demonstrate three overarching leadership processes in their practice: challenging injustice and changing mindsets, conduit for change, and organizing resources and relationships. Applications: Conceptualizing leadership as social influence processes identifies and acknowledges the leadership of front-line social workers, expanding the profession’s capacity to collectively articulate and initiate change with a range of social problems and systemic challenges in organizations and communities.
Learning Objective: 13.2 Discuss organizational vision and mission, organizational structure and organizational culture.