A case study of the New Haven Residents' Training Program
Mastroianni, Donna Ann
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The New Haven Residents' Training Program [NHRTP] was formed in 1988 as part of a collective bargaining agreement between Yale University and Local 34 Federation of Clerical and Technical Employees. The program operates as a collaborative of Yale, Local 34, and Gateway Community Technical College. This dissertation research began by posing the following research questions: (1) What are the cultural elements of the NHRTP, relative to the program's methods for surviving in and adapting to its external environment? (2) Of these cultural elements, which directly affect how the program is administered? (3) What are some specific examples of how these cultural elements influence the way the program is administered? The qualitative case study method was used to answer the major research questions, using Edgar Schein's theory of organizational culture as a research framework. Data was collected over a seven-month period through observations on-site at the NHRTP office; interviews of university, union, and college staff members involved in the administration of the program; and review of program and partnership documents. The shared basic assumptions of the group (one aspect of the group's culture) were identified when the data demonstrated sufficient continuity and repetition of response. But as data collection progressed it was accentuated that the program functions in a notably relaxed manner, in contrast to publicly-funded job training program standards, and the research question evolved to: Why does the program's external environment, Yale University, allow it to operate in the notably relaxed manner that it does? The response to this evolved research question is addressed in the context of two predominant characteristics identified during data collection: (1) the program's lack of data collection procedures, and (2) the interpersonal relationships between program staff and students and between program staff and Yale University human resources staff. An examination of the significance of the primary and secondary effects of these program characteristics shows that Yale University allows NHR TP to function as it does because it serves as evidence of a successful working relationship between Local 34 and the university.
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