An understanding of the capabilities and limitations of technology-based solutions to Child Protective Services : using a knowledge-based and process-oriented mediation model

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Title: An understanding of the capabilities and limitations of technology-based solutions to Child Protective Services : using a knowledge-based and process-oriented mediation model
Author: Jang, Kyeonghee
Abstract: One important research direction that has emerged in Child Protective Services (CPS ) is the potential of information technology (IT ) to be used by CPS agencies in order to enhance organizational effectiveness by addressing the barriers that caseworkers face in integrating multiple stakeholders’ knowledge . Based on empirical findings with regard to numerous unsuccessful IT development initiatives , the present study strives to gain an in -depth understanding of the research question : How can CPS caseworkers be supported by their agency in the integration of knowledge resources , thereby contributing to organizational effectiveness ? A literature review to answer this question revealed the following two major research gaps : the adoption of a technology -focused perspective of intervention and the use of direct research models to evaluate this kind of intervention . In order to bridge these research gaps , this study presented a knowledge -based and process -oriented mediation model , built around the concept of knowledge integration that involves related processes at the syntactic , semantic , and pragmatic levels . In this model , a process -oriented Knowledge Management System (KMS ) stemming from a Socio -Technical System (STS ) perspective was proposed as an alternative intervention model consisting of knowledge management intervention in three dimensions : techno -structural , socio -cultural , and inter -organizational practices . This mediation model partitions the effect of this KMS on outcome (organizational effectiveness ) into two components : the direct effect and the indirect effect that is mediated by its output (a CPS caseworker’s knowledge integration ability ) . This research model was empirically tested using Structural Equation Modeling . This analysis used a sub -set of the 2008 Survey of Organizational Excellence (SOE ) data set , which includes the perceptions of CPS caseworkers in the Texas DFPS about their work environment . Results indicate that each of the three dimensions of knowledge management practices enhanced a CPS caseworker’s knowledge integration ability . This ability was a critical factor in determining organizational effectiveness . The mediation effects of a caseworker’s knowledge integration ability were found to mediate the relationship between three dimensions of knowledge management practices and organizational effectiveness . Overall , this mediation model was more useful in explaining the complex relationships among the variables of interest than other direct models .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /ETD -UT -2010 -12 -2336
Date: 2011-02-07

Citation

An understanding of the capabilities and limitations of technology-based solutions to Child Protective Services : using a knowledge-based and process-oriented mediation model. Doctoral dissertation, University of Texas at Austin. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /ETD -UT -2010 -12 -2336 .

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