This report presents the methodology and findings of an action research study that used relation coordination (RC) to bolster organizational change in study sites in furtherance of increasing community capacity to address gang violence and reduce it, using the Comprehensive Gang Model (COM), which is a program structure communities can use to organize efforts to reduce gang and youth violence.
COM strategies include suppression, intervention, prevention, community mobilization, and organizational change. RC, which was a focus of this evaluation, is a robust organizational theory and practice for guiding and measuring the effectiveness of group collaboration and meeting shared goals. The research design was a non-equivalent control group design. This design is appropriate when a randomized controlled trial is not feasible. Two cities were chosen under the criteria of having gang and youth violence and their having received state funding to address these problems. Study results support the contention that RC positively affected organizational change in one city but not the other. The city with positive effects focused on integrating organizational change into the city-wide plan, and it improved communication and coordination structure to support change across programs and policies. This suggests that constructive organizational change is important in the implementation and effectiveness of program models. 18 tables and 15 references