Management Practice

Management Practice

Since its founding, the Mack Center has worked through its research and training programs to improve management practice in the human services. Each of the following areas of inquiry identifies implications for management practice:

Relational Mechanisms in Complex Contracting: Factors Associated with Private Managers’ Satisfaction with and Commitment to the Contract Relationship

Chuang, E.
McBeath, B.
Carnochan, S.
Austin, Michael J.
2019

The complexity of human service delivery means that contracts are often incomplete or contingent. When contracted services or products are complex, relational contracting can function as a critical informal accountability mechanism. This study introduces and tests a conceptual framework of relational processes and organizational factors hypothesized to inform private human service contract outcomes.

Building Managerial and Organizational Capacity in Nonprofit Human Service Organizations Through a Leadership Development Program

Austin, Michael J.
Regan, K.
Samples, M.
Schwartz, S.L.
Carnochan, S.
2011

Highly skilled managers are needed to lead organizations and enable them to survive in changing times, especially in this era when members of the baby boom generation are retiring from senior positions. Most short-term in-service management training programs for practicing managers reflect the abbreviated versions of content found in either undergraduate or graduate degree programs in nonprofit management.

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.

Factors Associated with Managerial Innovation in Public Human Service Organizations

Jolles M.P.
McBeath, B.
Carnochan, S.
Austin, M.J.
2016

Pressures from the New Public Management movement have challenged human service managers to adapt to changing environments through innovation. Yet, no research has examined managerial innovation along the spectrum of lower- to upper-level managers. This study analyzed survey data of 466 public human service managers to examine the relationship between individual characteristics and managerial innovation.

Practice Research

Fisher, M.
Austin, M.J.
Julkunen, I.
Sim, T.
Uggerhoj, L.
Isokuortti, N.
2016

No abstract is available for this publication. 

Mack Center on Nonprofit and Public Sector Management in Human Service Organizations

Austin, M.J.
2018

This invited set of reflections upon the research carried out under the auspices of a school of social work is part of a series featuring research centers. It reflects 25 years of scholarly work related to both public and nonprofit human service organizations at the only university-based research center in the United States devoted to research on the management of human service organizations.

Introducing Organizational Development (OD) Practices in a County Human Services Agency

DuBrow, A.
Wocher, D.
Austin, M.J.
2013

Organization development (OD) is one approach to managing change within an organization. In this case study, organization development is defined as a top-management-supported, long-range effort to improve an organization's problem-solving and renewal processes, particularly through a more effective and collaborative diagnosis and management of the organization's culture. It is rare that a public county human service agency has the opportunity to incorporate an internal organizational development (OD) function to assist with managing organizational change.

Building a Coalition of Non-Profit Agencies to Collaborate with a County Health and Human Services Agency

Libby, M.
Austin, M.J.
2008

It is rare that a group of community-based non-profit social service providers can successfully develop a coalition that includes not only a range of providers, but the County Health and Human Service Agency as well. This is a case study of a coalition of non-profit agencies that has come together in an attempt to plan and implement a comprehensive service delivery system to address the human service needs of residents in Napa County, California.