Title: Technology transfer within a government organization
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00098678/00001
 Material Information
Title: Technology transfer within a government organization a study of the innovation process in Florida's social services
Alternate Title: The Innovation process in Florida's social services
Physical Description: xiii, 254 leaves : ; 28cm.
Language: English
Creator: Steinhauer, Marcia B.
Publisher: Marcia B. Steinhauer
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 1975
Copyright Date: 1975
Subject: Technology transfer   ( lcsh )
Bureaucracy   ( lcsh )
Political Science thesis Ph. D   ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Political Science -- UF   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Thesis: Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography: Bibliography: leaves 245-253.
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Vita.
Statement of Responsibility: by Marcia Buan Steinhauer.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00098678
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 000164110
oclc - 02776142
notis - AAT0470


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Marcia Buan Steinhauer






Marcia Buan SLeinhauer



A unique human being;

a bridge over troubled waters.


I wish to express my deep appreciation to the Chaiir':man of

my Committee, Professor Victor A. Thompson for his valuable

guidance Pnd constructive commrrnts offered during the preparaLion

cf this dinserLatio 1. 1. his heiie gpInai2o witli his time and

thoughtfully arranged his schelule to arcoriodatc my visits.

I wish to thank! professors 0. I-Auth MIlcuoWi, Mannirg )Daunr,

AlfU.ed Clubok, and Raynon d Crist for their corniment-s and coopera-

tion in serving on ily committee. Additional thaIks are e:xtc.ndcd

to Professor Tiruow, for ler e'.c:is;l' 1-ospi ulity r.ini; my m:ny

trips to Gainesville.

Special gratitude and recogiiition to Dr. Gladys 1. Kammerer,

my late Chairperson, who served as r. madel for emulation. She

influenced me greatly Loth professionally and personally with her

knowledge, wisdom, and style.

Appreciation is extended to my family and friends. My fam-

ily has given continuous encouragement throughout the years. My

friends made themselves available for discussions, advice, and

moral support throughout this endeavor.

A final note of personal regard goes to my small ard faith-

ful companions, the beloved Tutu asnd Sparky, and the devoted Sun-

shine and Baby.



AC1KNI'TOi IDC INTS . . . . .... .. . . . .. iv

LIST OF TABLF:S . . . . . ... . . . . . viii

LIST OF lF GURaJi:S . . . . . . . . . . .. .

AL StIACI . . . . . . . . . . . . . x


I INTRODUCTION! . . . . . . . ... 1

Problem . . . . . . . . . 1
Setting ... .. ............... 1
The Innovation Under Stu!ly:' Client
Infonr:!tjon System. . . . . . . . 3
Purpose fnd P lac of t; e I:dy . .. . . . 8

II R;CVIEW OF LITERATLRE . . . . . . .. 10

Problems of Defining Innuvation ........ .
Alternative Appro.'- hes to the
Study of Innovation . . . . . ... 15
Diffusion Research . . . ..... 1.5
Factors Conducive to Creativity .. ... 19
Research Utili tLion . . . . . 21
Aggrugat c Hulti-Organizational
Analysis. ... . . . . .. . 24
Organization Theory and the
Analysis of Innovation . . ... 28


Exploratory Study Design . . . . .... 62
Theoretical Awareness . . . . .. 62
Document Examination and Interviews . . 63
Worker Survey . . . .. ... ... 64
Theoretical Fraymework . . . . . .. 66
Organizatiounl populationn . . . . ... 69
Conceptual Groups . . . . . . 69
Organizational Limitations . . .. 71

IV DEGREES OF TRANSLFFR . ........... . 73


Reasons for the Creation of a
Client Infonmation System .. ...
Provide a Uniform Information
Base for management . . . . ..
Demonstrate Fiscal Accountability
of Resources . . . . . . .
Provide a iMchanism for Case
Coordination . . ..
Provide a Client Tracking System . .
Assessment of Success or failure . . . .
Evidence for the Assessment . .. ......
Non-comprehensive Scope . . . .
System Did Not let Limited
Application . . . . . ...
Creation of a New Accountability
Agency . . . . . . .
Circumvention of the CIS . ..
Direct Service Workers'
Negative Reaction . . . . ...
Opinions on Information Provided . .
Feelings on the Worth of
Continuing the System . . . .
Linkage of Assessment to Other Findings . . .


Divisibility . . . .... . . . . 89
Physical Manifestation . . .... . . . 90
Efficacy . . .. .. .. . . . . . . 93
Complexity . . . . . . . . . . 97
Focus of Change . . . ... .. . . 99
Negative Halo Effect . . . .... . .. 101

VI QUALITIES OF THE ACTORS . . . . . ... 103

Relevant Elite . . . .
Background Characteristics
Perceptions Related to the
Direct Service Workers . .
Background Characteristics
Perceptions Related to the



VII TRANSFER PROCESS . . . . . . . . .148

Communication . . . . . . . . . 151
Top Managerial Conmitment . . . ... .152
Organizational lMssage: Final
Choice on Implication . . . ... 156

Chapter Page

Feedback: Circulatory Communication . .158
Persuasion: Personally Convincing
Communication. . . . . . . . 160
Resistance . . . . . . . . . . 163
Linkage Services and Procedures . . . ... .173
Task Force . . . . . . . ... 174
Consultants . . . . . . . .. 177
Training: Changing Staff Skills . . .. .181
Demonstration . . . . . . .. 183
Participation. . . . . . . . . .. 184


Research Conclusions . . . . . . ... 195
Research Implications . . . . . . .. 205
Policy Implications. . . . . . . . 209

APPENDIX A . . . . . . . .. . . . 215

APPENDIX B ............. . . . . . 229

BIBLIOGRAPH.Y . . . . . . . . ... ... . 245

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH . . . . . . . . 254



1 Age . . . . . . . . . .. 108

2 Major Educational Area ...... . . . 109

3 Amount of Education . .. .. . . . 110

4 Special Training ... . . . . . 112

5 Extra-Organizational Professional Activities. . 114

6 Years Within the Department . . . . 118

7 Previous Field of Employment ... .. . . 124

8 Centralization: Participation in
Decision-Making . . . . . . . . 127

9 Formalization: Job Codification . . ... 130

10 Formalization: Rule Observation . . ... 131

11 Percentage of Groups with Values
Favorable to Change . . .... .. . . .. 134

12 Perceptions of Final Choice on CIS
Implementation . . . . . . . .. 157

13 Feedback: Instruments Needed Improvement . . 159

14 Feedback: Provided Mechanism for Criticism . 161

15 Perceptions of Resistance/Cooperation
at Various Loci of the Organization:
State Level Program Divisions . . . ... .165

16 Perceptions of Resistance/Cooperation
At Various Loci of the Organization:
Immediate Superior . . . . . . .. 169

17 Perceptions of Resistance/Cooperation
At Various Loci of the Organization:
Direct Service Worker . . . . . . .. 171




18 Workers' Perceptions of Supervisors'
Influence on CIS At Stages in
Transfer Process . . . . . . . 186

19 More Participation by Direct Workers . . . . 187

20 Ranking of Preferences for Development
Task Force Make-Up . . . . . . . . 189

21 Ranking of Types of Authority Which
Motivate Compliance . . . . . . . .. 1.91


Figure 1 Divisions Selected and Omitted Page
for Study 72

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council of
the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy


Marcia Buan Stcinhauer

December, 1975

Chairman: Victor A. Thompson
Major Department: Political Science

This work examined the processual dynamics of a complex organiza-

tion adopting and implementing an innovation which was a departure from

its own traditions. One particular mechanism, the Client Information

System (CIS), was selected to follow the flow of an innovation for the

purpose of systematically analyzing the expectations, behavioral pat-

terns, and linkage devices associated with the process of technology

transfer within a complex and highly decentralized human resources

organization, the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Serv-


The research methodology was exploratory, utilizing a multiple

approach: literature and documents were analyzed for concepts; two

rounds of interviews were conducted with principal actors at several

levels of state and federal government; a local indepth case study

followed the innovation to the lowest level of the organization.

The findings revealed the degree of transfer of the CIS technol-

ogy was very limited in terms of a successful introduction and applica-

tion of new ends or means. The judgement of limited success was based


on the extent to which the CIS was meeting its purposes: providing a

uniform information base; demonstrating fiscal accountability; provid-

ing a case coordination mechanism; and providing a client tracking


The explanation for the limited success was revealed by the

analysis of the combination of dynamic factors comprising 1) the

qualities of the technology, 2) the qualities of the actors, and 3)

the transfer process.

Under the qualities, or attributes, of the technology, the focus

of change was administrative rather than programmnatic. Administrative

innovations generally require more time to discern results. With the

time lag that occurred, the legitimacy of the procedure was eroded.

Another important attribute was a negative halo effect. The reaction

against the technology was really a reaction against a larger and

unacceptable change associated with the technology--namely, the expan-

sion of services.

The participants were examined according to their background

characteristics and perceptions about the organization. The top level

actors, the research-relevant elite, defined both by rank and by partic-

ipation in this particular transfer, were split into the two sub-groups

of receivers and senders. Several background characteristics of the

elite were found to explain the absence of transfer support: educa-

tional backgrounds were highly divergent; receivers majored in social

work and senders majored in engineering; prior work experiences had the

same divergencies; receivers had been in the organization a longer

amount of time and attained positions by coming up through the ranks;


senders had lateral entry into high pay grades. One of the most sig-

nificant findings was the low legitimacy of the senders, perceived as

self-oriented opportunists wanting funds for their own staff expansion.

The findings about direct service workers were considered in

relation to their organizational superiors, the receivers. In settings

perceived as centralized and formalized, workers were highly dependent

on their superiors for guidance and behavior cues.

The nature of the transfer process which evolved around the CIS

was accounted for by the top decision-makers' assessment of the demand

for a change and the subsequent measures taken to accommodate the change,

One finding was the absence of strong comllitmcnt from top officials

which added to low legitimacy. The linkage devices utilized were tem-

porary, whereas the CIS required permanent measures. The linkage

devices included task forces, consultants, staff training, and an

operational prototype. Developmental participation as a linkage

strategy did not appear to be an important factor for inducing com-

pliance behavior for innovation implementation.

General implications for further research and policy decisions

are described.





Bureaucratic systems have tremendous problems absorbing change.

Departures from the organization's own traditions can usefully be con-

sidered a processual phenomenon. Technology transfer is such a phenom-

enon. According to Doctors, technology transfer is:

. the process whereby technical information originating
in one institutional setting is adopted for use in another
institutional setting. The transfer typically requires
active participation by both the transferor and the transferee
and implies more than the mere dissemination of technical
information; it implies the adaptation of new technology{
through a creative transformation and application . .

The focus selected for this study was the problem of the develop-

ment and implementation of a new procedure in a complex organization.

It was believed that focusing on a particular case would serve to exam-

ine the flow of an innovation in a complex organization and to system-

atically analyze the expectations, behavioral patterns, and transfer

strategies associated with the process of innovation.


The setting of this study was a single, but complex formal organiza-

tion, the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services (DHRS).

Samuel I. Doctors, Tl e Role of Federal Agencies in Technology
Transfer (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The M. I. T. Press, 1969), p. 3.

The Department's present formal organization consists of nine program

or line divisions and two staff divisions. The program divisions

include the following: Aging; Children's Medical Services; Corrections;

Family Services; Health; Mental Health; Retardation; Vocational Rehabil-

itation; and Youth Services. The staff divisions are Administrative

Services, and Planning and Evaluation.

The present structure dates back to July, 1969, at which time the

Legislature merged approximately 20 independent units into seven program

divisions under one Secretary appointed by the Governor and confirmed by

the Senate. Boards, commissions and advisory groups were either abol-

ished or stripped of all but advisory functions.

A good description of the Department is one Sapolsky used in his

study of department stores: ". . federations of quasi-independent
merchants." The highly decentralized structure of the Department can

be considered analogous to a store, with units under the direction of

separate buyers. Each buyer has complete authority over his particular

unit of merchandise. In the Department, much the same situation has

prevailed because it has only been since July, 1974, that the Secretary

could directly appoint and remove division directors without legislative

confirmation. Prior to that time, the Secretary could never exercise

complete coordination authority over the divisions because of their own

individual political linkages to the Legislature. Another factor which

has reinforced the semi-autonomous nature of the divisions in the Depart-

ment is the categorical nature of federal grants. Various segments of

the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare promote

Harvey M. Sapolsky "Organizational Structure and Innovation,"
Journal of Business, Vol. XL, No. 4 (Ctober 1967), p. 498.

the administration of funds for specialized groups of clientele. Fed-

eral procedural regulations have required special local units to admin-

ister these funds. This arrangement further discourages coordination

within the Department, because the funded agency is not dependent upon

departmental coordination for its resources.

The Innovation Under Study:
Client Information System

The specific vehicle used in this study for observing and explain-

ing the innovative process in a complex bureaucracy is the Client Infor-

mation System (CIS). The technology of the Client Information System

is not anew idea and has been in existence for several years. However,

the use of the technology was new to the Department of Health and Rehabil-

itative Services at the time of its introduction.

The CIS can be conceptualized as a response to two environmental

factors outside the major organization under consideration. One was the

state Legislature and the other was the federal government. It had been

the unstated legislative intent that with the 1969 merging of agencies

into an umbrella-type department, there would be both a uniform source

of information on clients and a coordination of services for a particular

client. The popular phrase, "clients falling through the cracks in the

service system," meant that no agency would claim a client with two or

more major disabilities. As an example, a theoretical client who was

both retarded and a juvenile delinquent would not have a program in any

agency end thus no agency would handle the case.

The second major environmental factor was the federal government.

In mid-1971, Congress asked the United States Department of Health,

Education and Welfare (H1EW) to explain the huge expansion in spending

on social services--from over $354 million in fiscal year 1969 to $1.69

billion in fiscal year 1972. There was no adequate explanation. No

one knew what exactly federal services grants were spent for because

of the inability of governments to account in detail for the spending.3

The system had been process oriented, not impact oriented. As part of

a plan for social reform for the nation, IIEW issued regulations requir-

ing state agencies to submit an annual program and financial plan as a

condition for receiving reimbursement for social service expenditures

under Title IVA and XVI (Titles IVA and XVI also are referred to as IVA

and VI) of the Social Security Act. There was a change in order, but

not substance of the Social Security Act. As a response to this require-

ment for all states, the Conmunity Services Administration of iEW

"In the technical language of OMB, social services grants were
'uncontrollable' because 'open-ended.' The law did not put a ceiling
on the amount that could be spent, but rather obligated the federal
government to match whatever state governments spent for a particular
activity--that is, for 'social services.' How much the federal gov-
ernment spent therefore depended on what the states claimed and what
HEW allowed. Congress finally did close the open end on social
services spending wT,-h a $2.5 billion ceiling enacted in late 1972,
but only after social services had turned into one of the biggest fed-
eral grant-in-aid programs." Martha Derthick, Uncontrollable Spending
for Social Service Grane, (Washington, D. C.: The Brookings Institu-
tion, 1975), pp. 2-3.

Derthick mentions the sense of urgency felt by federal admin-
istrators. They felt the new regulations "should be designed to gen-
crate basic program information concerning types of services rendered,
cost of particular services compared to numbers and types of recipients,
etc. . In order for a reasonable stewardship of federal funds,
"States should be required to submit a program budget for social serv-
ices, backed by a separate accounting system that vill support ipogram
and financial audits." Ibid., p. 94.

selected Florida to develop and institute a management and information

system that would eventually be utilized nationwide. The CIS was but

one of several components of a larger program and financial planning


At the same time that the notion was being formulated to build a

management and information system which would both have accountability

for federal reimbursement and could be utilized as a state budgeting

device, other concepts were being developed within the Communimty Services

Administration aimed at assessing the impact of social services on

clients. A construct known as the Coal Oriented Social Services struc-

ture was developed to determine what barriers prevented a client from

reaching his highest level of self-sufficiency, and what services were

needed to overcome them.5 This was another way of asking what treatment

and what training were needed by the individual to make him economically

independent and to remove him from public financial assistance (or slow

down his entry into an institution).

The Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services (DHRS)

was selected by the HEW Community Services Admiuistration to build a

prototype management and information system. Florida was chosen for a

range of reasons: it had no mechanism for assuring accountability for

federal reimbursements; there was a planning and research agency within

Florida was requested to participate in the task forces estab-
lished by the Community Services Administration which had as its aim
the preparation of new regulations for the accounting of the social
services funds. Derthick mentions these developments. "Late in the
fall of 1971 the CSA began a crash effort to prepare new regulations.
Five task forces were assembled to consider various aspects of services
administration, and Booz, Allen and Hamilton was engaged to give advice.
(Booz, Allen designed and depicted a scheme that it called GOSS, a Goal
Oriented Social Services Model, and th-t others called, a bit derisively,
Box's boxes.)." Ibid., p. 73.

the appropriate state Department (the Division of Planning and Evalun-

tion), something not found in other states; the head of the Community

Services Administration had been formerly the head of the Florida

Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services and was familiar with

its operations.

The Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services has

nine operating divisions which deal with client services. A person

seeking services applied to one agency for the one service that the

agency supplied. There vas no way to handle a multi-service client.

Consequently, client problems were not solved because the individual

received one service and not a combination. Referrals to other serv-

ice agencies depended upon the initiative and/or knowledge of social

workers. Moreover, there was no way to toll if the client actually

received service from the referral agency.

Thus, it was believed that with the Client Information System

several aims could be achieved: case-management or service coordina-

tion; centralized and uniform management information; tracking of client

movement; accountability for funds. A client could be treated as a

total entity and a multi-service program could be designed to overcome

his individual set of problems and subsequently make him self-suf-

ficient. A picture could be drawn of how much of a particular service

would be needed in order to have an impact on a client and this infor-

mation could be aggregated in order to budget for service needs. The

federal government would get its required accountability reports for


The Client Information System procedure, the innovation selected

for study, requires the filling out of forms at the social worker/client

point, and at the agency provision point. One form is called the

Social Service Information Document (SSID) and provides for client

demographic characteristics, barriers to self-sufficiency, and serv-

ices required to overcome them. the other form, the Social Service

Provision Form (SSPF), would document what and how much service was

actually received by the client. The information was to be aggregated

and automated with a range of reports going to both the federal gov-

ernment and the various levels of administration within the Department.

The development of tlese documents and their incorporation into

the system as a required procedure will be the specific device studied

in order to examine the flow of innovation in a complex organization.

The development of CIS indicates a perception of a need both by the

primary organization and other organizations in its environment. The

planning and research agency which had the central role in developing

CIS (Division of Planning and Evaluation) was located both physically

and administratively closer to the top of the organization (DERS) than

the operating service divisions. The planning and research staff con-

si.sted of individuals not associated with the social work profession.

Their backgrounds were the aero-space industry and the social sciences.

Various training techniques and manuals were developed by the planning

and research agency to implement CIS.

There were many organizational implications of the change for the

people involved. The procedure required new positions to be established

that cut across divisional lines, but which were housed in one of the

operating divisions. Social worker professional norms, coupled .iith a

sense of territoriality, came into play with rhetoric of the kind that

"Our clients are unique and can only be served by this division." There

were charges that the CIS procedures were designed by people who had no

knowledge of clients and their needs. There were also complaints of

additional paperwork. The installation of the two forms was considered

a threat in terms of reduction of organizational autonomy and loss of

prestige with loss of idenLtity. There was fear that the human side of

work would be removed as the computers took over.

The magnitude of the CIS mechanism and its utility for studying

bureaucratic dynamics are co-.ared in the chapter on empirical method-

ology. There one can get an idea of the number of people .t different

levels of government and the scope of the effort that was involved.

Purpose .nd Plan of the Study

This indepth case study of technology transfer in one organiza-

tion was done for the purpose of better understanding the dynamics of

development and adoption of innovations within large organizations.

It is believed that the results may lend themselves to the building

of a model for multi-organization application and more awareness in

policy formullation. The need for research of this nature has been

stressed by Doctors:

. .it has been difficult to obtain measurable
feedback on the process of transfer. Such feed-
back is essential in formulating transfer policy,
both in the initial stages and on a continuing
basis, to provide for program modification and
adoption to a changing environment. In short, there
is a need for comprehensive experiments by social
scientists which would investigate the acquisition,
evaluation, and dissemination of technical informa-
tion and the measurement of its use after dissemina-

Doctors, Technology Transfer, p. 7.

In the next chapter, previous research in this field is examined.

Examination of the literature has the effect of heightening one's aware-

ness both to the limitations of previous research and to new areas which

need exploring. Chapter III sets out the methodological approach.

Examined here are the theoretical framework and the field methods used.

Chapter IV assesses the success of the technology transfer and presents

the evidence upon which the assessment is based. In Chapter V, the

attributes of the technology are analyzed to ascertain their effect on

the transfer process. In Chapter VI, the actors, those who participated

in the process, are analyzed from both their background characteristics,

and their perceptions about the organization. Attention is focused on

how these characteristics affected the transfer process. Particular

attention is given to the similarities and differences between the

receivers and senders of the technology. Chapter VII is an examina-

tion of the dynamic aspects of the process: communication; resistance;

transfer strategies; participation. In Chapter VIII, the conclusions

are presented with their implications for both future research and

policy formulation.



The topic l f o '?!iiorgiiza.ions ci'ngi.ng in innovation activi-

ties hIs gcn:ri-cid iicr e:ri n .g inta-cs-t both anong ui'd.ntsf of orgaD'za-

tiun-al .i.'O. n-1 a ;-' Li e t.s. iThe Ic'.'1L o third inj teres:C has

been ithe dcveloplcint of a i;ide ,iody of it toetur- rel atd to the topic,

but the dev'elopm-:nt hs bc inu divesiL and fra;melLd nd often unre-

lated to previous endeavors. IMohr noLtd tha the literature consists

of ". . scattered projects representing different disciplines, mo i-

vated by different c'on.sidertioLns, aid e'iiiloyicii a s' .i-;ngoly hi.t.tro
generous selection of independent vari.abl.e "

The purpose of this review of the literature is to gain an under-

standing of the vide range of approaches, the rlajcr areas of investiga-

tion, Li c various ulots oj analysi's, ond to explore, th conceptual

bits and pieces that have emerged. The diversity of sources and per-

ceptions in the literature on innovation in organizations is presented

in a manner which gives the broadest possible overview of the field

and which gleans finding' that are applica'sle :o tLis cxplor-cat y


Thlerc are many over--Japping ai eus in the literature an-d o omn

article or book can be said to fit best in oeil one conceptual category.

Lawrence B. Mohr, "Determinants of Innovation in Organizations,"
American Political Science Review, Vol. LXIII, Number 1 (March 1969),
p. 112.

The materials presented in this chapter are organized by a conceptual

scheme that can both highlight their contribution and show points of

congruence and variance within the research. The first section notes

the different definitions of the term "innovation." The connotations

of the term directly influence the research intent and scope and find-

ings. The second section deals with the major orientations behind the

examination of innovation. The intents behind the studies can be

demonstrated by the various purposes and paths the research has taken,

especially in disciplines outside of Political Science. The literature

is conceptualized for purposes of this review into: diffusion research;

factors conducive to creativity; research utilization; and aggregate

multi-organizational analysis.

The last section contains the contributions from organization

theory. The section is divided into the following major conceptual

categories: kinds and properties of innovation; organizational char-

acteristics affecting innovation; characteristics of the individuals

involved affecting innovation; and the dynamics of organizational adop-


Problems of Definioc Innovation

There has not been conceptional agreement on the term "innova-

tion." It has been used within three different contexts.2 The first

context is that of invention, whereby a creative process occurs to

Gerald Zaltman, Robert Duncan, and Jonny Holbek, Innovations
and Organizations (New York: John Wiley & Sons. 1973), pp. 7-8.

produce n c w phenomanna. The litcraLurc Oi creativity a id tcchnological

development use the term in this manner. Utterback's definition of

innovation is that of ". . an invention Chich has reached market

introduction in the case of a new product. ." In Nilo's study of

the res-c-rce-getting ofa health organizai h o, the t erm munan. to create
a new r.Is t es to rsp tod toh detan- J f bnui.ling a new organisation.

Mycrs ap.d N rquis emlhii,'-sze to, I ,olo: .e',l dev lomrn but vi .i

iniov. '"-o-\ as t press' bLe:., ;tini g .n :h t ci ie s of a dem.anid P d the

feasibility of its develop!:; nt ":.rd pr-o:c .ii:i~ to i t'en -nld itLs utiliza-


A technical innovation is a complex n tivity which
proceeds from three conccptu,-lili-aioni of a new- idea
to a solution of the proil.nc- and t tie acri;]]
utilii iiou of a ni,- item of c0 ior ic o;. so-isl

The second context in which innovation is found is in the process

of adoption and institutionalization--that is, there are changes in the

organization. Jnight's definition of innovation is ". . the adoption

of a clhaiuge which is new to an organizations and to the relava'.t cuviro:.-
ment."6 His view implies that the organization has gone beyond concep-

tion of a new idea and has begun to apply it, thus stressing adoption.

James M. Utterbacl, "The Process of Technical Innovation Within
the Firm," Aca.demy of Management Journal, Vol. 14, No. 1 (1971), p. 77.

Na-c-y ilo, "Healt-h Ca-e Org.inizasicn," Jo'iirnal of F 'e.1i!: or
Social ];heavio_ Vol. 12 (1971), p. 164.

Donald G. Marquis and Summer Myers, Successful Industrial Innova-
tions (Washington, D. C.: National Science Foundation, United States
Printing Office, 1969), p. 1.
Kenneth E. Knight, "A descriptive Model of the Intra-Firm Innova-
tion Process," Journal of Business, Vol. XL, Number 4 (October 1967), p.

The definitional focus of Fvan and Black is similar in that they take

the adoption context of the term and carry it a step further to "the

implementation of a neo procedure or idea, whether a product of inven-
tion or discovery." Clark, on the other hand, puts emphasis on the

institutionalization aspect by noting that it ". . is a process whereby

specific cultural elements or cultural objects are adopted by actors in
a social system." Given this emphasis, he notes that innovation can

be depicted as ". .. new forms of knowledge that result in structural

change. "

The creation of ideas is not included in the definition by Becker

and Whisler, but they posit the idea of organizational risk. Their view

of innovation is "the first or early use of an idea by one of a set of
organizations with similar goals." To them, an organization is cred-

ited with being innovative if it assures the risks inherent in being

among the first to use an idea, regardless of the source. They also

note that innovation can be separated in time and space from an inven-

tion, because an invention is a creative act of an individual, but an
innovation requires a co-operative group action.

William M. Evan and Guy Black, "Innovation in Business Organiza-
tions: Some Factors Associated with Success or Failure of Staff Pro-
posals," Journal of Business, Vol. XL, No. 4 (October 1967), p. 519.

Terry N. Clark, "Institutionalization of Innovations in Higher
Education: Four Models," Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. XIII,
No. 1 (June 1968), p. 1.

Ibid., p. 2.

Selwyn W. Becker and Thomas H. Whisler, "The Innovative Organiza-
tion: A Selective View of Current Theory and Research," Journal of
Business, Vol. XL, No. 4 (October 1967), p. 463.
Ibid., p. 462.

Mohr omits from his definition the aspects of creation, but does

point to the notion of success (and early use). This perspective of

organization innovation involves "the successful introduction into an
applied situation of mea-cs or ends that are new to that situation,"

Success iplis accept Fce of the innovation by those in the situation.

Mnhr's definition al:,o alloe foi use of the te:-n uven thulgh adoption

is based on informias tion, previously d"velope-.; outside the organization

whrl; .r i hc u c'. H1ion' is pCli'Ed.

The firse contelctul usa i jlp''ics a uilore widespread process,

bcgi"ningj with the creation of Ea itt.n, while t!i, second .sae., adoption

and inLirnalizatioL:, does not include En act of creativity. o::eh con-

texts do imply a dynamic situation, or a process occurring.

The third ie of the tern does IC'- involve ra process; rather it

is used in a descriptive e :ide. Thel. e'- e.is is onu \' soothing is

new or different, regardless of its implementation. This use focuses

on the delineation of the characteristics of the innovation. The various

attributes an innovation can possess will be considered in a later part

of this chapter. 1ouever, within this conti:-i there is agree i~ by

several authors, such as Knight, Becker and Wiiisler, and Zaltm-n et al.,

that what is considered "new or novel" results from the perceptions of

the social units which adopt it.

'o sut,'nsrize, the first t';o contents of innov etin, that of in.en-

tion and adoption, imply processes occurring. The first context includes

a notion of the generation of tn idea or artifact and may or may not

include the process of adoptio:. hetc adoption connotation ma) be ui:ed

Mohr, "Determinants," p. 112. The notion of success can offer
something more than Mohr's usage of whether or not something is worth-
while because it works; success of ar innovation can also mean it was
done or attempted,

with the additional notions of risk or success being added. In the last

context, simple description, innovation is determined by the perceptive

capacities of the adopting social unit.

The diversity of the definitions has promoted a range of orienta-

tions to both the empirical and theoretical research applications of

innovation. The orientations presented will demonstrate the research

development and the several emergent paths within the literature. The

two major deficiencies that will emerge from the review of these groups

of literature is an absence of rigor in both the conceptual and opera-

tional definitions of the term. The lack of a clear conceptual refer-

ence has already been demonstrated. But the lack of a clear operational

definition has led researchers to imply they are examining a process

when they are actually focusing on non-dynamic phenomena. The next

section considers four of the major alternative approaches and the

nature of the resultant studies.

Alternative App2roaches to the Study of Innovation

Diffusion Research

Sociology, using the adoption context of the term innovation, has

produced much on the subject. The major area of consideration has been

with "diffusion" research. The focus of the research is "the earliness

of knowing about something new . and the rate of adoption of some-
thing new." The orientation of diffusion research has been extensively

applied in the fields of marketing, anthropology, rural sociology, and

Everett M. Rogers and F. Floyd Shoemaker, Communication of Inno-
vations: A Cross-Cultural _Approac (:N,-: York: The Free Press, 1971),
p. 100.

communications on a diverse range of subject matter from hybrid corn
to marihuana use. In diffusion studies, the unit of analysis has

usually been the community. Gross ct al., give a cogent description

of these studies:

S (1) they generally deal with the spread or
adoption of rather simple technical innovations
such as hybrid seed, tranquilizers, or audio-visual
aids; (2) the agricultural studies have focused on
the spread or adoption of innovations among farmers
residing in a particular county, state or region;
(3) the studies of medical innovations have primarily
dealt with their diffusion and adoption by doctors in
a single community; (4) the ant-hropological studies
have focused on the spread of such practices as the
use of new tools, wells, and modern farming techniques
within non-industrial societies; and (5) the education
studies have primarily dealt with the adoption rates
of innovations in school systems.15

To illustrate the multiformity of subject matter, several examples

of diffusion studies are presented. Bennett focused on groups of indi-

viduals in different socio-economic categories and their acceptance of

contraception.16 Katz did a comparative analysis of two studies: how

hybrid seed corn gained acceptance among farmers in two Iowa's commu-

nities; how physicians in four communities responded to the availability

of a new miracle drug called gammanym.17 Public response within two dif-

ferent socio-economic neighborhoods to new medical technology was the

Ibid., p. 48.

Neal Gross, Joseph B. Giacquinta, and Marilyn Bernstein, imple-
mcnting Originizational Innovations: A Sociological Analysis of Planned
Education Change (New York: Basic Books, 1971), p. 20.

C. Bennett, "Diffusion Within Dynamic Populations," Hunm. Organ-
izations, Vol. 28 (Fall 1969), p. 244.

Elihu Katz, "The Social Itinerary of Technical Change: Two Stud-
ies on the Diffusion of Innovation," Human Organization, Vol. 20 (1961),
p. 71.

focus in a study by \er;.caris. t 'rshal Lcckr L:L did Lhe adoption'

of a new program, diabetes screening, in local health dcparltncts. 11e

was especially interested in the peer influence in the two-step flow, of
informia tion.

The .rr-, natifurc: o- this viev of in'no-;:tion as early ni.l0edge or

first adc. -tion; has a il:i.Ting effcet :on studyi.ig -.h dyr~-n-ris of polirt-

ij, r .n .-u<..; ,0. W..rI.LI l ,il... : .cal pc en,.r : t, iit l c 1. the di Clusioi

litr;',')r. to sLidy 'sp ti ]i pit[-r:S in orcd r ". to i-ea tre t:.
specd .ii tl' whicl state:n a'opt newI pro):ns.': ilhe study .was at a m:c'ro

lcvcl, i'itlt all 50 states i.tcludJcA aur.l if.inei t'n i.n,:o,,.tion to be a

policy or program new to the state, but there was no follow through on

.ul:at hrpj;enIrd aftcr tic eg .tUte r: adopted Li'. pro r--a..

T'ic la. been ther ,-clical atternpt s t- e-plain tn'-iri. s isl,.; in

terms of diffusion. Clark looked at the variaLions in development of

the university as an institution in several countries. lie used Roger's

scihe.me of koox-dldg:, information in -llection, ec a ',.itioun and trial and
error to dcc.cri'b thle dcv-lopoment of tl.a Ge; an university system: .

Constantine A. Yeracaris, "Socia] Factors Associated with the
Acceptance of Medical Innovations: A Pilot Study," Journal. of_ Health
a:.. So.i_jf.l.h.tor, Vol. 3 (1961), p. 103.

Marshal !. Becker, "Factors Affectirg Diffusion of Innovations
A-aTng cr tllh Profest ioneals," Ame'r.c.a n J.ourna] of FPublic l'ea tl., Vt'].
60, h,. 2 (1970), p. 294.

Jack L. Walker, "The Diffusion of Innovations Among the American
States," American Political Science Review, Vol. 63 (September 1969),
p. 880.

Clark, "Four Models," p. 10.

Schon developed theoretical variations of the diffusion model in

looking at social movements. The "center-periphy" system depends on a

high level of resources and energy at the center because it is limited

in its capacity for handling feedback. The "proliferation of centers"

system adds secondary centers or outposts, an example being missionary

installations. His "Johnny Applcseed" design has a primary center which

roams a given territory to disseminate information. His last construct

is the "magnet model" where the adopters flock to a central point and

then return back to their own locale.22

Criticism of this approach to the study of innovation has come

from several authors. The study of diffusion has promise as an approach,

notes Victor Thompson, on new products and procedures that seem to be in

the interests of prospective users. He goes on to mention that they are

actually studies of technological change, but have not yet been suf-
ficiently integrated theoretically to be of general application.

Gross and his associates posit that this approach has little applica-

tion in explaining the implementation of innovations in organizations.

One of its basic assumptions is that . the
individual is free to decide hir.self whether the
innovation shall be tried and if tried, whether
it should be continued. If the innovation does
not interest him, he is free to reject it. If he
is not pleased with his evaluation of it, he can
discontinue his use of the innovation.24

Donald Schon, "The Diffusion of Innovation," Innovation, No. 6
(1969), pp. 44-45.

Victor A. Thompson, Bureaucracy and Innovation (University,
Alabama: University of Alabama Press, 1969), p. 68.

Gross et al., Implementing Organization Innovations, p. 21.

Moreover, to emphasize the point that adoption does not always

mean change, a study by Carlson revealed that mere adoption of programs

by top level education administrators does not necessarily lead to the
desired changes at school levels.

The remarks of Gross et al., are concise statements on the inap-

plicability of the diffusion approach to complex organizations:

. it is concerned with the adoption of simple
technological innovations of individuals, and it
assumes that they can try out innovations on a small
scale without the help or support of other persons.
It also assumes that persons can undertake trials in
an either/or fashion and that short trials are suf-
ficient to render an effective evaluation. Many
organizational innovations cannot be tried on a
small scale and cannot be implemented unless there
is cooperation and support mnong colleagues ..
And some require several years of full implementation
before an adequate evaluation of their effectiveness
can be made. .. In short, this may be useful in
understanding the adoption of simple innovations
among aggregates of individuals, it appears to be
of little value for explaining the implementation
of organizational innovations.26

Factors Conducive to Creativity

Within the literature presented in this section, the conceptual

connotation of innovation is linked to the context of invention. There

is a statement of the creative process and the bureaucratic conditions

needed to foster it. The importance of the literature in this section

Richard 0. Carlson, Adoption of Educational Innovations (Eugene,
Oregon: Center for the Advanced Study of Educational Administration,
University of Oregon, 1965). An observational analysis and critique of
diffusion research done in education is presented by the snae author in
"Barriers to Change in Public School," in Chance Processes in the Public
Schools, ed. Richard 0. Carlson (Eugene, Oregon: Center for the Advanced
Study of Educational Administration, University of Oregon, 1965), pp.
Gross et al., I1plementing Or anr4 i .t-tional Innovations, p. 22.

is its limited approach. lhile there is a notion of a dynamic situation,

only the creative part of an innovation process is considered, not the

adoption and implementation parts. However, several of the concepts

dealt with here also hold significance in a wider connotation of innova-

tion and will be reviewed again in sections which consider organiza-

tional and individual characteristics affecting innovation.

The description of the creative process by Gary Steiner which is

used by Hlavacek and Thompson appears to be the most concise statement

on the subject:

First the creative process is an irregular one,
and it often seems aimless and unpredictable. It
is characterized by sudden leaps. From the point of
view of production norms, it seems inefficient ..
Second, the creative process is characterized by
slowness of commitment, by suspended judgment. .
It is inclined to make a painfully full exploration
at the analytical stage and to continue search long
after satisfactory solutions have been found.27

Several conditions within organizations have been identified as

relevant to creativity. Thompson names the following: ". . (1)

psychological security and freedom, (2) a great diversity of inputs,

(3) an internal or personal commitment to search for a solution, (4)

a certain amount of structure or limits to the search situation, and
(5) a moderate amount of benign competition." There are other inter-

nal conditions such as freedom from unusual external pressures, group

Gary Steiner, The Creative Organization, selected papers Number
10, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago, 1962, quoted
in James D. Hlavacek and Victor A. Thompson, "Bureaucracy and New
Product Innovation," Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 16, No. 3
(September 1973), p. 363.

Thompson, Bureaucracy and Innovation, p. 10.

interaction, a sense of professionalism, and uncommitted resources which
enhance the likelihood for innovative or creative behavior to occur.

There is empirical support for the conditions posited by Thompson

in the work of Pelz and Andrews on creativity in research and develop-

ment laboratories. They found that creative abilities of scientists and

engineers were enhanced where coordination was loose, where individuals

worked on particular specialties as main projects for relatively short

periods of time, where there were methods for communicating ideas, and
where there was an opportunity to influence decision makers. In general,

the factors identified by Thompson empirically support the notion that

innovation is fostered in a loosely structured, professional organiza-

tion with some minimal excess resources.

Research Utilization

The approach taken in the literature discussed in this portion is

most closely linked to the discipline of economics. The definitional

context of innovation is closest to that of adoption, but it is an

external rather than internal incidence. It is an adoptive nexus between

an organization and knowledge development by its environment.

Ibid., pp. 10-28. Thompson posits that the characteristics
found in a bureaucracy are opposite of those required for creative
behavior. A monocratic social structure, a productive ideology, a
detailed allocation of resources, an extrinsic reward system based
on status and power, and a control system designed to suppress con-
flict collectively tend to reduce the potential for innovative

Donald C. Pelz and Frank M. Andrews, Scientists in Organizations:
Productive Climates for Research and Development (New York: John Wiley
& Sons, Inc., 1966), p. 171.

The emphasis of this approach is on tle sources of new ideas and

products, and the time lag between research output and its application,

rather than the innovative process itself. Knight notes that economists

have been concerned with the subject matters of the role of government

support of R & D, the spillovers into civilian endeavors from R & D
defense efforts, and the number of innovations from small firms.

Doctors' study of the National Aeronautics and Space Administra-

tion (NASA) is one of the best single sources for a detailed presenta-
tion of R & D expenditures by the United States Government. He high-

lights the fact that much of the promotional activity of NASA for secur-

ing government funds was based on the promise of future beneficial non-

space developments. He uses a quote of two NASA officials to emphasize

this point:

A considerable portion of the technology resulting
from military/space/nuclear work is relevant to
needs outside those mission areas.33

His analysis shows that the field which utilized the most innovation

from both space and defense were computer manufacturers. In looking at

the rate of technological development, or the diffusion of innovation

from conception to end item usage, he notes that:

Our studies suggest that major technological
discoveries may wait as long as 14 years before
they reach cosnmercial application even on a

Knight, "A Descriptive Model," p. 479.

Samuel I. Doctors, The Role of Federal A.encies in Technology
Transfer (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The M. I. T. Press, 1969), pp.

Ibid., p. 27.

small scale, and perhaps another five years
before their impact on the economy becomes

Mansfield's studies also examined the time lag of utilization of

an invention. He found that in industry there is about a 10-15 year

period between invention and usage. He found that mechanical innova-

tions require the shortest interval, and electronic innovations require

the longest.35 He also found that the lag seems shorter for consumer

products than for industrial products, and shorter for new products and

processes developed with government funds than for those developed with
private funds. Moreover, he mentions a bandwagon effect, in that as

the number of firms in an industry using a new product or technique

increases, the probability of its adoption by a nonuser increases.37

In another study, examining the speed of adoption of new techniques

within a given industry, such as the railroads, brewing, and steel, he

found that investment is directly related to a perceived profitable


Utterback confirms Mansfield's findings in that firms innovate in

cases where there is clear short-term potential for profit. He has

Ibid., p. 27.

Edwin Mansfield, Industrial Research and Technological Innova-
tion: An Econometric Analysis (New York: W. W. Norton, 1968), p. 129.

Ibid., p. 129.

3Ibid., p. 130.

3Edwin Mansfield, "The Speed of Response of Firms to New Tech-
niques," Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. LXXVII (May 1963), p.

pointed out that innovations that represent breakthroughs of industry-

changing magnitude are from sources other than firms within a particular

industry. As an example, he gives the case of DuPont, where 12 out of

18 major product innovations originated outside the firm. Lastly,

because of the 10 to 20 year time lag, he posits that the stimulus for

innovation is not new technological information.39

The Myers and Marquis study of innovation in Aeurican firms sup-

ports some of the earlier points. Their analysis of 157 case studies

of innovation has shown that in 96 cases, or 61 per cent of the cases

examined, the ideas for new products and processes came from outside

the firm. They also hold that the major sources for ideas for innova-

tion come from marketing factors, as opposed to technological factors.40

The foregoing studies indicate that organizations try to reduce

risks. They do this by either promoting the possible spill-overs from

their work or by assessing the potential market demands and the devel-

oped technical sources.

Agreeate Multi-Organizational Analysis

The common thread of the studies represented in this group is that

they relate community socio-economic variables with aggregate organiza-

tional variables in attempts to measure successful innovation. These

organizational studies of innovation have been operationalized at a

macro level and have centered mostly on private enterprise. The focus

Utterback, "Process Within Firm," p. 80.

Marquis and Myers, Successful Industrial Innovations, p. 77.

is not on innovation as a process within a given organization, but

rather on the quantitative adoptions within given sets of similar organ-

izational entities.

While most of this kind of study has been on private, profit-

motivated organizations, examples have been taken from the literature

to demonstrate the range of applicability in the public sector also.

Becker and Stafford had as their unit of analysis 140 savings and loan

associations with assets of at least $5 million in Cook County, Illinois.

They used organizational efficiency as the dependent variable and opera-

tionalized it with two monetary measures: future growth (assets) and

current profit (surplus). In examiining if organizational efficiency,

or success, was related to innovativeness, they examined organizational

size, administrative size, number of innovative adoptions, community
growth, and the management team's leadership style. The range of

innovations they counted included bonus plans, advertising, premiums for

new accounts, and the purchase of municipal bonds. They found that the

initial growth of the organization was highly related to the growth of

the surrounding community. After this easy growth period (growth in

terms of adding surplus to their funds), there was usually an increase

in administrative size. With this increase in the number of administra-
tive staff came an increase in the number of innovations adopted.

Lastly, they found that group atmosphere is important for adoption of

new ideas in that it generates communication within the managerial staff
about how to improve business.

Selwyn W. Becker and Frank Stafford, "Some Determinants of Organ-
izational Success," Journal of Business, Vol. XL, No. 4 (October 1967),
p. 511.
42Ibid., p. 514 43Ibid., p. 517.

Carroll selected 85 American and Canadian medical schools as her

units of analysis in an attempt to determine which of a number of vari-

ables were associated with innovation. The variables related to size

and composition of the student body and of faculty and administrative

personnel, to volume and sources of support of research, and to number

and location of clinical facilities. A medical school was classified

as either innovative or conservative on having initiated major revisions

of its curriculum, either in content or organization.

The author used the construct of a "federal type" of organization

structure to analyze her findings. In the federal type of organization

there are a number of unitary departments, each with a field of study

in the curriculum. Research funds were secured by department chairmen

and certain of their faculty and thus power centered in the departments.

With the entrance of the government into allocation of research funds,

a change began. The funds were allocated directly to the schools,

rather than to individuals or departments. The power balance shifted

and departmental autonomy began to erode away in the more innovative
schools. Lastly, Carroll found the innovative schools to have the

following characteristics: larger faculties; more part-time faculty

members; a large number of departments in the basic sciences and clinical

Mohr used as his unit of analysis 94 local health departments in

Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, New York, and Ontario, each one "serving a

Jean Carroll, "A Note on Departmental Autonomy and Innovation in
Medical Schools," Journal of Business, Vol. XL, No. 4 (October 1967), p.
45 46

Ibid., p. 533.

Ibid., p. 534.

jurisdiction of not greater than 600,000 in population, whose chief

executive--the local health officer--had occupied his current position
during the entire period of 1960-1964." He was looking for program

response to advancing technology, and to the changing needs of the

public. Earlier, programs were designed to control communicable dis-

ease. More recent service demands have been in the areas of mental

health, dental needs, and prevention services. lie proposed that the

extent of innovation in non-traditional programs is a negative function

of obstacles and a positive function of the motivation to innovate and

the availability of relevant resources. He operationalized the study

by examination of the health-officer activism-ideology, the extent of

public health training of key employees, health department expenditure,

and aggregate community variables, such as population of the health

jurisdiction and percentage of the population in white collar occupa-
tions. His findings supported his proposition, but the relationships

were weak. He found size of the organization important, but only inso-
far as it implies the presence of motivation, obstacles, and resources.

While the approach this literature represents has yielded many

significant findings on the comparative aggregate level, the notion of

innovation as a process is conspicuously absent. The emphasis has been

on adoptive output, or major changes in substantive programs. However,

the studies did yield some important concepts, such as management team

style, professionalism, and motivation, which lend themselves to opera-

tionalization within a single complex organization.

Mohr, "Determinants," p. 111.

48 49

Ibid., p. 117.

Ibid., p. 126.

if i .!. t i..on l.it_ ;'t' i 1-l' A-. /': ,;is at_ _I 'OL :ov ati

Cl spsificat. on sclieos lcil dieJ ri n si n: o i: ..i ation.

Part of the ].iteraturt ci. irn.ovat-ion li-s been conce)..ed with the

description of the various typois .;.d properties; o' innovations. 'Tie

typologiec are broad clss-es of p!inolio:;it o ,imeped by the chaniigs i.ba

imply. The propei-i c.s, or charraci.cj.f. i I, ..f in'lovat. oi i arc Imoe uili.-

dil.i.ni,;onl .ad do'ail e. Typology cr:gugor-is rn' not rn.taliy e:--Il- :-ive

in ri..ute J .cr.ip)tJons.., ;n'lc:.d, ,.typI,.1o"l.i e can b. oui'mJI ; In.?i.i: of

chl'.r.i cte ri ticj .

Tf as. of inj:nloJtji., The typclog! e s are e::ai'ine- by initial

focus, degree of anticipation and outcome. Eva.,, in trying to understand

the differcntial rcsponne to innovation designed a two-fold classifica-

tion i.i; idc.l ifying the irici l. focus of the: ji tiou. l makess

a distinction between teclhnical and administraltive- iLniovetLi nn with the

following definition:

A technical innovation is the implerjnntation of
an idea for a new product, process or service; by
an ac~dinistraLive J-'iovation, . thle ijplcren-
Lation of an idea for a nnei policy i r'tair;nr to
the recruitmsant of personnel, the allocation or
resources, the structuring of tasks, of authority,
of rewards.50

Evan hypothesizes that administrative innovations in organization

tend to lag behind technical ones. llis rationale is that new t-chnical

ideas are nore likely to be viewed by management as related to the profit

goal of an industrial organiz 'tion. Also, ci.nisnisriz .ve innc' 'tio':s are
likely to require more time for a disccrnible effect.

William M. Evan, "Organizational Lag," Human Organization, Vol.
XXV (Spring 1966), p. 51.

The degree of anticipation of the appearance of an innovation into

the system, or the recognition of a need for change, is the basis of the

typology put forth by Knight. The recognition of a need for change is

also linked to whether an organization is successful or not. Knight

posits that many innovations are routine, that is, they are scheduled

in advance. He gives the example of style and color changes in products
as being programmed in advance. This kind of innovation usually occurs

in a successful atmosphere.

A non-programmed or non-routine innovation can occur under both

successful or unsuccessful organizational conditions. If a non-routine

innovation takes place when an organization perceives itself successful,

it is called a slack innovation. Slack innovations are promoted and

adopted when there is an excess of resources and an opportunity to
enhance the status and prestive of subunits and individuals. The

search is external and the selection of slack innovations is done in such

a way as "not to disturb the internal structure or operation of the

Another form of non-programmed innovation is a distress innovation.

These occur when the organization perceives itself as unsuccessful.

"Internal changes will occur rather than changes in products or proces-

ses. The company does not have the excess resources to look outside.

It cannot afford the risk and high cost of introducing a new product or

Knight, "A Descriptive Model," p. 484.

Ibid., p. 485.

Ibid., p. 486.

processes and, instead, the company will emphasize cost-reduction pro-

jects."55 Knight hypothesizes stress conditions can be either mild or

great. Under mild stress, one can expect moderate measures, internal

in nature, and focused on reducing costs, changing organizational struc-

ture, or reshuffling personnel. Under great stress, the search for dis-

tress innovations is wider and more random, and more radical steps are

made for an improvement of organizational conditions.

Bradshaw and Mapp, building on Knight's typology, have devised a

variation on a non-programmed innovation. They posit that this type of

innovation can result from a power strategy applied to the innovating

organization by another agency. They give as an example the adoption

of consumer participation panels in a family planning program, in com-

pliance with pressure from the federal government in the form of a threat

to withhold funding. Thus, a governmental agency can specify the imple-

mentation of a specific innovation as a prerequisite for the funding of

the usual services of the agency.5

Normann's typology focuses on the outcome or effect of innovation

patterns. Outcome is considered in terms of minor and major changes,

called variations and reorientations, respectfully.

A new product may be a variation, that is, a
product with a set of dimensions basically similar
to those earlier products of the organization,
through refinements and modifications.

Barbara Bradshaw and C. Bernell Mapp, "Consumer Participation in
a Family Planning Program," American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 62,
No. 7 (July 1972), p. 988.

Richard Normann, "Organizational Innovativeness: Product Varia-
tion and Reorientation," Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 16, No.
2 (June 1971), p. 205.

The annual model changes of American cars would be a typical exam-

ple of a variation. Reorientations, on the other hand, imply more fun-

damental changes, in which some product dimensions may be eliminated and

entirely new ones added. Variations can be accommodated within the

framework of the existing political system of an organization, while

reorientations tend to be associated with changes in the system.

Normann posits that reorientation falls into three typical patterns:

systematic, idiosyncratic, and marginal. Systematic reorientations are

related to the development of the organization and phases in a longer

orientation process. Their legitimation comes with their relation to

the longer series of events in the organization. Expansion into new
markets is a ready example.

Idiosyncratic reorientations lack consistency with other events in

the development of the organization. "They are typically initiated

because the center of power--most often the managing director--is excep-

tionally strongly influenced by some event and then legitimizes and
promotes a project." Normann points out that these projects are not

easily integrated in the value system and tend to suffer from low con-

cept consensus. He gives an example of a medical products firm which

traditionally had a policy to manufacture only highly developed products.

A consultant outside the firm urged the director to make a skin cream.

A subsidiary was formed around the new product and new marketing chan-

nels had .to be developed. Thus, the nature of the product itself dif-

fered from those produced by the company, from medical to cosmetic.

Ibid., p. 208.

Development as opposed to just manufacturing became an operation.

Lastly, distribution patterns were not consistent with previously
established ones.

Marginal reorientations are relatively small projects which do not

substantially affect the structure and goals of the organization and

are easy to legitimize. This kind of reorientation usually fits into

existing production or distributing systems and they ". . may initiate

learning processes that lead to greater reorientations by changing the

focus of attention and the perception of some new part of the environ-

ment."61 An example of this pattern is a drug firm which used only

chemists to conduct research. Within several years after the employ-

ment of two pharmacologists, the research efforts and the structure of

the company were changed in a pharmacological direction.

Properties of innovations. Several writers have been concerned

with the probable effects of the properties or attributes of innovations

on the likelihood of their adoption. Many innovations are items of

modern technology and can be complex entities, having various properties.

Each property can have a positive or negative effect on the rate at

which an innovation is adopted in a given population. Fliegel, et al.,

have noted that to study the adoption of innovations

. via their attributes is a compromise between
treating each new idea as essentially unique, and
on the other hand, treating various new ideas as
equivalents. Different innovations cannot be compared.
By denying the existence of differences among innovations,

Ibid., p. 209.

Ibid., p. 210.

the research has simply substituted one type of
unexplained variability for another.62

Compatibility. The literature posits chat innovations are more accept-

able if they are compatible or consistent with the adopter's previously

established norms, values, and experiences. Katz's exploration of past

research findings notes that the adopter must perceive an innovation as

compatible with his values on such factors as risk and profitability
before an innovation is accepted. Miles found that innovations must

be congruent with the potential adopting system. Innovations which are

perceived as threats to existing practices are less likely to be adopted;

while those innovations which can be added to an existing system without
disturbing it are more likely to be accepted. Thio's thorough review

of the property of compatibility offers a succinct analysis. He adds

two organizationally related dimensions to the concept: symbolic com-

patibility, which refers to the perception of the innovation by members

of the organization; and functional compatibility, which concerns what
is required by the adopter to utilize the innovation.

Frederick C. Fliegel, Joseph E. Kivlin, and Gurmeet S. Seklon,
"A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Farmers' Perceptions as Related to
Adoption Behavior," Rural Sociology, Vol. 33 (December 1968), p. 438.

Elihu Katz, "The Characteristics of Innovations and the Concept
of Compatibility," paper presented at Rehovoth Conference of Agriculture
in Developing Countries, Rehovoth, Israel, 1963, in National Institute
of Mental Health, Plannine for Creative Change in Mental Health Services,
DHEW Publication No. (HS1) 73-9148 (Washington, D. C.: United States
Government Printing Office, 1973), p. 158.
Matthew B. Miles, "Innovation in Education: Some Generalizations,"
in Innovation in Education, ed. Matthew B. Miles (New York: Bureau of
Publications, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1964), p. 638.

A. O. Thio, "A Reconsideration of the Concept of Adopter Innova-
tion Compatibility in Diffusion Research," Sociological Quarterly,
Vol. 12 (Winter 1971), p. 63.

Divisibility. The literature posits that an innovation which can be

introduced in segments or parts with each segment having an opportunity

to be assimilated into an existing situation, will arouse less resistance

than would comprehensive change. Fliegel and Kivlin, in their study of

Pennsylvania dairy farmers, found that divisibility of trial, the extent

to which an innovation lends itself to a small-scale tryout before full
adoption, was an important factor in encouraging rapid adoption. Zalt-

man, Duncan, and Holbek state that divisibility may facilitate adoption

for either or both of the following reasons: by minimizing threatening

situations by maintaining current practices during implementation; or by

providing a set of components that can be implemented gradually with the

use of feedback.67 The last idea is reinforced by Bright, in his dis-

tillation of principals from case studies. He suggests that innovations

should be introduced in stages since resistance are lessened if only

slight changes are required.68

Complexity. The degree to which an innovation is perceived as difficult

to understand and use will have an effect on its adoption. According

to some of the literature, the more complex the innovation, the less

likely it will be put into operation. In the cross-national study by

Fliegel et al., it was found that in a range of innovations related to

Frederick C. Fliegel and Joseph E. Kivlin, "Attributes of Innova-
tions as Factors in Diffusion," American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 72,
No. 3 (1966), p. 245.

Zaltman et al., Innovations and Organizations, pp. 42-43.

James R. Bright, Research, Development, and Technological Innova-
tion: An Introduction (Homewood, Illinois: Richard D. Irwin, 1964),
pp. 133-134.

dairy farming, the more complex ones were less rapidly adopted. In

examining the attribute of complexity as both an idea and an operation,

Zaltman, Duncan, and Holbek posit that "an innovation which is easy to

use but whose essential idea is complex is more likely to be adopted

than an innovation which is difficult to use but whose essential idea
or concept is readily understood." However, in Clark's analysis of

innovations in higher education, the attribute of complexity serves a

different purpose. In examining the criteria for institutional accept-

ability, he found that the degree of development of an innovation assumes

importance because in universities the more intellectually sophisticated
and conceptual scheme, the better it conforms with university values.

Hence, in this setting, the attributes of complexity and compatibility

are linked.

Efficacy. There are various observations in the literature that the

uncertainty associated with an innovation will be reduced if the innova-

tion has been proven before in another system. Becker and Whisler have

noted that the cost to late adopters is smaller because of "reduced

risk to late adopters where the innovators have demonstrated the pos-
sibility of a new idea." The literature refers to efficacy under

several headings. Mansfield uses the term observabilityy" to denote

that when there is tangible proof of utilization, the greater the

Fliegel et al., "Cross-Cultural Comparison," p. 447.

Zaltman et al., Innovations and Organizations, p. 39.

Clark, "Four Models," p. 14.
Becker and Whisler, "Selective View of Current Theory," p. 462.

probability of adoption.73 Lin and Zeltman advance the notion of "result

demonstration" which shows the benefits of adopting a particular innova-

tion. They hold that the more visible the innovation's advantages, the

more likely it will be adopted.7 Fliegel and Kivlin use the term

"clarity of results" to signify the communication of the results of a

new practice and suggest that this should contribute to a more rapid


Physical manifestation. The physical properties of innovations have

been given rather superficial treatment in the literature. The reason

is probably that most innovations studied are mechanical devices or

items of a tangible nature; and the properties discussed above naturally

lend themselves to descriptions of material artifacts. Doctors points

out that:

. we tend to view technology primarily in
terms of machines and physical tools, that is,
hardware. Increasingly, however, such software
as systems concepts, management control tech-
niques, and computer programs may all be viewed
as being as much a part of the common store of
technology as a rocket vehicle or a linear

Evan and Black found in their study of acceptance of staff proposals that

"software" innovations, which they approximate with administrative rather

Mansfield, "Speed of Response," p. 309.

Nan Lin and Gerald Zaltman, "Dimensions of Innovations," in
Processes and Phenomena of Social Change, ed. Gerald Zaltman (New York:
Wiley Interscience 1973), p. 104.

Fliegel and Kivlin, "Attributes of Innovations," p. 248.

Doctors, Technology Tranfer, pp. 3-4.

than tecl'uological inns ovation, r: iy be more dilfi. cult to sell to manage-

ment because in dealing with ideas and concepts, lpotentiia p payoff is
more uncertain. Lin and Zaltma s, commenting on the perceptions of

potential adopltrs toward the attributes of an innovation, query if the

visibjli y of a physical object is mor'i rcdily acceptable than ideas
and pr.e'ices wl.ijc atre abstract.

O .'o.:' I'.'n1t c' i -: '." Csc c c-[ rf at 3'cc- 'e i ,' Y:< i'.

E -,vi.-:'. 'r 't. Org i Lz tion-s (.',r :I nt itL c't it in a contc
sc.ttini. 'Tihc rea].tiolhip Ibetw n tber organization andi its environment

is an important d.Lc-;te',iinit of the inn,ovative process. The lite
dealing with this characteristic is mostly theoretical, but empirical

finding, ar' noted to the c.xheiL tlhy ap,'i Ld. Zaltrinn t. al., n,-te

that env ro''lent of a miulti-is inb,.i adoption iti L is i .ior Lan ir t t 'o

different ways:

First, changes in the environment create a
situation of stress and pressure to shich an
adoption unit r.uL r',p on,1 if it io c re1 .1
in a relaticns:'p of djlC.alc equilib.riue witi,
the erviron'cnt. Thus an adoption unit is
morse likely to inno.vate wnhe its relevant.
environment is rapidly changing than when it
is steady. . Second, if the response to
the situation is an innovative solution,
environmental nornes mriy or mr'- not favor the
changes this solut on implies. 7"

Burns and Stalker were interested in whether management systems

could alt4rr in conformity witLl the changes in "extrins ic factors." For

Evan and Black, "Innovation in Business Organizations," p. 526.

Lin and Zaltman, "Dimensions," p. 113.

Zaltman et al., Innovations and Organizations, p. 110.

them, these extrinsic factors were different rates of technical or mar-

ket change brought on by the appearance of new scientific discoveries,
inventions, and consumer demands. Utterback reinforces this point in

his theoretical analysis of the firm's social and economic relationship

to its environment, he says that the process of innovation is embedded

in the environment because it is the use of existing products and proces-

ses which leads to recognition of needs and wants for new products and
processes. As noted earlier, Utterback demonstrated that the technol-

ogical environment was often the stimulus for innovation because most

product innovations originated outside the firm. Thus, he concluded,

it was neither cost nor technical knowledge which acted as crucial restraints

on the firm. "The primary limitation on a firm affecting its innovative

ability is in recognizing the needs and demands in its external environ-


The environment is also important to innovation in that the solution

must be acceptable to the larger social environment to which the adopter

unit belongs. James Thompson suggested that many organizations are sub-

ject to authoritative specification for permissible action and must adjust

to the constraints and contingencies imposed by the larger system. An

example would be governmental units having to exist on the financial

inputs of legislative bodies, and having no option regarding their

Tom Burns and G. M. Stalker, The Management of Innovation (London:
Tavistock Publications, 1961), p. 96.

Utterback, "Process Within Firm," p. 78.

Ibid., p. 81.

clientele.83 An empirical example to substantiate the correspondence

between environmental factors and organizational change is described by

Becker and Stafford, who found that the most important variable to

explain adoption of innovations by savings and loan associations was
community growth rate.

Duncan contributes to our understanding by dividing the environment

into components and factors. First, he makes a distinction between

internal and external environments by using the notion of relevant phys-

ical or social factors falling either inside or outside the boundaries

of an organization. The components of the internal environments are:

organization personnel; organizational function and staff units; organ-

ization levels. The external components are: customers; suppliers;

competitors; and socio-political and technical factors.85 He found in

this study of twenty-two decision units that the more dynamic the environ-

ment the more likely the organization will experience innovation in order

to reduce disequilibrium.8

Structure. The literature on organizational structure as it applies

to the innovative process stresses its multi-dimensionality. The con-

sensus seems to be that different configurations of the dimensions com-

prising organization structure can either facilitate or hinder the

James D. Thompson, Organizations in Action (New York: McGraw-
Hill,1967), pp. 19-20

Becker and Stafford, "Determinants of Success," p. 574.

Robert B. Duncan, "Characteristics of Organizational Environments
and Perceived Environmental Uncertainty," Administrative Science Quar-
terly, Vol. 17 (1972), pp. 314-315.
Ibid., p. 325.

innovative process. A discussion of the salient structural dimensions

of centralization, formalization, specialization and research findings

can serve as illustrations.

Centralization. The dimension of centralization focuses on the location

of authority and decision making in an organization. Victor Thompson

posits that the modern bureaucratic organization is dominated by the

monocratic stereotype which dictates centralized control over all

resources. The monocratic organization is resistant to innovation

because the conditions which generate creativity call for free communica-

tion, flexible structure, and intrinsic rewards. Moreover, the hier-

archy of authority is a procedure whereby legitimacy is dispensed. "It

is a procedure that works in such a way as to give the advantage to the

veto . it] does not provide for appeals. . Thus, even if the

monocratic organization allows new ideas to be generated, it will prob-

ably veto them."87 The Burns and Stalker study amplifies the discussion

of highly centralized organization with a partial description of their

"mechanistic" model. "Management, often visualized as the complex

hierarchy in organization charts, operates a simple control system, with

information flowing up through a succession of filters, and decisions

and instructions flowing downward through a succession of amplifiers."88

In his descriptive model of intra-firm innovation, Knight alleges that

one needs power to innovate and this comes in great part from the formal

hierarchy in that the higher a person's position, the more likely one is

Thompson, Bureaucracy and Innovation, pp. 19-20.

Burns and Stalker, Management of Innovation, p. 5.

to be a successful innovator and the more radical the development that

can be introduced.89

The Hage and Aiken study of program change in sixteen social wel-

fare agencies operationalized centralization as the degree of participa-

tion in organization decision making and contrasted this with hierarchy

of authority. They found a positive relationship with the first; when

there was greater participation in agency-wide decisions, there was a

greater rate of program change. They found a negative relationship
between hierarchy of authority and program change.

A case against expecting much innovation within a decentralized

organization is made in Sapolsky's study of department stores. He

described the organization of a department store "as federations of
quasi-independent merchants."91 He found that because of the decentral-

ization, tactics used to innovate in one subunit can be known and

resisted in another.92

Formalization. The dimension of formalization emphasizes the rules and

regulations that insure predictability of performance. The theoretized

relationship between formalization and innovation is that strict empha-

sis on rigid rule observation, job codification, and specification of

roles inhibits diffusion and communication of ideas, suppresses crea-

tivity, and consequently is negatively associated with innovation.

Lawrence and Lorsch, examining differentiation and integration within

Knight, "A Descriptive Model," p. 490.

90Jerald Hage and Michael Aiken, "Program Change and Organizational
Properties: A Comparative Analysis," American Journal of Sociology, Vol.
72, No. 5 (1967), pp. 510-511.

91Harvey M. Sapolsky, "Organizational Structure and Innovation,"
Journal of Business, Vol. XL, No. 4 (October 1967), p. 498.

92Ibid., p. 508.

the subsystem of six industrial organizations, found that those aspects

of behavior in organizations subject to pre-existing programs and con-

trols were more defined or rigid when there was a certainty of perform-
ance from their relevant environment.93 Burns and Stalker's field

studies confirm this point in that they found that organizations that

were profitably coping with uncertain and changing situations had a low

degree of formalized rules and job specification, instead of the higher

degree of formalized structure associated with financial success in the

more certain situations of the mechanistic model. They note that in

the mechanistic model ". . there is a precise definition of rights

and obligations and technical methods attached to each functional role;

.a tendency for operations and working behaviour to be governed
by the instructions and decisions issued by superior."

The Hage and Aiken study of welfare organizations found that many

rules and procedures cause restraints for an organization. They found

that job codification is inversely related to the rate of organization

change. However, the relationship between the degree of rule observa-
tion and the rate of program change was much weaker than expected.

Shepard postulates an unstable relationship between formalization and

innovation by distinguishing stages of innovation. In essence, he

advocates an oscillating organization model. He calls attention to

periodicity, or alternations associated with innovating groups, and

Paul R. Lawrence and Jay Lorsch, "Differentiation and Integra-
tion in Complex Organizations," Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol.
12, No. 1 (June 1967), p. 18.

9Burns and Stalker, Management of Innovation, p. 94.

Hage and Aiken, "Program Change," p. 511.

holds that at the idea generation stage, there should be a loose and

open organization. At the implementation stage, there should be a

functional division of labor, discipline, and control of internal com-

Specialization. The structural dimension of specialization, or complex-

ity, focuses on the number of occupational specialties in an organiza-

tion and the training and degree of professional activity associated

with them. Hage and Aiken determined that in welfare agencies there

was a high positive correlation between the rate of acceptance and im-

plementation of new programs and the number of occupational specialties

within the organization. They also found that the number of occupational

specialties was one of the best predicators of future program innovation.

They indicated that this was because the most innovative organizations

were more likely to have many cooperative relationships with other agen-

cies, which might suggest that the focus of the staff was on professional

organizational goals rather than on departmental self-interests.97

Along a similar line, Carroll's study of medical schools found

that innovative schools had a larger number of departments in the basic

sciences and clinical areas. She presumed that the diversity in sub-

cultures stimulates proposals, but it is centralized authority which

leads to their acceptance. Thus, in this study, the innovative schools

Herbert A. Shepard, "Innovation Resisting and Innovation
Producing Organizations," Journal of Business, Vol. XL, No. 4 (October
1967), p. 474.

Hage and Aiken, "Program Change," pp. 508-509.

reflected a lessening of departmental autonomy along with a larger num-

ber of departments.98

The degree of autonomy or interdependence of the differentiated

organization subunits is a factor in determining the effects of special-

ization. Sapolsky held that the department store's structural arrange-

ment of a large number of autonomous subunits deterred the implementa-

tion of any proposed centralized innovations.99

The various findings pertaining to the several dimensions or organ-

izational structure and its relationship to innovation indicate that dif-

ferent configurations of structure facilitate the innovation process in

its varying stages. Zaltman et al.,have the most succinct statement on

this point:

Specifically it is emphasized that in stimu-
lating the initiation of innovations, a higher
degree of complexity, lower formalization, and
lower centralization facilitate the gathering
and processing of information, which is crucial
to the initiation stage. It is also emphasized
that in the implementation stage a higher level
of formalization and centralization and a lower
level of complexity are likely to reduce role
conflict and ambiguity which could impair imple-
mentation. This conclusion thus implies that
the organization must shift its structure as it
moves through various stages of innovation; at
the earlier initiation stage a more-organic or less
bureaucratic structure seems more appropriate.
Then, as the organization moves to the implementa-
tion, more-bureaucratic structure becomesappropriate.00

Carroll, "Autonomy and Innovation in Medical Schools," pp. 533-

Sapolsky, "Organizational Structure," p. 509.

Zaltman et al., Innovations and Organizations, p. 155.

Climate. A part of the literature examining organizational climate

has been reviewed earlier under the various research approaches, namely,

the factors conducive to creativity. The bureaucratic conditions iden-

tified previously include: psychological security and freedom; a great

diversity of inputs; an internal or personal commitment to search for a

solution; a limited structure to the search situation; a small amount of

benign competition. It was noted that while this approach is important,

it is limited to only the earliest stages of an innovation process, that

of the creation of innovative ideas. There are some other relevant

dimensions that can be identified from the literature which are appli-

cable to organizational climate and that have possible significance for

the large view of an innovation process.

Communication. In the journals articles aimed at practitioners of public

administration, one of the principles deemed essential for an innovative

organizational climate is open communication. Patrick advocates both

formal and informal free communication. "Creativity is encouraged by

free and open channels of communication. Employees must feel free to

use the existing channels of communication and should be encouraged to

communicate with colleagues and associations outside the organization."101

Siepert and Likert advocate open communication for an innovative climate

because of the informational interdependence on which decision making

is based.1

John F. Patrick, "Organizational Climate and the Creative indi-
vidual," Public Personnel Review, Vol. 31 (January 1970), p. 33.

Albert F. Siepert and Rensis Likert, "The Organizational Climate
for Successful Innovation," Public Management, Vol. 55 (May 1973), p. 4.

The communication problem between technologists and managers within

the same organization is an important consideration of informational

exchange for decision making. Under any organizational situation, the

problem exists, but within the framework of an innovation process,

informational interdependence is highly relevant. A theoretical scheme

developed by Churchman and Schainblatt analyzes effective relationships

based on communication between managers and scientists. They focused

on the distinct forms which emerge with the problem of implementation

of innovation, or the manner in which results of scientific efforts may

come to be used by managers. The four-fold scheme takes into account

the actor's perception of how information should be communicated. The

"separate functionalist" thinks of management and science as separate

functions. "For him, implementation consists of designing the operation

solution, which is a specification of the physical changes that must

take place in the organization in order for it to be able to accommodate

the optimal mathematical solution."03 The "communicator" emphasizes

the need for creating more understanding on the part of the manager, i.

e., creating better lines of communication. It is vital for the scien-

tist to appreciate this need, but a detailed understanding of the manager

is not required in order to have the manager understand the scientist.

Communication is a fairly direct process which is independent of the
personality of the manager.

The "persuader" views the implementation problem in terms of the

manager's personality.

C. W. Churchman and A. H. Schainblatt, "The Researcher and the
Manager: A Dialectic of Implementation," Management Science, Vol. XI
(February 1965), p. B-71.
Ibid., p. B-75.

Here the problem is not to provide for the
manager's complete understanding of the
scientist, but to insure that the scientist
understands enough about the manager so that
the scientist can overcome managerial resist-
ance to change per se, alter specific manager-
ial attitudes, or persuade managers to accept

The "mutual understander" takes a synthetic position in order to bring

about a successful union of the other communication patterns. This type

of actor would argue against the separation of technology and manage-

ment because "if science is to become a method of managing, then manage-

ment must become a method of science.06

Staff cohesiveness. Another dimension of organizational climate which

can influence innovation is the level of staff cohesiveness, or reciprocal

colleague support. Thompson, commenting on the reward system relevant to

an innovative environment, notes the importance of this extrinsic source

of satisfaction ". . it appears that they take the form of improved

esteem in the eyes of similarly committed peers rather than an increase

in interpersonal power relative to peers or a mere improvement in income

as such."l07 This point was reinforced by the government-sponsored

Arthud D. Little study which was aimed at formulating the optimum con-

ditions of successful innovations. It was found that an atmosphere of

collaboration, where relationships are governed by mutual confidence and

Ibid., p. B-79.
Ibid., P. B-82.

107Thompson, Bureaucracy and Innovation, p. 11.

trust and there are long personal associations between parties, was
most conducive to implementation of innovation.

Becker and Stafford's study of savings and loans associations

included a factor similar to staff cohesiveness. They examined the

management team's leadership style, using a sociometric approach to

discovering both the most and the least preferred co-worker. They found

that group atmosphere is important for innovation because if it is con-

genial and mutually supportive, communication will be frequent and easy,

thus allowing for creation and adoption of viable innovations.109

Morale. A dimension of organizational climate closely related to staff

cohesiveness is that of the level of staff morale, or job satisfaction.

Hage's theoretical explanation of organizational adaptiveness to change

posits that high job satisfaction, measured by attitude batteries and

rate of turnover, can provide a climate for innovation. There are

empirical studies which substantiate this relationship. Marcum's study

of innovation adoption in schools showed that in an open climate there

is high morale with regard to work and that there is a relationship
between high morale toward one's work and innovation adoption.

Arthur D. Little, Inc. Management Factors Affecting Research
and Exploratory Development (For Director of Defense, Research and
Engineering under Contract No. SD 235, April 1965), pp. I- 18-19.

Becker and Stafford, "Determinants of Success," p. 517.

Laverne R. Marcum, Organizational Climate and the Adoption of
Educational Innovation (Research Report for Office of Education, Contract
No. OEG-4-7-078119-2901, Logan, Utah: Utah State University, March 1968)
in National Institute of Mental Health, Planning for Creative Change in
Mental Health Services, DHEW Publication No. (HSM) 73-9148 (Washington,
D. C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1973), p. 191.

Hage and Aiken's research on social welfare agencies found the per-

formance variable of job satisfaction was correlated to the rate of

program change. However, they also found "job satisfaction may be a

necessary precondition for the introduction of changes, but after this

change has been introduced, it may have disruptive and negative effects

on social relationships among members of an organization."i This brings

up again the point considered earlier, namely that the climate required

for introduction of an innovation does not guarantee its implementation.

Tenure of leadership. A final dimension of organizational climate which

is relevant to innovation is that of the length of time a particular

high level position is filled by the same individual. The literature

on tenure of leadership does not have an empirical base and the theoret-

ical propositions do not attempt to explain similar phenomena. Tenure

is significant to organizational climate and innovation because of the

very importance of managerial roles per se in adoption and implementa-

tion and because it is a measurable phenomena which can be studied. Thus,

although the contributions from the literature are sparse, recognition

of this variable is noted for later methodological utilization.

Siepert and Likert, speculating on high managerial mobility patterns

in public service organizations, hold that:

There is some job mobility because a manager
tries to innovate and fails, but we suspect
there is more job switching because the manager
does not risk the necessary innovation and sits
tight until organizational pressures overwhelm

Hage and Aiken, "Program Change," p. 513.

Siepert and Likert, "Organizational Climate," p. 2.

The organizational climate can be determined by the organizational

leadership. It is for this reason that Griffiths states that the number

of innovations is inversely proportional to the tenure of the chief


The longer an administrator stays in a position,
the less likely he is to introduce change. .
All of the processes which bring about a steady
state have had time to operate. Feedback channels
have become fully established . the sub-systems
have become structured and have gained independence.
Change is thus more difficult, because the frequency
of interaction between sub-systems is decreased.113

It was noted above that the organization climate has a similarity

to organizational structure as a variable in that it may be necessary

for differing configurations to emerge at various stages of an innova-

tion process. Wilson hypothesized that different climates are required

for generation, approval and implementation of innovation proposals.

According to him, the climate required to induce innovative behavior in

organizations may be the same climate which will prohibit the implementa-
tion of innovative proposals.114

The Evan and Black study on the factors associated with the success

and failure of innovative staff proposals provides support for this hypo-

thesis. It is of interest at this point, additionally, because it is an

an empirical application of clusters of both structural and climate var-

iables. They found that staff proposals were more likely to be successful

Daniel E. Griffiths, "Administrative Theory and Change in Organ-
izations," in Innovation in Education, ed. Matthew B. Miles (New York:
Bureau of Publications, Teachers College, Columbia University 1964), p.
James Q. Wilson, "Innovation in Organization: Notes Toward a
Theory," in Approaches to Organizational Design, ed. James D. Thompson
(Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press 1966), p. 200.

in an organization when formalization of rules, specialization, communi-

cation between line and staff, quality of proposals, competitive posi-

tion of the organization and perceived need were high; and where the

professionalization of management was low.1

Rowe and Boise have synthesized the theories and findings on this

point and suggest the following about the total climate required for

organizational innovation:

(1) during the knowledge accumulation and diffusion
stages both rational and open-ended operational
climates may be required;
(2) during the formulation stage, a loosely struct-
ured, diverse, professionalized, mildly competi-
tive, psychologically secure climate operating
under the presumption of available resources and
some freedom from external pressures may be
(3) during the decisional stage, the climate must be
sufficiently rational to assure the quality of
proposals, their orderly transmission to decision
makers, and the adequacy of communication between
proposers and decision makers;
(4) during the implementation stage, a generally
rational and efficiency-inducing climate seems
(5) externally, the innovative process within the
organization seems likely to be fostered by the
availability of fiscal resources, organizational
diversity, and extensive patterns of communica-
tions, information, and knowledge.116

Size. One of the variables which has been highly correlated with

innovation is organizational size. This variable has been used in

aggregate multi-organizational studies where large numbers of similar

Evan and Black, "Innovation in Business Organizations," p. 524.

Lloyd A. Rowe and William B. Boise, "Organizational Innovation:
Current Research and Evolving Concepts," Public Administration Review,
Vol. 35 (May/June 1974), p. 289.

firms and agencies have been studied. The findings indicate more change

takes place in larger organizations. For example, Hage and Aiken found

that a rate of program change in social welfare agencies was highly
related to larger size organizations. 1 Mansfield's study of technol-

ogical innovation in industry found that the largest organizations will

do a disproportionately large share of innovation in situations where:

the investment required to innovate is large relative to the size of

the organizations that could use the innovation; the minimum size of

the organization required to use the innovation is large relative to

the average size of similar organizations; the average size of the

largest organizations is much greater than the average size of all

potential users of the innovations. 18

Resources. The organizational characteristic of availability of

uncommitted financial resources has been favorably linked in both the

theoretical and empirical literature to the innovation process. Clark,

in his analysis of innovation models descriptive of higher education,

holds that among the characteristics which influence the universities

to be open to innovation is financial support--that the more extensive

the financial support, the greater the propensity of institutional
innovativeness. Mohr's study of health departments emphasizes the

significance of excess resources. He found empirical support for the

Hage and Aiken, "Program Change," p. 516.

Mansfield, Industrial Research, p. 107.

Clark, "Four Models," p. 17.

hypothesis that innovation was a function of the interaction among
motivation, obstacles, and resources.

The concept of resources is expanded by Victor Thompson to mean

more than financial affluence and excess. His concept of "slack"

denotes the existence of a comprehensive affluent situation in the organ-


By "slack" I mean uncommitted and unspecified resources
of appropriate personnel, finance, material, and motiva-
tion; . A situation in which there is such a slack
apparently makes it possible for various psychological
variables that are supportive of innovation to operate.
. Slack at the organizational level is the counter-
part of psychological security in the creative process.
It makes it easier for management to back innovations.
The presence of slack encourages the decentralization of
control over resources. 121

The Arthur D. Little study on successful research and exploratory

development in new weapons empirically substantiated Thompson's points.

One of the findings was that in nearly all cases of successful research

and development, a vital element present for the triggering of the event

was "resources, usually facilities, materials, money, and trained and
experienced men, which could be committed to do a job." Also present

were an explicitly understood need, goal, or mission and a source of

ideas, or pool of information. Another finding dealing with patterns

of funding revealed that a common pattern for initial funding of success-

ful research and development was on the basis of local decisions. It was

recommended that further allocations also be made at local, or

Mohr, "Determinants," p. 114.

Thompson, Bureaucracy and Innovation, pp. 42-43.

Arthur D. Little, Inc., Management Factors, p. 11-5.

decentralized, points because centralized controls involve justification
of work and introduce delay.

Professionalism. The organizational characteristic of professional-

ism is closely related to the structural dimension of complexity or

occupational specialization. However, professionalism covers more than

the number of occupational specialties; it conveys the notion of very

extensive pre-entry training and extra-organizational involvements.

Thompson holds that professionalism involves specialization of people,

not of task, and that it "is based on the concept of investment of human

'capital' rather than of labor as a commodity."124

The findings in the literature relate professionalism positively to

innovativeness in organizations. Hage and Aikon found that the main

effect of staff professionalism is the input of new knowledge into the

organization because of a heightened awareness of programmatic and tech-

nological developments within a profession. This was related to involve-

ment in extra-organizational activities. (However, the amount of profes-

sional training did not appear significantly associated with the rate of

innovation in social welfare agencies.)125

An interesting finding about professionalism was made by Evan and

Black in their study of organizational factors affecting the success of

staff proposals submitted to management in business firms. Among the

characteristics of organizations in which proposals were more likely to

Ibid., p. II-10.
Thompson, Bureaucracy and Innovation, pp. 42-43.

Hage and Aiken, "Program Change," pp. 509-510.

be successful was the combination of a higher degree of professionaliza-

tion of management. The authors offer the possible explanation that

under such conditions management is more disposed to rely on the judge-

ment of its professional staff.126

Characteristics of the individual affecting innovation

The literature pertaining to the relationships between individual

characteristics and organizational innovation is sparse. However,

there are some items of a demographic and perceptional nature that lend

themselves to research on the innovation process. The very scarcity of

such materials indicates the need for more empirical research in this


Age. It is a rather common assumption that younger people are more

favorably disposed to organizational innovation. Marcum found in his

study of educational innovation that the professional staff was younger

in the more innovative schools.127

Professionalism. This characteristic was treated before as an

organizational characteristic. It has been previously stated that extra-

organizational professional activity of social welfare workers was found

to be related to a higher innovation rate, while the amount of training

they received was not. Sapolsky also found in his department store

research that it was the increased involvement of professional comptrol-

lers in outside activities that lead them to propose innovative manage-
ment techniques.

Evan and Black, "Innovation in Business Organizations," p. 524.
Marcum, Organizational Climate and Adoption, p. 191.
1Sapolsky, "Organizational Structure," p. 509.

The type of training received by individuals can also be significant

S in furthering innovation. Radnor et al., did a field study of 66 firms

which were attempting to integrate operations research and management

science skills into their organizations. The researchers found person-

nel fell into five general categories: former military; professional

scientists from engineering; OR/MS specialists with training in systems

analysis; management specialists with training in business administra-

tion; organization men with special training serving in an interim

capacity.129 They also found that as management science activities

became integrated in the firms, the management specialists succeeded to

leadership of the units and that these units were moved to the top manage-
ment levels.1

The dearth of materials reviewed in this section pointed out pos-

sible areas of research. The individual as a member of a social system

has both demographic and cognitive characteristics that are relevant to

institutional research. Age, amount and type of educational background,

career patterns, organization rank are but a few of several important

aspects of the members of an organization. The relationship of these

aspects to an innovation process clearly needs to be explored.

Dynamics of organizational adoption

The innovation literature on the dynamics of organizational adoption

concentrates on integrative interfaces which reduce resistance and assist

Michael Radnor, Albert Rubenstein, and Alden Bean, "Integration
and Utilization of Management Science Activities in Organizations,"
Operations Research Quarterly, Vol. 19 (1968), p. 119.

Ibid., p. 133.

implementation. The output of previous research efforts can best be

grouped under the following headings: linkage mechanisms; boundary

personnel; participation of workers; and power relations.

Linkage mechanisms. There are several contributions in the lit-

erature which treat the organizational devices for facilitating and

integrating change. Lynton presents a comprehensive model which lends

itself to a variety of settings and conditions. He distinguished four

different assessments of the environment regarding the need for change

and the linkage mechanisms these assessments lead to. The needs for

change can be assessed as: negligible; frequent, but temporary; fre-

quent, but specific; continuous. Linkage mechanisms to integrate

change range from project orientations and ad hoc committees to per-

manent differentiated subsystems. He found that where the environ-

mental assessments are inaccurate the linkage mechanisms are inadequate

to support the required integration. Inaccurate assessments, there-
fore, will tend to provoke a multiplication of innovative subsystems.

Lawrence and Lorsch found in their study of integration devices

in six organizations that supplementing the hierarchical and adminis-

trative systems there is a great development of "voluntary" integrat-

ing activities. They discuss the tendency for such voluntary activ-

ities to become increasingly formalized:

One has only to note the proliferation of
coordinating departments (whether called new
product, marketing, or planning departments),
task forces, and cross-functional coordinating

Rolf Lynton, "Linking an Innovative Subsystem into the System,"
Administrative Quarterly Review, Vol. 14, No. 3 (1969), pp. 398-416.

teams to find evidence that new formal devices
are emerging to achieve coordination.132

Two authors offer suggestions for linkage mechanisms within

extremely hostile organizational situations. Knight describes the

use of formal powers for the creation of a new organization. This

new creation contains a subsystem of the formal power system which

may be able to introduce innovations. This type of situation occurs
because the parent firm ignores new developments. Evans holds

that members of an organization who find resistance to their attempts

to incorporate an innovation can adapt to the situation and develop

sub-rosa strategies to circumvent organizational policies. They can

incorporate the developed innovation by "bootlcgging"--that is, by
attaching it to other projects which have already gained acceptance.

Boundary personnel. Specific and formalized organizational

positions charged with reducing attitudinal and communication barriers

to innovation are sometimes established. The idea of establishing such

positions is found in the literature under a variety of labels: bound-

ary personnel; boundary spanner; change agent; or linking agent. The

purpose of these organizational positions is to establish the function

of transferring innovations between units within the same organization

or from one organization to another.

Lawrence and Lorsch, "Differentiation and Integration," p.

Knight, "A Descriptive Model," p. 490.

Evan, "Organizational Lag," p. 54.

The research on this area is quite supportive of the boundary

personnel concept. In Corwin's experiment in training Teachers Corps

personnel for low income schools, he found that one of the most impor-

tant factors for technological innovation was competent and receptive
boundary personnel in the host organizations. In his study of

technology utilization from the space program, Doctors found that mov-

ing the technical personnel along with the innovation was a key ele-
ment in a successful transfer.

Participation of workers. One method of reducing resistance to

an organizational change is to allow workers to participate in its

development--the notion being that they will accept the change if

they had a part in its occurrence. As Stewart said,

If a change is arbitrarily imposed there
will be great resistance. However, participa-
tion in the discussions on how the change is
to come about will lower resistance.137

Research studies such as those by Coch and French in a textile factory3

and Watson and Glaser in mental health agencies and group therapy39sup-

port the "participation hypothesis."

Ronald G. Corwin, "Strategies for Organizational Innovation: An
Empirical Comparison," American Sociological Review, Vol. 37 (August
1972), p. 448.
Doctors, Technology Transfer, p. 17.
Michael Stewart, "Resistance to Technological Change in Indus-
try," Human Organization, Vol. 16, No. 3 (Fall 1957), p. 36.

Lester Coch and John French, Jr. "Overcoming Resistance to
Change," Human Relations, Vol. I (1948), pp. 512-532.

139Goodwin Watson and Edward M. Glaser, "What We Have Learned About
Planning for Changes," Management Review, Vol. 54, No. 11 (1965), pp.

Power relations. A line of thought contrasting to the participa-

tion hypothesis is found in the literature on power relations. The

underlying premise is that an organization's subunits (including indi-

viduals), common claimants to the same resources, will have varying

amounts of conflict during the processual development necessitated by

an organization change.

Power relations in organizations are defined by Harvey and Mills,

". . as relations between individuals or subunits in which each is

attempting to impose its own inner structure on the organization's
internal environment--aims which to some extent are incompatible."

Harvey and Mills propose a theoretical scheme of subtypes of

power relations based on the dimensions of legitimacy and ability to

impose sanctions. The subtypes include legal authority, rational
authority, coercion, and persuasion manipulation. They do not attempt

to operationalize these terms.

With power defined as an individual's capacity to obtain perform-

ance from other individuals, Bachman found in his study of college

administrators that an individual may exercise power over other indi-

viduals because of his control of sanctions, the respect accorded his

knowledge, the existence of norms which legitimate his exercise of

Edward Harvey and Russell Mills, "Patterns of Organizational
Adaption: A Political Perspective," in Power in Organizations, ed.
Mayer M. Zald (Nashville, Tennessee: Vanderbilt University Press,
1970), p. 202.

Ibid., p. 203.

power, or because of his personal attractiveness. In a comparative

study of five organizational settings, which included business and
industry, Bachman, Bowers and Marcus duplicated these findings.

It is interesting to note that they found the powers of coercion

and reward to be the least influential ones for motivating organiza-

tional behavior.

One final insight into the nature of organizational power is

suggested by Mann and Neff. They propose that an executive under-

stand the use of expert and referent power in such a manner that as

he acts to bring complex change, ". . he would be respected for his

command of technical knowledge . ., his ability to see administra-

tive problems . ., and his skill in helping others grow as they
face large, unfamiliar organizational problems."

Jerald G. Bachman, "Faculty Satisfaction and the Dean's
Influence: An Organizational Study of Twelve Liberal Arts Colleges,"
Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 52, No. 1 (1968), pp. 55-61.

Jerald G. Bachman, David G. Bowers, and Philip M. Marcus,
"Bases of Supervisory Power: A Comparative Study in Five Organiza-
tional Settings." in Control in Organizations, ed. Arnold S. Tannen-
baum (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1968), pp. 229-238.

Floyd C. Mann and Franklin W. Neff, Managing Major Change
in Organizations (Ann Arbor, Michigan: Foundation for Research on
Human Behavior, 1963), p. 56.



Exploratory Study Design

The study design was one of an exploratory nature. An exploratory

study, as defined in this context, is an attempt ". . to gain famil-

iarity with a phenomenon and to achieve new insights into it, in order

to formulate a more precise research problem and to develop appropriate
testable hypotheses." Specifically, this study was exploratory in that

it investigated in some depth a relatively unknown and complex phenom-

enon, i. e., the organizational dynamics of the innovation process.

Theoretical Awareness

There are three methods usually employed in conducting exploratory
studies. First, a review of the literature is valuable because it

increases the researcher's awareness of the problem and suggests ten-

tative research questions. As is customary in an exploratory study,

no formal hypotheses were tested in this study; rather, based upon the

review of the literature of the previous chapter, lines of inquiry were

suggested by the theoretical framework and guiding assumptions which are

presented in this chapter. The framework was a means of specifying

Clair Selltiz et al., Research Methods in Social Relations, 2nd
ed. (New York: Henry Holt, 1960), p. 50.

Ibid., pp. 53-54.

rclati nshli FS whiAch ni ht p u'sve to be 'ureas of investing tin a:nd s ys-

tematizing the concepts and factors to be used in both observation and


Docurn' t Iv- i:i ''aiion and IntcnrviO ci's

Thi sec nd :eithiod e'mplc, dc i '.n lACyortr study is to inlter-

view peP.p- e who ha -. d ,' ...l al oe .ri-' e it the prob c-. ocing

invc t.'. .d 1n ,rdc' to I.< ,'/ Clth 0.s f' uir-', .t, i arn i..1

approach was undertaken, f.ist, e rs ,let r Ie I mtn s, dc rccLiv s, minutes of

meetings, :.nd )r(Iorts were tho..ouh'Ily exiL'incl to i j dent-ific: ion of prom-

inent cciors, especially those making tie tra,,ile and those receiving

it; flow of influence; use oF power; catitiories or an.chanisms of the

trnsfer ; etc.

Ncxt, tl;!ie were two rouin-ds Of interview's. T'he first rc-.nd of

interviews was unstructured and uncovered a chronology of milestones,

issue areas, and identities of the important actors in the process.

Those individuals i in th: Depatr osnt active in the ertire process,

a-, determined both from the document reii'.w and the L;.owlcdge of the

researcher, were interviewed in this phase. There were five actors

interviewed in sessions ranging from two to five hours.

There was a seccrd rotiIl of indelthl, structured interviews ;i .hii

the principal actors of the transfer process. The scope of the CIS pro-

ject involved individuals aiL sc.verc.l 1 vlsIsof governing L in vsricua..

locat.ion'. As rnIny of these 'ai possible :were co, iaccred for int crvij.cis.

At the federal Jevel, there were officials in the Atlanta Regional Office,

of the Community Services Administration of the Department of Health,

Education and Welfare who worked very closely with Florida to develop

and implement the CIS. In Florida, the central and regional offices

of the divisions within the Department of Health and Rehabilitative

Services had participants involved throughout the transfer process.

The interview schedule was based upon material gathered from

both the review of relevant documents and review of the literature,

as well as the information in the first round of interviews. The

schedule was designed to be as comprehensive in coverage as possible.

It served as a basic guide during an interview session, with addi-

tions or deletions for a particular actor. As much as possible of

the available field of literature was utilized when appropriate.

The interview schedule is shown in Appendix A. There were 27 par-

ticipants interviewed in sessions lasting from 1 1/2 to 5 hours. Of

all the persons contacted, only two refused to be interviewed.

Worker Survey

The analysis of a local indepth case study is a third method

employed in exploratory research.

Scientists working in relatively unformulated
areas, where there is little experience to
serve as a guide, have found the intensive study
of selected examples to be a particularly fruit-
ful method for stimulating insights and suggest-
ing hypothesis for research.3

It was for this reason that part of the investigation of the

innovation process involved the individuals at the lower levels of

the organization who had to receive and implement the innovative

procedure. The social workers and supervisors who deal directly

Ibid., p. 59.

with the clients of the operating divisions made up the largest group

of participants in the transfer process.

The worker group selected was located in the Department's

Region 8, which includes the counties of Palm Beach, St. Lucie, Martin,

Indian River, and Okeechobee. This geographical region was selected

for several reasons. In demographic descriptions of the state, this

geographical region reflects a microcosmos of state-wide character-

istics; the personnel in the Department had been participants here in

several demonstration projects which had bearing on the CIS; the CIS

was first begun in this region and thus had been in use longer here

than in other parts of the state, and it was believed that longer

exposure to the system would yield greater insight. This group was

examined through the administration of a survey questionnaire, small

discussions groups, and individual interviews both in person and by

telephone conversations.

The survey questionnaire administered to the direct service

worker was constructed to include many of the items asked of those in

the second round of interviews. There were also many items which

would only pertain to the perceptions of the direct service worker.

The questionnaire was constructed, pretested and modified on the basis

of the pretest. The pretest was held in three field offices located

in the Tallahassee area. The instrument, shown in Appendix B, had

two final versions in actuality so as to reflect the language usage

orientation of the respondents. A total of 79 questionnaires were


Theoretical Framework

This research approached the study of innovation as a process

that runs from awareness of a need to creation to the implementation

or diffusion of the innovation to other parts of the organization.

Because the technology itself was not a new idea, the utilization of

Mohr's definition of innovation appeared to be the most viable one and

was used as an anchor of conceptual consistency. "An innovation is

the successful introduction into an applied situation of means or ends
that are new to that situation." An abstract set of constructs or

categories was devised to attempt systematically to examine and analyze

the dynamics of this processual phenomenon. A brief description of

the categories utilized and some suggested presumptions can serve at

this point to describe the orientation of the research.

1. Degrees of transfer was designed to gather data on questions

of what is created and diffused and in what increments. This category

was used to examine the functions the innovation was to fulfill and

to evaluate the success or failure of the transfer process. In a

more classic research design, chis category might be considered the

dependent variable. The rest would be considered as the independent


2. Qualities of the item (e. g., technology) to be transferred

was a category designed to aid in the examination of such things as

Lawrence B. Mohr, "Determinants of Innovation in Organiza-
tions," American Political Science Review, Vol. LXIII, Number 1
(March 1969), p. 112.

the legitimacy of the technology and the effects of this on accept-

ance or resistance in the transfer process. Also examined were such

qualities as divisibility. A divisible innovation may minimize

threatening situations by allowing gradual implementation and only

a piecemeal attack on current practices. Another variable, the

physical manifestation of the innovation, was examined to find out

if a tangible item such as a form, for example, is more readily

transferable than a conceptual item such as a policy or an idea.

3. Qualities of the source of the technology was a category

designed to direct attention to the dimensions of the individual,

group, or organizational unit proposing the transfer. Also examined

was administrative and socio-psychological closeness to the trans-

feree. This category also took into account the perceived legitimacy

and/or expertise of the transfer source, possible variables affecting

acceptance or resistance on the part of the receiver.

4. The transfer process as a category was to include the type

of communication connected with the transfer (e. g., formal or per-

sonal). The methods of communication used at various stages of imple-

mentation and diffusion through the organization, and at different

distances from the innovation source, were examined. This category

also included the inducements used in the transfer process--for exam-

ple, power, exchange, and formal authority. As dimensions of accept-

ance and resistance were generated by the research, an attempt was

made to discover the corresponding type of inducement. Another

important variable considered in the transfer process was the kind

of strategy used to overcome resistance--for example, cooperation,

task forces, prototype demonstrations, etc.

5. The qualities of the transferee were also examined. The

qualities were compared with those of the source to see if they com-

plemented or conflicted with them. Moreover, the transferee was

compared with the transfer source to see if it was competitive for

resources, prestige, organizational authority, etc. Lastly, the

transferee was examined from the aspect of type of transferee parti-

cipation during the transfer process. The transferee could act in

an advisory, developmental, or directing capacity, each behavior

having possibly varying degrees of acceptance or resistance to the


6. Residual factors was a category designed to take into

account the unique circumstances which might have affected outcomes

in this particular case but would not be present elsewhere. Fore-

most would be personality factors. Also, there might have been pos-

sible historical circumstances that could only be regarded as unique

to this case.

Several presumed relationships were suggested from the inter-

actions among the categories and from previous research and these

were used as guiding assumptions to give some minimal structure to the

research. Examples of such assumptions are:

1. An innovation is more likely to be transferred if it is
perceived by the receivers to be narrow, technique-
oriented, and symbolic rather than substantive.

2. An innovation is more likely to be transferred if it is
perceived by the receivers as not disturbing to the
existing situation.

3. An innovation is more likely to be transferred if it
is perceived as facilitative rather than restrictive.

4. An innovation is more likely to be transferred if it
is perceived as incremental, divisible, and reversible.

5. An innovation is more likely to be transferred if it
is perceived to be technically respectable and effective
by the receiver.

6. An innovation is more likely to be transferred if its
physical manifestation is tangible, visible, and concrete
rather than conceptual or philosophical.

7. The greater the similarity in professional expertise
between the sender and the receiver the more likely an
innovation will be transferred.

8. An innovation is more likely to be transferred if there
are gemeinschaft relations between sender and receiver.

9. The greater the participation in a developmental capacity
by the receiver the more likely an innovation will be

10. An innovation is more likely to be transferred if it is
perceived as not adding to the work load of the receivers.

11. An innovation is more likely to be transferred within a
group of identifying people than between such groups.

Organizational Population

Conceptual Groups

Utilizing the case study approach, the aim is one of seeking

rather than testing. A suggested means of operationalizing this

approach is to select ". . individuals who represent different

positions in the social structure . to produce a different view
of the situation they are reflecting." Several major conceptual

groups evolved during the study. One group was the research-relevant

Selltiz et al., Research Methods in Social Relations, p. 63.

elite, which included all those actors identified as key participants

in the innovation process. Formally, many of the individuals were

also in high-level positions in the authority structure. The make-

up of the relevant elite was drawn from three sources: senders of

the innovation; high-level receiver participants' and several persons

outside the formal bureaucracy. Members of this last group, comprised

of staff from the Governor's office and federal bureaucrats, were key

participants and interacted with and influenced most of the CIS-

relevant elite enough to be considered a part of them. However, in

aggregate data descriptions, this outside source is not included.

But for purposes of describing the dynamics at work within the organ-

ization, the information gathered from those outside the organization

will be used as interpretative insights.

As the major sub-groups of the elite, there are the senders, or

transferors, of the innovation and the receivers, or transferees.

Organizationally, the senders were within a staff division of the

Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services (DHRS), Planning and

Evaluation (P & E). The receivers were within the program divisions--

namely, Children's Medical Services, Family Services, Retardation,

Vocational Rehabilitation, and Youth Services.

A last group considered was the direct service workers. While

the other groups consisted of top and middle level management, workers

represented the lower level of the organization. They were treated

as a group apart from the receivers because they did not participate

in the initial interactions of the transfer process. Additionally,

it became apparent during the analysis that information about the

workers was more valuable when considered along with their relations

to their organizational superior, the receivers.

Organizational Limitations

To keep the study focused within the organization, certain

decisions were made. Several program divisions were excluded at the

worker level because of organizational constraints. One constraint

is that not all program divisions of D1IRS have direct service workers.

The services of these divisions are provided through purchase of

service contracts with local agencies. Service workers in these

local agencies are not employees of DHRS and thus are beyond the

direct influence of the Department. An example is the Division of

Mental Health, which purchases its services from Community Mental

Health Centers. The only direct DHRS mental health service workers

are in institutions and the latter were not included in the study.

They were excluded because of their autonomous nature and because

their client contact is within a protective and closed setting which

itself contains all necessary support services.

Other divisions were excluded because they do not utilize IVA

and VI funds and hence were not brought into the reporting process.

An example is the Division of Corrections.

The figure illustrates the included and omitted divisions.

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The purpose of this clhaptr s to ecmi;- ho much of the i..ATin-

vti, f wrs L diffsedC. it. xami ina-. the purpo c o the. technology J.,,

the r easonr it \as c rcat. r l Lh] tI ',O it V;', to fill, an j-asr-ss-

inc';;t cf i.tE L 'c"1s o. t.. 1m iin. i1 C. ;" itcs pu.-poec '.d ,. c s etiCC1;Cc...C

upo;n w'h.'' 'i 'lu a;" ,Cessm.ln t v',.. b'asid.

Tlie ir ,,earcl, revcalcc i tia;. tii ,lfe. r of ti'r Client Inf or'tition

Service technology was very limited in terms of a successful introduc-

tio ad a catn and a i tion of nT'w cuds or r:"ens. Ti a. -. ss ment of limiled

succ :ess s vic scd ol tle r '..oa IS ',.i c '.1L .d L .1-Ud tlCe jnc.t; .o.5i the

Client Information Systci; was supposed to perform. 'fhe officially

announced reasons for its creation were: to provide a uniform infor-

mation base for managci'en't; to demonstrate fiscal accountability of

resources; to prerice a r chii.r:f for case,- coo'-dirnttion; to provides

a client tracking system.

The evidence for the assessment was determined on how well the

Client Tnifoirntion Syste:. fulfilled its purposes. The e.'idncce -ravaaled

that the technology was non-comprehensive in the scope of application.

It was tied to a single firing and i.d rot. a)-ply to all pro;gr-' arc

services. ]'rti'er''orc, first a l: mt '- install] Lton reul't:

in the failure of meeting ac-ourntbility reporting requirements and

caused a $30 million audit exception. Later, a differentiated struc-

ture in the form of a new agency was created to be responsible for the


fiscal accountability that was supposed to be secured by the CIS

system. The Client Information System was bypassed by additional

procedures for back-up documentation, although it was formally

credited as the information source for financial accountability.

The limited success of this technology transfer was also evi-

denced by the low acceptance and perceived negative utility by the

workers on the issues of its accuracy, benefits for clients, and use-

fulness for working with clients.

Opinions from all organizational levels on the type and amount

of total departmental information provided to top level state manage-

ment gave additional evidence and substantiated the assessment because

the CIS information was confined to the number of people served and

services provided by only one funding source. Lastly, opinions as to

the worth of continuing the Client Information System for future

development and output were positive by top management, but the sys-

tem was valued at the worker level mostly to insure the continuance

of federal funds--i. e., as a money-getting ritual.

Reasons for the Creation of a Client
Information System

Provide a Uniform Information Base for Management

There are four main reasons for the client information system

which have been found in the documents and interviews. The first

was to provide a uniform management base:

The system will facilitate communication .
in uniformly understandable terms. When the
information which is being reported is entered

into the Department's data processing system,
reports will periodically be made to depart- 1
mental managers, supervisors and service workers.

The need for uniform data which can be aggregated at the top manage-

ment level is required to arrive at a simple determination of how

many clients are served by the Department. A uniform data base was

considered to be an essential managerial tool for obtaining client

demographic profiles and for noting program and geographical differ-

ences to be used in projecting future directions. A high regional

administrator emphasizing this function noted:

It is vital to have correct information so as to
give a better interpretation of services and
unmet needs to the public and legislature .
good data shows a good and respectable effort and
this will get good support.

Divisions and programs had various informational bits. Most

often these were in the form of case narratives written by the direct

service worker. Such narratives did not lend themselves to an aggre-

gating process. In the situation where there was some aggregate

information, it was detailed and narrow in scope in order to fit the

requirements of a particular program. It could not be used as the

basis of a broader departmental scope of information. Top management

was thus dependent on divisional information and could not present a

departmental view or substantiate any departmental priorities.

Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services,
"Manual for the Departmental Service Planning and Reporting System,
Tallahassee, Florida, September 1974. (Photocopied), p. 2.

Demonstrate Fiscal Accountability of Resources

Fiscal accountability has a dual connotation. The first mean-

ing is accounting for the efficiency with which dollars are spent.

The aim is to show how resources are allocated as a means for jus-

tification of staff needs and for costing out specific services.

One sender of the new administrative technology noted that:

The core function of the system is to tie programs
and budgets together . units of costs rather
than total cost can distinguish amounts spent on
administration of programs and service given to

Another sender further explained:

Federal requirements demand that costs be explained
for reimbursements.

The other meaning of accountability deals with the notion of

effectiveness. There was a need to show how well money is spent,

i. e., to show the societal and personal impact of services being

delivered. As one federal administrator noted:

There was not knowledge of the impact on a client
of the services supported by federal money.

One sender involved through the entire process explained:

There was a need to provide a mechanism to
demonstrate the linkage of resources put into
services were effectively and efficiently
being utilized.

A top level sender said:

The client information system would provide the
basic building blocks to show how much it takes
(costs) to rehabilitate a person. It would allow
us to do measurements on alternatives. Most of
all, the system would quantify a traditionally
non-quantifiable area.

Provide a Mechanism for Case Coordination

One reason for the creation of a client information system was

to treat the client as a whole person who might require more than

the one service given by a particular program. A case coordination

mechanism would develop a client profile which would provide "worker

and supervisor with quick reference to pertinent client information,

his current condition, goal, problems, and plan for services to meet
these problems."

The function of case coordination had several implications. By

viewing a person as a whole, the Department would be handling the com-

plex problem of service integration for the client. The implications

of case coordination can be best highlighted from several interview

statements. A divisional state office evaluator noted:

Case coordination can identify multi-divisional

A long time program staff person said:

I see it as a training tool for new staff to get
them thinking in a case work process that is, a
problem-solving process . this in turn provides
a structural approach to the delivery of services.

A federal official offered:

Case coordination enables the Department to act
as an advocate for the client because the function
assumes total greater information. It also allows
the client to be aware of what the agency can and
can not do.

A last implication was stated by a top regional administrator:

Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services,
Division of Family Services, "GOSS Benefits," Jacksonville, Florida,
1974. (Typewritten lecture notes), p. 1.

It would facilitate referrals both across the
Department and outside the Department . .
It was designed to give statistical reporting
of inter-agency referrals.

Provide a Client Tracking System

The need for a social services department to understand the

results of its programs is closely tied to the three needs discussed

above: uniform information, accountability, and case coordination.

There should be the capability to examine and understand client move-

ment through and out of the social services programs. Client move-

ment means that services are goal-directed within given time limita-


The function of client tracking would measure client movement

at two levels in the service system, first, the top management level

would have aggregate data on the numbers of similar problems. It

would be made aware if in certain areas of the state clients with

certain problems moved out of the system faster than in other geo-

graphic areas. Furthermore, the Department could evaluate and change

its performance by understanding its impact on client needs.

At the worker level, client tracking would provide feedback to

the worker and supervisor. The value of this need has been expressed

by several of those interviewed. A top regional administrator noted:

There could be better casework because follow-up
information would be cited when necessary.

A top division regional administrator expressed the same idea and

added another dimension:

The CIS is valuable to the individual worker
because it keeps up with the client through

built in tracking, that is, feedback. It also
could provide the supervisor with information
for staff management and employee evaluations.

One of the senders made mention of the idea that workers would improve

their contributions to the agency because,

they are part of a larger system and have a ball
score of how well They are doing.

Assessment of Success or Failure

For conceptual clarity, Mohr's definition of innovation has

been a consistent reference point. He states that an innovation is,

". . the successful introduction into nn applied situation of

means or ends that are new to that situation."3 Any judgement about

the degree of transfer was based on the extent to which the four main

functions were being achieved at the time of the study.

When this study was proposed, there was an assumption by the

researcher (and many others at the top of DHRS) that the application

of the innovation was successful. The assumption of success came

from the initial suggestions of colleagues for a mechanism to focus

upon to study the successful innovation process; it was generally

believed that the Client Information System was in place and produc-

ing a variety of data. The focus was to be how various dimensions of

the innovation process categories interacted in the transfer process.

As the research progressed, it was found, using Mohr's defini-

tion, that the innovation had limited success. The one area that can

Lawrence B. Mohr, "Determinants of Innovation in Organizations,"
American Political Science Review, Vol. LXIII, Number 1 (March 1969),
p. 112.

be said to be served fairly well was fiscal accountability. There

was some limited success here in that dollars can be accounted for,
but the impact aspect of accountability was not yet determined.

Evidence for the Assessment

Non-comprehensive Scope

The orientation of the Client Information System implemented by

the Department was tied to a single funding source. All programs and

services which were not tied to funds from the Titles IVA and VI of

the Social Security Act did not have to report on the forms. This

meant that both many staff workers and clients throughout the Depart-

ment were not (and are not) linked into the system. The federal re-

quirements were discussed earlier in the introductory chapter. Dif-

ferent federal funding sources carry varying reporting requirements

which range from narrative reports to very narrow details on certain

groups of clients.

System Did Not Meet Limited Application

The first attempt at installing the CIS and utilizing its out-

put resulted in an audit exception of over $30 million declared after

a financial review by HEW. There was much discussion on the content

of the reporting forms between HEW and the Department. Forms were

These judgements are made on the basis of studying the approx-
imately three and a half year period the CIS came into being and was
utilized. The judgements made here are not to be considered as crit-
icism, but rather the results of analyzing a process. There is pres-
ently a four phase plan underway to expand and further operationalize
the CIS. A mandatory cut-off time on the research was the completion
of field work and it is hoped insights gained here can be beneficial
to future implementation efforts.

sent to the program divisions with minimal instructions. HEW required

that a "categorical relationship" be shown for all clients eligible

for services--that is, present or future conditions of a family which

are making them or would make them potential recipients of government

financial support.

The failure to meet requirements, as shown from the financial

review team report, was the basis for HEW asking for the return of

$30 million:

The Client Information Questionnaire reviewed
by SRS in March 1972 did not provide for establish-
ing categorical relationships as a condition of
eligibility for IVA. The form was then revised to
add four alternative conditions . . The revised
form was dated "DHRS 3/72" as the original form had
been ... Virtually no use of the revised form
was found in the DIRS Divisions, and in the instances
where it was found to be used, the categorical rela-
tionship portion of the revised form was not com-

One member of the Social and Rehabilitative Service (SRS)

financial review team told of his experiences:

Our mission was to evaluate the accomplishment of
the objectives and in doing so we interviewed staff
office personnel and local staff. What we found was
the complete absence of any reporting forms, or
forms never completed and stacked in closets and
files. Sometimes in files, were found undated and
unsigned memos. There was no legal basis for
reimbursement of funds.

United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare,
Social and Rehabilitation Service, Region IV, "Review of Social Serv-
ice Programs in the State of Florida Department of Health and Rehab-
ilitative Services, Titles IV-A and VI Social Security Act for the
Period: January 1, 1971-September 30, 1972," Atlanta, Georgia, 1974.
(Photocopied), p. 9.

Creation of a New Accountability Agency

The $30 million audit exception is still being negotiated

(November, 1975), but in order to prevent a recurrence of such a

financial and political catastrophe, a new agency was set up to moni-

tor reporting of federal funds. The agency called Office of Grants

Management (OGM) was delegated the responsibility to see that fiscal

accountability for IVA and VI was carried out. It was set up under

the Office of the Secretary. The establishment of this agency, reasoned

one federal official, was because,

The responsible agency, Division of Family Services
(DFS), did a terrible job on accounting of IVA and
VI funds and it is improper for one division, such
as DFS, to monitor colleague divisions, such as
Mental Health, in accounting for funds. There should
be set up a third party outside of both divisions.

Office of Grants Management (OGM) adopted an existing form con-

taining the essential data elements which had already been developed

and approved but had been shelved. Training sessions, with manuals,

were organized throughout the state. A short movie film telling of

the importance of the forms was given state-wide distribution and

shown in training sessions. Since OGM, stated one of its top admin-

istrators, "We have not had another audit exception."

Circumvention of the CIS

The judgement of the limited success of CIS in financial account-

ability was based on the fact that DHRS had to adopt an additional

procedure to establish costs for reimbursement. There has been no

way to aggregate the completed forms of this additional procedure.

There was no procedure devised for automating and compiling what the

direct service workers prepared. Forms were not sent to any central

collection point. Instead, the researcher found that the forms are

filled in and left in the file drawers of local field offices of the

service agencies.

Several days each month, staff in agencies which utilize IVA

and VI are work-sampled. This is a procedure whereby the activities

of various time periods within a day are noted and cost allocations

are calculated. Requests for reimbursements are based on this data.

The CIS is credited as providing the information, but in actuality

the forms serve only as back-up materials in the files for financial

reviews if questions of an audit exception arise. Thus, the claim

to financial accountability can only be credited with limited success

because of the back-up nature of documentation and the circumvention

of the system with another procedure.

Direct Service Workers' Negative Reaction

The limited acceptance and low perceived utility is demonstrated

by the attitudes of direct workers on several points: accuracy of

information; benefits to clients; usefulness for work with clients;

approval or disapproval of utilization of the forms. On the ability

of CIS to provide accurate information, only 55 per cent of the direct

service workers surveyed felt they were able to get accurate informa-

tion for the system. Moreover 73 per cent of those who answered felt

that there were no benefits to the clients from the forms.

When workers who had been utilizing the forms for at least six

months were asked if the forms were useful for their work with clients,

69 per cent of those responding indicated they were not useful; 25 per

cent said they were somewhat useful; and only 6 per cent found them

to be very useful. It is interesting to note that 54 per cent of the

workers explained that the lack of usefulness was due to the fact that

they could not determine the benefit to the client and that there was

no feedback to the worker on the status of the client. This indicates

the system is not fulfilling its feedback and client status function

to the direct service workers to enable then both to track a client's

progress and to coordinate with other agencies in the provision of


The negative reaction of the direct service workers is further

demonstrated by their reasons for disapproving the utilization of the

forms. Almost 65 per cent explained as their reasons for disapproval

the following: the forms take time away from other activities; their

actual activities and time spent with clients is inadequately described;

they get no feedback; they feel that the forms are never seen by others.

Opinions on Information Provided

The motivation behind the CIS was to provide the previously

described informational functions. Both the relevant elite and direct

service workers were questioned on the kinds and amounts of informa-

tion that were thought to be provided to top level state management

from the CIS. The elite felt that it gave much information on both

numbers of people served by IVA and VI funds (68.4 per cent) and num-

ber of services provided (52.0 per cent). However, to the elite,

there was a decreasing amount of other kinds of information they

thought the CIS was providing. On information regarding caseload for

staff allocation, 63.1 per cent felt the CIS gave some or no informa-

tion. There was 89.4 per cent who felt that there was some or no

information about the number of people with special problems. More

than 84 per cent felt that there was some or no information about

services unavailable in an agency or community. Lastly, 68.5 per cent

noted that there was some or no information provided on which to base

a legislative budget request. These figures further substantiate the

judgement as to the limited success of the innovation.

Direct service workers had an even lower evaluation about the

kinds and amounts of information provided by CIS. On the number of

people served by IVA and VI funds, 36 per cent felt that there was

much information. Only 18 per cent felt there was much information

on number of services provided, while 70 per cent felt there was some

or no information. The pattern of the elite toward the decreasing

amount of information provided is similar to that of the direct serv-

ice workers. On information about caseload for staff allocation, 58

per cent felt the system gave some or no information. There was 73

per cent who felt that there was some or no information about the num-

ber of people with special problems. Over 44 per cent felt there was

no information about services unavailable in an agency or community.

Only 17 per cent felt that much information was provided to form the

basis for a legislative budget request.

Feelings on the Worth of Continuing the System

An estimation of the future value of CIS was solicited from all

parties contacted. Responses were sought on various points related

to the worth of continuing the system. While neither top management

nor workers believe in the comprehensive utility of CIS now, top

management feels it is worthwhile continuing for future development

and output. This can be demonstrated by their high positive reaction

to continuing the CIS to serve various functions: case coordination,

76 per cent; insuring continuance of federal funds, 88 per cent;

accountability for federal funds, 82 per cent; feedback on staff

utilization, 70 per cent; providing information on types of clients

services, 82 per cent.

However, the direct service workers, at this point, do not feel

that it is worthwhile continuing. The only strong positive preferences

of this group related to continuance of federal funds (76 per cent)

and accountability of funds (59.7 per cent).

Linkage of Assessment to Other Findings

The factors described in this chapter were to substantiate how

the assessment of limited success was determined. The next three

chapters attempt to analyze and explain why the condition of limited

success occurred in the innovation process. It is believed that a

combination of dynamic factors contributed to this result. One of

the major factors was the qualities, or attributes, of the system

itself. Another factor was the characteristics and perceptions of the

actors, or participants, in the transfer process. Lastly, the elements

of the process are examined to determine what significance these had

on the limited success of the innovation transfer.



The results presented in this chapter attempt to analyze the

limited success of the innovation in relation to the characteristics

of CIS. Several of the qualities were planned into the study. These

include divisibility, physical manifestation, and efficacy. It is

interesting to note that several other attributes emerged during the

course of the study as possible explanations for the limited success

of the system. These include complexity, focus of change, and a

negative halo effect.

Of the three qualities initially provided for in the study,

that of divisibility, the extent to which an innovation lends itself

to a partial, small-scale tryout, did not appear to be a crucial fac-

tor. In an actual demonstration, or prototype, that was run divisi-

bility was not a means of gaining acceptance for the innovation. The

factors which promoted resistance for the trial innovation process

were existent in the demonstration and not corrected. Moreover, the

findings on the attribute of the physical manifestation of the tech-

nology, a tangible object versus an abstract idea, were inconclusive.

Top management shows a preference for implementing hardware, or more

tangible items. What was revealed about physical manifestation is

its relatively minor significance to individuals at the bottom of the

organization. They do not differentiate among new things as being


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