DEVELOPING INTERORGANIZATIONAL DOMAINS: CONCEPTS AND PRACTICE

JOSEPH EDWARD MCCANN, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

Social problem solving within dynamic, complex environments is becoming increasingly difficult for two primary reasons. First, the scale and complexity of these problems create significant appreciative deficiencies. Second, because of these deficiencies, the interorganizational, shared nature of the problems, and the dominance of a frequently dysfunctional bureaucratic paradigm, significant control deficiencies also exist. This study is an effort to test the usefulness of a conceptual framework and intervention methodology believed to be capable of better managing both appreciative and control deficiencies. The effort is exploratory and developmental in its approach. The study's research goals are to create a better conceptual understanding of interorganizational domain phenomena and a better sense of the critical intervention design issues posed within these settings. The intervention design adopted for this study is called the Domain Development Process or DDP. The design is grounded within social ecological concepts and practices which are stated as working assumptions. The design consists of three components: a series of events and overall process for exploring domain issues, a technology or set of techniques used to perform those events, and a data gathering/interpretation component which collects data about the intervention's context and performance. The study's original plan called for a test of the complete DDP design in three community based corrections domains in two states. In practice, the DDP model was attempted but aborted in Site P, the first setting. The model was not used in Site M, the second site, and was used with some modification in Site A, the third setting. Site P has yielded inconclusive, though suggestive, intervention outcomes. Site M and A have produced definite and significant outcomes, many still in the process of coming about. A day-by-day discussion of all three interventions is presented. The three field experiences surfaced three sets of variables which are considered minimally sufficient in explaining intervention performance. The final chapter advances a contingency model which integrates these sets of variables. In the revised model, intervention outcomes are defined as a joint function of Intervention Context and Intervention Process variables. Several propositions are advanced in a tentative effort to relate these three sets. The final chapter concludes with a discussion of needed changes in the data gathering/interpretation component of the intervention design process and notes several general issues related to interorganizational domain theory. Appendices are included which summarize construct development efforts, the survey instruments used, and the workshop tool/techniques designed for the DDP model.

Subject Area

Public policy

Recommended Citation

MCCANN, JOSEPH EDWARD, "DEVELOPING INTERORGANIZATIONAL DOMAINS: CONCEPTS AND PRACTICE" (1980). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI8028871.
https://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI8028871

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