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Title:The tailored information sharing decision model: A qualitative study exploring how expert lobbyists influence state legislators
Author(s):Minarik, Joseph Douglas
Director of Research:Lough, Benjamin J.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Lough, Benjamin J.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Anderson, Steven G.; Wu, Chi-Fang; DiNitto, Diana M.
Department / Program:School of Social Work
Discipline:Social Work
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):policy practice, lobbying, social work, nonprofit
Abstract:To share information effectively with state legislative policymakers, administrators of nonprofit organizations need policy practice knowledge and skills. This study presents a theory of tailored information sharing to help social workers and others who administer nonprofit organizations enhance their policy practice knowledge, and identify ways to build legislative policy advocacy skills. Policymaking in state legislatures is increasingly important to nonprofit human service (HSNP) organizations. Legislative decisions can significantly impact their ability to provide client services. At the same time, HSNPs have information about clients, services, and emergent social problems they need to share so legislators can make better policy decisions. HSNP administrators who lack policy practice knowledge and skills for communicating this information effectively, may be able to learn from lobbyists who routinely share information to influence state legislator decisions. This study investigates expert lobbyist decisions to build a theory of lobbyist information sharing. Based on in-depth semi-structured interviews with 18 expert lobbyists from a single Midwestern state, this qualitative study elucidates how lobbyists influence state legislators through tailored communications. Specifically, expert lobbyists use what they know about a legislative bill, an individual legislator, and legislative district politics to select or tailor information most important to the legislator. In this way, lobbyist information assists legislators in making policy decisions. Study findings include generation of the Tailored Information Sharing Decision Model, reflecting real-world expert decision making. This decision model can be used in instructional design of policy advocacy training for social work students, nonprofit organization personnel, and others. This study helps address a critical social work policy practice research need. It also offers an opportunity to enhance social work macro practice curricula. 
Issue Date:2018-04-17
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Joseph Minarik
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-09-04
Date Deposited:2018-05

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