Management, Organizations and Policy Transformation


To promote innovative contributions to research on evidence-based practices in the areas of organizations, management, policy and leadership and to create an intellectual community at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work that will inspire interdisciplinary research projects, generate external support and result in impactful scholarship in management and organizational science and policy advocacy.

Specific Aims

  • To create opportunities for conducting collaborative research on issues related to leadership, organizational change and implementation of evidence-based practices, as well as organizational climate, culture, diversity, policy analysis, policy development, policy advocacy and cultural competence.
  • To support collaborative endeavors that include actively engaging faculty, post-doctoral fellows, doctoral and master students, and colleagues from other disciplines and other institutions that will result in innovative research proposals to attract federal and foundation-based funding.
  • To develop innovative methodological and conceptual training initiatives for doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows in management and organizational science, policy development and advocacy, workplace interventions and policies.
  • To facilitate the translation of knowledge gained from research to our MSW curriculum and dual degree (MSW/MBA and MSW/MPA) programs, as well as to the practice community through field placement, and county, state and federal organizations providing human services.
  • To lay the foundation for the development of a research center on organizational sciences applied to community transformation within the School.


Among the developments that represent some of the areas where organizational management and policy research could have significant and unique contributions to social work theory, research, and practice is the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Its implementation in California and other states provides significant opportunities for developing organizational, management and policy advocacy models with high public health impact. An urgent need exists for research on the effectiveness of specific strategies for influencing policies in organizational, community and legislative settings in light of the unmet needs of many vulnerable populations in the United States and abroad. Another example is the diversity and globalization of the workforce. The recent focus on diversity in management literature takes on special urgency in the context of human service organizations. The diversity in the consumer population has not typically been mirrored in the workforce of these organizations. There is need for research into the connection between organizational diversity climate, worker satisfaction, retention, and client outcomes to provide human service organizations with evidence-based practices to improve both worker and client well-being. And, the crisis in multicultural organizational policies and management highlights the need for evidence-based interventions on the use of culture and language in the delivery of services and in leveraging diversity to improve standards of care for minority populations in distinct social and health services organizations.

Cluster Faculty

  • Hortensia Amaro – public health policy, behavioral health integration, evidence-based interventions in behavioral health care and primary care, cultural adaptation of evidence-based interventions
  • Juan Carlos Araque – research and design of public, private and non-profit system structures to support positive child and adolescent development and robust child-adult-community relationship building; public and non-profit organizations' strategic planning and implementation; leadership, management, and health and human services program evaluation
  • Annalisa Enrile – women's rights, immigration and global justice issues, with specific interest in trafficking and modern day slavery, migration, gender violence and community empowerment
  • Marilyn Flynn – capacity development, cross-cultural perspectives on service delivery, and research development for the professions in higher education
  • Erick Guerrero (co-director) – health care management policy, organizational change, behavioral health integration and organizational cultural competence
  • Bruce Jansson – health policy, patient advocacy, policy advocacy, policy making and planning processes in social agencies; the procurement of resources for social service agencies; the monitoring function of public agencies; and the history and practice of social welfare policy
  • Paul Maiden – employee assistance programs, substance abuse and workplace legislation, trauma management and evaluation of work-based human services, including managed behavioral health care
  • Gokul Mandayam – program evaluation, geographic information systems, social entrepreneurship, international social development, microenterprise, social policy, human services management and diversity
  • Michàlle Mor Barak (co-director) – global diversity management and inclusion, organizational diversity climate, evidence-based interventions in the workplace promoting the well-being of vulnerable populations, work-family balance and corporate social responsibility
  • Beverly Younger – Work-related employee services program evaluations and prevention program evaluations, evidenced-based work group or team interventions (including interventions to respond to conflict, trauma or disasters, to build collaboration and trust, and to increase employee and organizational well-being), and corporate responses to the personal needs of workers and to federal legislation regulating employer personnel practices