• For our own good: The meaning of batterer intervention programs for women who have been abused. A Heideggerian hermeneutic inquiry

      Hessmiller, Joanne Marie; Wenocur, Stanley, 1938- (1998)
      This hermeneutic phenomenological study is an inquiry into the meaning that women make of their partner's participation in a batterer intervention program. Six women, between the ages of thirty-two to fifty-nine participated in multiple, in-depth interviews that were transcribed and interpreted, with the study partners themselves serving as research partners, and the MARTIN software program as an aid in the interpretive process. A paradigm case and twenty themes in four major categories emerged from the interpretation of the data. The women in this study reflected on their experiences of abuse and described these in the form of compelling narratives that also disclosed their shared experience, practices and the meaning they made of their partners' participation in a batterer intervention program. The principal finding is that women creatively use these programs for their own good. They use them as a way to test their partners' commitment to change, to get information about domestic violence for themselves, and to build networks of resources, including connecting with other women in similar circumstances for support. The findings of this study suggest ways to improve batterer intervention programs with regard to safety and justice for battered women, and the many ways that the stories the participants told reflected the particular double binds of oppression they face as battered women.
    • Leadership that leads to innovation in nonprofit human service organizations

      Pierson, Joanna Louise; Wenocur, Stanley, 1938- (1994)
      Administrators of nonprofit, human service organizations often discuss the need for new services. Knowledge about how to create this change is often a problem. Most of the literature on innovation is written about for-profit businesses. This research examines how nonprofits differ in the way they create innovation, the impact of leaders, and the traits of leaders that help create innovative services. This study utilizes a qualitative methodology, grounded theory, to develop themes that explain how this innovation occurs. The study was of seven human service agencies in Maryland that had innovative services such as: an adolescent fathers program, recycling of surplus building materials for use by low income people, and an urban literacy services model. Interviews and participant observations were used to conduct the research. The organizations studied fit into two categories, those with breakthrough innovations that transformed the agency and those with significant innovations that were ground breaking in nature but did not transform the entire organization's services. The study did find a difference between innovation here and in the business sector. For the majority of agencies in the study, the reason for innovation was to fulfill a vision of creating a better world for the people they served. A smaller group of the organizations acted based on the entrepreneurial "vision" of positioning the agency more effectively financially. Leadership was found to be an important factor in creating innovative services. The executive directors of the innovative organizations had certain traits: macro perspective, makes connections between ideas, looks ahead to the future, compassion for people, works very hard, action oriented, risk taker, persistence, creative or appreciates creativity, flexibility, respects staff and can give up power, sense of humor, and has strong networks outside of the organization. In addition, the traits of the executive director that increased the level of innovativeness were: level of energy and enthusiasm, ability to inspire others, and ability to translate the big picture into a vision and to then translate this into structures to ensure that changes happened. Management styles and gender of the directors were not related to creating innovative services by the organizations.