First Advisor

Daniel O'Toole

Term of Graduation

Summer 2005

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public Administration and Policy


Public Administration




Organizational change -- Oregon, Human services -- Oregon -- Reorganization, Administrative agencies -- Oregon -- Reorganization, Administrative agencies -- Reorganization, Organizational change -- Oregon



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 169 pages)


For decades, states have tried to reorganize their human service agencies in order to more effectively coordinate and integrate client services. Despite appearing to be a reasonable undertaking, previous studies indicated that such efforts met with only limited success (Dunkle & Surles, 1998; Pindus et al. 2000; Rabin & Steinhauer, 1988; GAO, 1992; Lynn, 1980; Owens, 1985).

This study had three objectives tied to understanding this type of reorganization. First, find out whether the OD process could inform restructuring. Second, determine whether evidence of the constraints to implementing planned organizational change that have been identified in the literature, became manifest during this reorganization. In addition, if there were indications of constraints, to see if potential solutions for overcoming them could be generated through the participatory action research-organization development (PAR-OD) process. Third, see if the type of policy and the source of funds were related to the support for and magnitude of reorganization.

This study drew upon two sources to develop a list of potential constraints to change and then compared the results of the data generated during this reorganization to those constraints. Administrative changes during the course of the restructuring provided valuable insight into the nature of the challenges of reorganizing state public human services.

Because the reorganization was suspended during the course of the study, results were inconclusive regarding the first objective. Nonetheless, the data generated during the early stages of the reorganization, were used to inform choices about the direction of the reorganization made during and after an administrative transition. Constraints to change could be identified as well as potential solutions. Furthermore, those constraints to change that were identified, as well as the suspension itself, point to a different direction in understanding how to reorganize public human services. There was no indication that the proportion of the budget that came from state vs. other funds impacted the magnitude of change. However, there were indications that the health services area of the department was not as involved in the reorganization as other areas, with the unanticipated exception of the 'finance and policy'.


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