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Title:"Administer the trust": An historical case study of organizational transformation at the Cunningham Children's Home of Urbana, Illinois
Author(s):Carney, Mary Bernice
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Gullerud, Ernest N.
Department / Program:Social Work
Discipline:Social Work
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Social Work
Sociology, Public and Social Welfare
Abstract:This historical case study of organizational transformation at the Cunningham Children's Home of Urbana, Illinois (CCH/or the Home) used the framework of organizational transformation theory to understand how CCH changed from an orphanage to a residential treatment center from 1949 to 1968. Organizational transformation is a process "in which organizations evaluate what they were, what they will need to be, and how to make necessary changes" (Kilman & Covin, 1988, p. 4).
To uncover the nature and process of CCH's transformation, historical case study method, which relied upon past organizational documents (including minutes of administrative meetings, financial ledgers, case records, and correspondence) and confirmatory interviews with former organizational members, was used to create a narrative account of the transformation years. The chronological narrative revealed that the organizational transformation from orphanage to residential treatment center was an evolutionary one, led by the Home's quest to become more "modern". To reach this goal, the organization adopted professional social work values and practices. Instituting these professional principles produced an even more profound change. CCH, a Methodist child caring agency, transformed from a religious mission to a professional social welfare agency. This shift required the women who administered the Home to not only learn professional social work values and knowledge but to trust in them. This ability to trust is the cornerstone of the transformation. The larger meaning of trust as faith is important in understanding the nature of CCH for the power of faith in the Home's mission, in the future, and in God among organizational members was the essential ingredient in their transformation.
Important elements of the CCH organizational transformation were the ability of organizational members to create their own structures, to trust in the leadership, to have strong, committed leadership at both the executive and Board levels during transitional times, and to have a shared vision of the future to work toward. The CCH transformation process underscores the need for individual social service agencies to trust--not only in the future but in themselves and their decision-making processes.
Issue Date:1993
Description:270 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1993.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI9411577
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-17
Date Deposited:1993

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