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Empowering Workers and Clients for Organizational Change

Edited by Marcia B. Cohen and Cheryl A. Hyde

Publication Date - 01 August 2013

ISBN: 9780190615406

256 pages
6 x 8.9 inches

In Stock


Marcia B. Cohen and Cheryl A. Hyde's book, Empowering Workers and Clients for Organizational Change, prepares students to successfully engage in organizational change practice. The editors focus on "low power actors"-students, line staff, volunteers, clients, social workers-who can utilize their experience and knowledge gained from client and community interaction to initiate broad scale change. These workers are often the most informed about the clients' needs and are well positioned to collaborate with clients, constituents, supervisors, and managers in ways that can empower everyone.

The contributing authors provide extensive case examples of real-life organizational change instituted by low-power actors that demonstrate the theories discussed throughout the book. They then go on to discuss strategies to assess the structural characteristics of agencies, organizational culture, and empowerment. This book also covers present force field analysis as an assessment framework to help promote change within human service agencies at the client service level.


  • Key theories and concepts contextualize organizational change practices
  • Specific strategies evaluate agencies and tactics to implement change
  • In-depth case studies illustrate line staff and students as change agents
  • Discussion questions follow each chapter

About the Author(s)

Marcia B. Cohen (MSW, Columbia University; PhD, Brandeis University) is professor of social work at the University of New England, where she has been a faculty member since 1988. Her areas of scholarship include organizational practice, social movements, homelessness and poverty, and social work practice with groups. Professor Cohen provides consultation to and serves on the board of several local agencies, including a consumer-run mental health organization. She is a member of the International Association for Social Work with Groups (IASWG), and is cofounder and coeditor of the Journal of Progressive Human Services: Radical Thought & Praxis.

Cheryl A. Hyde (MSW, PhD, University of Michigan) is associate professor and MSW program director at Temple University. Her areas of scholarship include community capacity building and civic engagement, organizational transformation, diversity in human service organizations, social movements and social change, socioeconomic power and privilege, and macro practice ethics. She facilitates training on a variety of topics including human service ethics, learning organization development, and supervision. Professor Hyde serves on several social science and social work journal editorial boards and is former editor of the Journal of Progressive Human Services. She is a former chair of the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration.

Table of Contents

    List of Figures and Tables
    Foreword, by Stephen Holloway
    Part I. Key Concepts and Frameworks
    1. Characteristics and Culture of Human Service Organizations
    Cheryl A. Hyde and Marcia B. Cohen
    2. Power and Empowerment in Human Service Organizations
    Cheryl A. Hyde and Marcia B. Cohen
    3. Organizational Assessment for Change
    Marcia B. Cohen and Cheryl A. Hyde
    4. Social Justice and the Ethics of Organizational Change from Below
    Brett A. Seabury, Marcia B. Cohen, and Cheryl A. Hyde
    Part II. Case Studies
    5. Social Capital and Social Networks: A Strategy for Organizational Change from Below
    Jacqueline B. Mondros
    6. Combating Discriminatory Practices in Child Welfare Services: The Burgos Consent Decree
    Edward Gumz, Maria Vidal de Haymes, Luis Barrios, Vicky Ha, and Nicole Howver
    7. Social Movements within Organizations: Insurgency at the Shelter
    Cheryl A. Hyde
    8. Rebecca's Place: Women Experiencing Homelessness Changing Organizational Structure and Attitudes about Them
    Helen P. Hartnett
    9. Beyond Inclusion Training: Changing Human Service and Public Organizations
    June Ying Yee, Helen Wong, and Tanja Schlabitz
    10. A Transforming Grassroots Organizing Tale: If You Can't Walk, You Can't Ride
    Nancy Ayer
    11. Overcoming Organizational Obstacles to Forming Empowerment Groups: A Consumer Advisory Board for Homeless Clients
    Marcia B. Cohen
    Part III. The Student as Change Agent
    12. Bullying: Organizational Change in a Middle School
    Jeremy Brown
    13. Linguistic Liabilities: Refugee Parents' Right to Know in a Language They Understand
    Judy Peters
    14. Documenting Homelessness: Organizational Change at a Homeless Resource Center
    Amy Russell

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