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Voluntary Auspices and the Behavior of Social Service Organizations

David J. Tucker
Social Service Review
Vol. 55, No. 4 (Dec., 1981), pp. 603-627
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30011519
Page Count: 25
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Voluntary Auspices and the Behavior of Social Service Organizations
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Abstract

This paper proposes a theory aimed at explaining the influence of voluntary auspices on selected characteristics of social service organizations. In brief, this theory maintains that because they lack both a legal mandate and guaranteed access to public funds, voluntary social service organizations are more insecure vis-à-vis their environments than are public and quasi-public social service organizations. This theory also holds that organizations which are insecure vis-à-vis their environments evince characteristics which differentiate them from more secure organizations. Acceptance of these arguments permits the logical deduction of seven testable hypotheses dealing with selected aspects of the behavior of social service organizations-adaptiveness, control, administrative behavior, coordination, and organization-client relations. These seven hypotheses were tested in an illustrative manner with data collected on seventeen social service organizations. Four of the hypotheses were supported without qualification, two were supported subject to the addition of an interpretation accounting for curvilinear relationships, and one hypothesis was rejected. These results suggest that the proposed theory is credible and that it should be extended and subjected to more rigorous testing.

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