We propose a series of studies to provide clarity in three areas associated with organizational change and innovation implementation that have heretofore, not well researched within criminal justice or substance abuse treatment settings. The role of organizational and clinical feedback has long been posited as both a stimulating variable for enhancing individual and organizational readiness to change as well as a mediating variable for the efficiency and effectiveness of implementation change processes. Critical questions remain, however, regarding the relative influence of the content, timeliness, context, and format of such information on stimulating and sustaining individual and organizational implementation change. The role of organizational and individual social networks has been well documented within innovation adoption and organizational changes processes but not addressed to date with regard to the implementation of evidence based criminal justice or substance abuse treatment. Previous research has well documented the important and complimentary roles that weak social ties and strong social ties among organizations and among individuals play in innovation exposure and innovation implementation. The paucity of research regarding social networks within the substance abuse and criminal justice systems is unfortunate, given the dynamic and transient nature of service access and provision that typifies most substance using offenders. The final area of research that we propose will focus upon the measurement of implementation as an organizational outcome in its own right. To date, implementation has been narrowly conceived as treatment fidelity, assessed primarily through measures of individual clinician behavior and/or treatment unit indices of fidelity. Such treatment-bounded approaches to the definition and measurement of implementation impede the study of implementation as a organizational or personalogical phenomenon wherein the mediating characteristics of the treatment approach (e.g., complexity, trialability, etc.) are assessed. This project, under the direction of co-Principal Investigators Michael S. Shafer and Barbara Broderick, represents a collaborative network, anchored at Arizona State University bringing together the expertise of the Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy and the Decision Support Theater, in concert with a network of adult and juvenile probation departments, affiliated community based treatment providers and juvenile corrections.
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