The collaborative research process in complex human services agencies: Identifying and responding to organizational constraints

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Social service devolution and increased accountability demands have created new opportunities for researchers to develop collaborative research relationships with human service agencies. However, results from such research have been underused in agency decision-making. This article examines selected organizational constraints that limit both the conduct of collaborative research and the utilization of results. Issues analyzed include the differing research orientations and political skills of agency collaborators; conflicting organizational imperatives; and decision-making unpredictability due to external constraints and the shifting attention of key organizational actors. Based on this analysis, strategies are presented for improving the prospects that collaborative research will be used in agency decision-making. Particular attention is given to the selection of agency collaborators, as well as the development of a long-term approach to building influence within organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalAdministration in Social Work
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Administration

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