THIS BOOK is organized around issues that were first highlighted in the Conference on Human Service Organizations and Organizational Theory held at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Palo Alto in 1979. I participated in that conference at the invitation of Dr. Herman Stein of Case Western Reserve University. Under his leadership, that conference and the publication that followed, Organization and the Human Services: Cross-Disciplinary Reflections, edited by Dr. Stein, brought the insights of the social sciences— economics, sociology, and political science—to bear on the challenges of managing human service organizations. With encouragement from Dr. Stein, I continued to work on issues identified in that conference.
Critical support by Dr. Louis A. Zurcher, a former colleague at the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin, led to the publication of The Political Economy of Human Service Programs by JAI Press in 1988, which dealt with the historical and institutional context of contemporary human service programs. In 1995, I was invited by Dr. Frederic Reamer of Rhode Island College to prepare a book on human services management as part of the Columbia University Press series, The Foundations of Social Work. The supportive environment of colleagues and students at the School of Social Work, The University of Texas at Austin and the encouragement of Dean Barbara W. White have been important in carrying this project through to completion. Anonymous reviewers of the completed manuscript provided important suggestions.
My wife, Zuria Farmer Austin—a graduate of the School of Applied Social Sciences, Western Reserve University; a social worker; and volunteer advocate for expanded community services—provided critical assistance. Responsibility for the final version of this book, however, is mine.
D. M. A.