Contracting

Management Practice

The work of the Mack Center continues to generate significant implications for the improvement of management practice in the human services. Each of the following major areas of inquiry identifies implications for management practice:

Public/Non-Profit Contracting

Our examination of public-nonprofit contracting in the human services involves two mixed-methods studies that examine the collaborative nature of nonprofit contracting in the context of technical challenges that reflect the underlying complexity of human service delivery. This work focuses on issues related to service coordination, commitment to the contract relationship, and contract communication in the relationships between nonprofit and public managers.

Perspectives of Public and Nonprofit Managers on Communications in Human Services Contracting

Carnochan, S.
McBeath, B.
Chuang, E.
Austin, Michael J.
2018

Government contracts and grants constitute the largest funding source for the majority of nonprofit organizations. Contracts for complex services, such as those involved in delivering human services, pose substantial challenges for public and nonprofit managers. In this context, concerns have been raised about contract management capacity, including challenges related to proposal and contract development, implementation, and performance reporting, as well as the impact of contract monitoring tools on contractor performance.

Service Coordination by Public Sector Managers in a Human Service Contracting Environment.

McBeath, B.
Chuang, E.
Carnochan, S.
Austin, Michael J.
Stuart, M.
2018

Despite emerging evidence of contracting for evidence-based practices (EBP), little research has studied how managers lead contract-based human service delivery. A 2015 survey of 193 managers from five San Francisco Bay Area county human service departments examined the relationship between contract-based service coordination (i.e., structuring cross-sector services, coordinating client referrals and eligibility, overseeing EBP implementation) and the predictors of managerial role, involvement, and boundary spanning.

Performance Measurement Challenges in Nonprofit Human Service Organizations

Carnochan, S.
Samples, M.
Myers, M.
Austin, M.J.
2013

This qualitative study examines the experiences of four nonprofit human service organizations engaging in performance measurement processes to satisfy accountability requirements and increase organizational and program effectiveness. Nonprofits are increasingly required to respond to performance measurement mandates issuing from multiple sources. However, many of the recommended strategies have been developed in the for-profit and public sectors, and are less appropriate or feasible for nonprofit organizations.