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Third-Order Change As a Systems Theory for Community Psychology

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2016 American Psychological Association Presentation

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Third-Order Change As a Systems Theory for Community Psychology

  1. 1. Third-Order Change As a Systems Theory for Community Psychology American Psychological Association Christopher Beasley, PhD, MA 2016 COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT RESEARCH TEAM
  2. 2. • Objects & Environments – Relationship between elements • 3rd order change as systems theory – Interaction between communities & paradigms in which problems are embedded Systems Theory Von Bertalanffy, 1968
  3. 3. • Reducing stagnation • Anticipation & reaction to changes – Changing environment – Uncertainty • Stereotypes & biases • Power disparities Why 3rd Order Change Bartunek & Moch, 1994
  4. 4. • Nature of schemas in organizational change – Assumptions of cause & effect • 1st Order – Schematically Concordant • 2nd Order – Schematically Disconcordant • 3rd Order – Aschematic – Paradigms Orders of Change Watzlawick et al., 1974
  5. 5. • Change that relies on established paradigms – Usually centered on deficits and problems – Often a reaction to immediate problems – Leave social structures & cultures in place • Incremental adjustments to individuals & settings 1st Order Change Watzlawick, Weakland, & Fisch, 1974
  6. 6. • Crime – People do not have control • People must be controlled – Greater enforcement/enforcers needed 1st Order Change Example
  7. 7. • Advantages – Simple & familiar • Address known problems in expected ways • Limited in scope, thereby fostering efficiency • Disadvantages – Short-term solutions to symptoms – May create problems in other parts of the system Pros & Cons of 1st Order Change Robinson, Brown, Beasley, & Jason, 2015
  8. 8. • Change that alters the social context/paradigms • Valued in community psychology • Longer-term distal problem focus – Often prevention-focused 2nd Order Change Watzlawick et al., 1974
  9. 9. • Crime – People predisposed to good – Maldevelopment leads to antisocial behavior – Intervention can insure healthy development • Thus reducing crime 2nd Order Change Example
  10. 10. • Advantages – Alters systems & structural causes of problems. • Change objectives, roles, and the general nature of power • Can address problematic ideas, structures, & systems – Opportunity for more comprehensive & longer-term solutions • Potential for creative & innovative solutions to entrenched system-level problems • Can reduce stigma toward individuals not functioning well in the system Pros & Cons of 2nd Order Change Seidman, 1988; Watzlawick et al., 1974
  11. 11. • Disadvantages – May not offer immediate relief – Often conflicts w/ accepted paradigms • Stakeholder objections & confusion • Limited support – Empirical validation – Operationalization, goals, & measurement – Funding • Typically lack manualized guides – Complicates implementation, replication, and adaptation – Ethical dilemmas • Can weaken settings and their autonomy if not participatory • New problems may surface with new systems Pros & Cons of 2nd Order Change Watzlawick et al., 1974
  12. 12. • Awareness & ability to change schemata • Essential shift in the social fabric – Alter fundamental culture in which people, systems, & structures are embedded – Challenges paradigms & practices, developing culture • Continually questioning • Constantly identifying problems & social precipitants • Implementing solutions • Ongoing process and outcome evaluations • Ongoing critique of problems & ecological causes 3rd Order Change Bartunek & Moch, 1987
  13. 13. • Crime – Human tendencies may not be consistently good or bad • Some people may have greater self-control while others may not – Causes of crime are multi-faceted and may vary based on context • Situation will need to be assessed to develop appropriate means of addressing problem 3rd Order Change Example
  14. 14. • Advantages – 2nd order change advantages – Setting flexibility • Can become more flexible, adaptable, & innovative – Autonomy • Potentially greater autonomy through internal awareness, problem-solving, and reflexive action – Sustainability • Autonomy, flexibility, and sustained questions • Can identify and address future problems Pros & Cons of 3rd Order Change Robinson, Brown, Beasley, & Jason, 2015
  15. 15. • Disadvantages – 2nd order change disadvantages – Cognitive dissonance • Discomfort expected as paradigms continually questioned – Uncertainty • May make outcomes less certain • Stakeholders may feel uncomfortable • May be less attractive to external funding Pros & Cons of 3rd Order Change Bartunek & Moch, 1994; Robinson, Brown, Beasley, & Jason, 2015
  16. 16. • Series of 2nd order changes – Use differences in perspectives as a starting point – Build informal structures to enable operation from diverse perspectives – Expose members to experiences in various cultural settings • Diffusion of key stakeholder experiences to others 3rd Order Organization Change Bartunek & Moch, 1994; Bartunek et al., 1983; Cox, 1991; Mirvis, 1990
  17. 17. • Community psychology & other fields have not framed community intervention as 3rd order change – Critical consciousness • Can promote questioning of existing structures and schemas – Capacity building for self-sustained action & change • May broaden perspectives on community problems & solutions • May broaden resources available to address problems – Reflexivity • Opportunity for continual examination of factors – Processes of change – Emerging ecological shifts 3rd Order Community Change Robinson, Brown, Beasley, & Jason, 2015
  18. 18. • Critical Consciousness – Awareness of problem-related systems, structures, & beliefs – Watts’ stages of sociopolitical development • Unaware of system inconsistencies & dysfunction • See inconsistencies but feel powerless to change structures • Question value of adapting to dysfunctional system – Learning more about the system – Learning more about what maintains dysfunctions • Act on critical awareness to change the system – Building capacity for collective action 3rd Order Community Change Watts, Griffith, & Abdul-Adil, 1999; Watts, Williams, & Jagers, 2003
  19. 19. • Critical Consciousness – Communities may collectively • Gain awareness • Process feelings of powerlessness • Question importance of adapting • Learn about systems constraining them • Act to change systems 3rd Order Community Change Watts, Griffith, & Abdul-Adil, 1999; Watts, Williams, & Jagers, 2003
  20. 20. • Grounded Theory – Post-modern – Interactionist – Localized/contexualized – Democratized knowledge • Situational Analysis – Analysis of elements in the situation – Relationship b/t elements in the situation – Analysis of elements of the social world in which situation is taking place – Commitments, views, & actions of elements in social world – Positions on discursive issues 3rd Order Community Change Clarke, 2005
  21. 21. • Capacity Building – Communities that Care (CTC) • Developing prevention interventions • Providing resources • Promoting local stakeholder support & ownership – Five-phase process • Assessing community readiness • Forming local coalition • Conducting needs assessment • Selecting evidence-based interventions • Implementing & evaluating intervention 3rd Order Community Change Hawkins & Catalano, 1992
  22. 22. • Reflexivity – Encourage ongoing dialogue • Actions, progress, & outcomes • Potential need to change structures again – If intended outcomes are not achieved – If ecology changes such that structure is no longer appropriate – Grounded theory w/ situational analysis 3rd Order Community Change Robinson, Brown, Beasley, & Jason, 2015
  23. 23. • 3rd Order Goal – Innovative & adaptive systems & structures that are sustainable through self-renewal • 3rd Order Objectives – Fundamental paradigm shift toward social awareness, evaluation, & action – Culture of continual questioning Summary Robinson, Brown, Beasley, & Jason, 2015
  24. 24. • 3rd Order Processes – Critical consciousness – Capacity building – Reflexivity • 3rd Order Methods – Sociopolitical development – Grounded theory w/ situational analysis – Capacity building Summary Robinson, Brown, Beasley, & Jason, 2015
  25. 25. • Development – Theory • 3rd order community change • 3rd order community design – Logic Model – Evaluation Methods – Instruments – Intervention • Evaluation – When Best Moving Forward
  26. 26. Bartunek, J. M., Gordon, J. R., & Weathersby, R. P. (1983). Developing “complicated” understanding in administrators. Academy of Management Review, 8(2), 273-284. Bartunek, J. M., & Moch, M. K. (1987). First-order, second-order, and third-order change and organization development interventions: A cognitive approach. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 23(4), 483-500. Bartunek, J. M., & Moch, M. K. (1994). Third-order organizational change and the western mystical tradition. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 7(1), 24-41. Clarke, A. (2005). Situational analysis: Grounded theory after the postmodern turn. Sage. Cox Jr, T. (1991). The multicultural organization. The executive, 34-47. Hawkins, J. D., & Catalano, R. F. (1992). Communities that care. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Mirvis, P. H. (1990). Organizational development: Part II – A revolutionary perspective. In W. A. Pasmore & R. W. Woodman (Eds), Research in Organizational Change & Development, Vol. 4, Greenwich, CT: JAI Press. Robinson, W. L., Brown, M., Beasley, C. R., & Jason, L.A. (2014). Advancing Prevention Intervention from Theory to Application: Challenges and Contributions of Community Psychology. In M.A. Bond, C. Keys, & I. Serrano-García (Eds.). Handbook of Community Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Seidman, E. (1988). Back to the future, community psychology: Unfolding a theory of social intervention. American Journal of Community Psychology, 16, 3-24. doi:10.1007/BF00906069 Von Bertalanffy, L. (1968). General systems theory. In D. Hammond (Ed), The science of synthesis: Exploring the social implications of general systems theory. New York, 41973, 40. Watts, R. J., Griffith, D. M., & Abdul-Adil, J. (1999). Sociopolitical Development as an Antidote for Oppression-Theory and Action, American Journal of Community Psychology, 27, 255–271. doi:10.1023/A:1022839818873 Watts, R. J., Williams, N. C., & Jagers, R. J. (2003). Sociopolitical development. American Journal of Community Psychology, 31, 185–94. doi:10.1023/A:1023091024140 Watzlawick, P., Weakland, J. H., & Fisch, R. (1974). Change: Principles of problem formation and problem resolution. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company. References
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2016 American Psychological Association Presentation

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