3. The Center for Innovative Practices in Youth and Family Mental Health (CIP). CIP provides technical assistance, training and fidelity assessment to agencies adopting the Multi-Systemic Therapy model developed by Scott Henggeler (1999). This approach involves the use of treatment teams to provide intensive home-based treatment to youth that cuts across key settings and systems, including family, peers, school and neighborhood.

4. Ohio Substance Abuse and Mental Illness (SAMI) CCOE. The Ohio SAMI CCOE provides training, consultation, technical support and fidelity assessments to agencies adopting the New Hampshire-Dartmouth SAMI model, an integrated and comprehensive treatment model for individuals with mental illness and substance abuse.

Research Questions

The project focuses on two broad questions: 1) What factors and processes influence the adoption of innovations by behavioral healthcare provider organizations? 2) What factors and processes contribute to the longer-term assimilation of innovations by adopting organizations? Factors and processes expected to explain variability in the decision to adopt/not adopt and, for adopting organizations, the subsequent assimilation of the innovation, relate to the innovation itself, aspects of the adoption decision process, features of the provider organization, and characteristics of the relationship between the CCOE and the provider organization.

Theoretical and Empirical Framework

Relevant literatures. Numerous literatures contributed to the development of study hypotheses, design, and methods. The organizational change and development literature provided an important foundation because the adoption of innovative practices is seen as a special case of organizational change. In addition, because EBPs are conceptualized as innovative practices, the literature related to the diffusion, adoption and assimilation of innovations (e.g., Rogers, 1995, 1962) contributed in significant ways to the conceptualization of this project. Of particular interest was the research dealing with "user - based" as opposed to "source - based" models of innovation. This is because we are interested in understanding the adoption and implementation of externally developed innovations rather than the process by which innovations are conceived, developed, and disseminated (e.g.. Klein & Sorre, 1996). In addition, we focused on studies dealing with the organization rather than the individual as the adopting entity (e.g., Meyer and Goes, 1988; Van de Ven, Angle, and Poole, 2000) because we are primarily interested in adoption and implementation at the organizational level of analyses (by service providers).

Additional important literatures that were reviewed include: 1) the healthcare planning and implementation literature (e.g., Hickson, 1986; Nutt, 1992) because the innovations of interest are being diffused in the behavioral healthcare arena, 2) the decision making literature (e.g., Daft and Weick), particularly the literature related to decision making under conditions of risk (e.g., MacCrimmon & Wehrung, 1986; Staw, Sandelands, & Dutton, 1981; Sitkin and Weingart, 1995; Kahneman and Tversky, 1979) because the adoption of EBPs is seen as involving both benefits and costs for organizations, 3) the knowledge creation and utilization literature (e.g., Abrahamson, 1991 ; Denis et al., 2001, Fitzgerald et al., 2001) because it acknowledges that the extent to which "evidence" is seen as convincing is likely to vary with the beholder, 5) the literature related to the development and growth of inter-organizational relationships (e.g., Ring and Van de Ven, 1994) because it identifies factors that are expected to explain the quality of the working relationship between CCOEs and adopting organizations, and 6) the work related to levels issues in the conduct of organizational research (e.g., Rousseau, 1985; Klein, Dansereau et al, 1994; Kumar, Stern & Anderson, 1993) because our underlying research models are multi-level in nature (i.e., involve predictor variables which span at least four levels of analyses from the innovation itself to the CCOE - adopting organization dyad.)


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