This chapter presents an item-by-item analysis of responses to questions on the participant survey. The questions are grouped into five general categories: personal background, organizational subgoals, personal subgoals, overall opinion of the project and professional subgoals. Professional subgoals, however, are only touched on since they are analyzed in more depth in following chapters. Questions are analyzed in terms of their prevalence in high-, medium-, and low-slippage sites.
Essentially the chapter is surprise-free. Preliminary data are in line with what was expected in Chapters II and III. There are systematic variations in individual subgoals across
high-slippage, medium-slippage, and low-slippage sites. While tentative explanations are suggested for some causes and effects of these differences, the analysis of the interactions of subgoals with each other and with outputs is reserved for future chapters.
The terms ďparticipantĒ and ďmemberĒ, as used in this chapter, refer to those persons who provided services, and not to students or youths.
B. PERSONAL BACKGROUND OF PARTICIPANTS
Simon suggests that subgoals are derived from a personís experiences and background. Data were collected on five variables that could affect personal, organizational and professional subgoals. It was asserted that persons with similar education, experience, age and race would be likely to have similar professional subgoals. Moreover, it was asserted that these background characteristics might influence how a person defined personal subgoals, or estimated their fulfillment.
1. Individual Background Questions
Question 1: Individual ID. Computer-supplied.
Question 2: Position. This question sought to identify the roles of individuals in the projects so that these roles could be compared to subgoals. The following categories were used: (1) project administrators; (2) all other project staff members, (3) cooperating employers; (4) principals in cooperating schools; and (5) oversight personnel, such as CETA staff, board of directorís members, advisory committee members or Department of Labor regional office staff. Graph 4.1 shows the distributions.
Overall, of those surveyed, 13 percent were project administrators, 62 percent were classified as staff, 10 percent were cooperating principals, another 10 percent were oversight personnel, and 5 percent were employers.
At those sites classified as low-slippage, there tended to be a lower ratio of administrators to staff (1:6 vs. 1:5) and a higher level
of employer participation (10% vs. 5%). By contrast, at sites judged to be high slippage, employer participation appears to have been minimal and involvement of cooperating high school principals was considerably lower than at either
average- or low-slippage projects.
Question 3: Time with Project. It was initially thought that the length of time an individual worked with a project might influence the personís sense of security, ownership, commitment to the project, feeling of effectiveness and attitudes toward the projectís effectiveness.
Unfortunately, the question failed to reveal much of anything for two reasons. First, all Youthwork projects were new, in the sense of the question (i.e., they were new under Youthwork funding). As a result, the question reveals only whether an individual participant was with the project from its start, was employed during the project-year, or was terminated during the year. Had the question related to time with a pre existing program, as was the case with many Youthwork projects which were spin-offs of earlier programs, the responses might have been more revealing.
The second reason the question failed was that, in most cases, information about the length of time participants had been with host programs was generally not available.
Question 4: Previous Position. Aís basic hypothesis in this study is that a participantís professional subgoals are strongly influenced by his or her education, training, and other professional experiences. These are the things that help develop a professional attitude, for example, and that distinguish one profession from another.
Overall, it appears that about 60 percent of the participants had previously served in a school-based position, that is, as a teacher,
counselor or administrator in a high school or community college. The
remaining persons came from backgrounds in private industry, CETA or
CETA programs, or had no previous work experience, as Graph 4.2
Low-slippage sites differed considerably from high-slippage sites
in the overall mix of participant backgrounds. Nearly all project
personnel at high-slippage sites came from one class of
institutional back grounds, that is, public education. At low-slippage
sites, backgrounds were far more diverse, with nearly one in four
persons coming from private sector backgrounds.
In part, participant backgrounds reflect the mix of participants
found in Question 2. In this instance, however, the concentration of
public school persons was greater than that found in the earlier
question for high-slippage sites.
As with other questions, the direction and extent of effects are
not clear. To some extent, the relative mixes suggested by Questions 2
and 4 may reflect the vision and capability of the director or the
project developers, which may have had an independent effect on
outputs. On the other hand, it may be that the mix of persons with
different subgoals may have made successful implementation of a multi-faceted
program is likely.
Question 5 Race. The overwhelming majority of youth served
by Youthwork projects were Blacks, Hispanics or member of other
minority groups. It was possible, therefore, that minority staff
members might have greater empathy with the clients and place a higher
value on certain subgoals. Unfortunately, most analyses of this type
were not possible. Overall, there were too few non-minority staff
members for correlations to have any meaning. Moreover, most minority
staff members were at two sites. Although these were low-slippage
sites, there does not appear to be sufficient theoretical or empirical
reasons to draw any conclusions.
Race, however, was found to be, at best, a weak predictor of an
individualís overall judgment about the degree to which the project
serves youths (see Question 35, p. 141). Blacks seem to have been most
pleased. Hispanics ranked a close second. Whites appear to have given
somewhat lower marks to their projects than either Blacks or
Hispanics. Because only 4 percent of participants at the three low-slippage
sites were Blacks or members of other minority groups, the
relationships between race and slippage are impossible to determine.
Question 6 Age. Various studies suggest that an individualís
age influences both attitudes and behaviors. In Youthwork projects
overall, as Graph 4.3 indicates, about one third of project
participants were under 30 years of age and about one-fifth were in
the 40 years-old-or-over category. When only staff members are
considered, the percentage in the "over 40" class decreases
and the percentage of those in the "under 30" category
Two interesting findings occur. One is that age appears to be a
high predictor of participant satisfaction with the project (as
indicated by Question 35, below). Persons under 30 years of age
expressed a much more positive attitude about the success of their
projects than did those over 30 years old.
The second finding is that one of the characteristics of low-
slippage sites was a heavy employment of young staff. In the three low-
slippage projects, more than half of all participants and more than 90
percent of staff members were under 30 years old. At high-slippage
sites, however, nearly 73 percent of all participants were in the
"30-39 year old" or "40+ categories.
Unfortunately, the data on personal background did not prove to be
as available or discriminating as desired. Only for the variables
"age" and "background" were data sufficient for
further analyses, and those almost exclusively in terms of personal
subgoals. This is one of the limitations of the study.
C. ORGANIZATIONAL SUBGOALS
Another set of questions concerned individually held organizational
subgoals, and is derived from one of the three types of subgoals
suggested in the Simon Hypothesis. In brief, they refer to the
individualís own short-term objectives relating to the
organization employing the person.
It is important to note that a distinction is made between the
terms "organization" and "project." Youthwork
projects existed within the framework of some host organization,
typically a school or school district, community-based organization,
or a public service agency.
In most cases, the host organization was the projectís immediate,
fiscally responsible agent; funds flowed from the Department of Labor,
through the local CETA prime sponsor, to a host organization that was
responsible for the project.
Consequently, an individual working on a given project usually had
identification with an organization that was distinct from the
project. One result was that an individual might perceive some element
of conflict between his or her organizational subgoals and those of
the project. Indeed, in some cases, project teachers actually resigned
over this issue.
It is also important to note here that those subgoals labeled as
"organizational" in this study do not refer to the goals or
subgoals of the organization (e.g., a business goal of making a profit
or a school goal of educating students). Rather, the subgoals are more
narrowly defined as the extent to which the person feels committed to
a part of his or her organization, and therefore might be willing to
promote its goals.
Where items refer to "organizations" and
"organizational subgoals," reference is to the host
organization from the perspective of the person. Thus, for example,
the organizational allegiance of a cooperating high school principal
is the school, while that of an employer is his or her business. The
term "project" refers to the specific Youthwork project.
1. Individual Questions on Organizational
Question 23 Cooperation with Others. At the core of all
Youthwork projects was a concern for providing services to youth. In
accordance with Youthwork guidelines, all projects promised to work
with other organizations and agencies in delivering services to youth.
The extent to which staff of an individual project, its host
organization, or participating employers were committed to cooperating
with each other was expected to vary. An employer who agrees to hire a
student may not be willing to also come to meetings or cooperate in
Overall, about one-quarter of all participants rated cooperating
with other individuals and/or organizations in order to provide
services to youths as being unimportant. Another quarter seemed to
feel that such cooperation was very important. The remaining half
indicated it was moderately important.
When results from high- and low-slippage sites were compared,
an unanticipated finding came to light. Not only were there more
employers and other "outsiders" involved at low-slippage
sites than at high- slippage sites, but they were more committed to
cooperating with others. Participants, in general, at low-slippage
sites almost unanimously ex pressed a strong, positive concern for
such cooperation, while, at high-slippage sites almost half of all
participants rated this subgoal as being relatively unimportant.
Question 24 Funding Source. Participants were rated on the
ex tent to which they emphasized promoting a positive image of their
projects with the funding source, that is, Youthwork, Inc. The
question is based on a subgoal frequently cited in organizational
literature that suggests that members typically want their
organizations to "look good" to the public. It might also be
expected that enlightened self-interest would increase the
Importance to project members of developing and maintaining strong,
positive relationships with the funding source. Comprehensiveness,
accuracy and timeliness of completing and submitting required reports
and materials specified in the contract, as well as the frequency and
nature of communications between the individual project and Youthwork
staff, were among the types of information sought.
Overall, participantsí attitudes were mildly surprising. Nearly
four in ten persons indicated that promoting a positive image of the
project to the funding source was of "little" (2) or
"no" (1) importance, and only one in seven appears to have
believed this was a "fairly important" (3) subgoal. Part of
the explanation may be that many staff persons, employers and
cooperating high school principals simply felt that such concerns were
someone elseís job--the project directorís, for example--or
at least not theirs.
Given the general lack of concern indicated on the average for all
participants at all sites, the difference between the attitudes
expressed by participants at high- and low-slippage sites is
almost dramatic. More than 90 percent of low-slippage project
members rated promoting the projectís image with the funding source
as "quite important" (3) or "very important" (4).
In contrast, two thirds of high-slippage site members rated it as of
"little importance" (2) or "not important" (1).
Question 25 Community Relations. While the nature of
"community" varied widely among projects, it generally
refers to the individuals and organizations (a) in the local
geographic area that is served by the project and (b) that is directly
or indirectly involved in the project.
In the main, project participants live in and are part of a local
community. The esteem in which they are held by their neighbors and
members of the community is generally important to people. In turn,
the esteem in which their organizations are held by the community is
felt to reflect on individuals. A series of national studies
concerning pre college education, sponsored by the National Science
Foundation, supports this position. According to the studies, the
community is an Important part of the reality world of school people
that they are highly sensitive to the community and responsive to it,
and that, in short, the community is among the most important
considerations in influencing the behavior of teachers.
Findings from the Youthwork projects generally support this
position. Overall, as indicated in Graph 4.4, project participants
rated the promotion of positive community relations as being much more
important than relations with the funding source. Nearly eight out of
ten participants across all sites rated community relations as either
"important" (3) or "very important" (4).
Participants in high-slippage projects appear to have been
somewhat less concerned about the image of their projects in the eyes
of the community than was the case at low-slippage sites. At high-slippage
sites, nearly six in ten participants rated community relations as
either being of "little importance" (2) or "no
importance" (1). At the other end of the scale, low-slippage
project staff was overwhelmingly positive in their concern for local
community relations. Nearly two out of three low-slippage
participants were scored as giving community relations a "very
important" (4) rating, and another one in four gave it a score of
(3) or "quite important."
Questions 26 Commitment to Organizational Subgoals. In order
to explore the relationships among the three sets of individually held
sub goals, one question concerned the degree to which each project
participant identified with the subgoals of the organization with
which he or she was primarily affiliated. The question asked the
extent to which the person placed emphasis on promoting the host
organization and its goals. A score of 3 or 4 indicated a high
Overall, project participants appear to have been a fairly highly
committed group. Nearly half were rated at a "fairly high"
(3) level and about four in ten received ratings of "very
high" (4). Fewer than two in ten earned a "quite low"
(2) score, while only two in a hundred were rated as having "no
commitment" (1). The average rating for all participants at all
sites was 3.2.
In the high-slippage group, the strength of commitment of staff
to their organizationsí subgoals appeared much weaker than was the
case in either medium- or low-slippage projects. Among high-slippage
project members, the level of commitment of nearly three persons in
ten was judged to be "quite low" (2) or
"disaffected" (1). In contrast, all participants in low-slippage
projects were rated at a "quite high" (3) level or above.
Question 27 Ownership. A sense of shared ownership is an
often cited concept in educational effectiveness literature, and it is
frequently used to help explain the success or failure of an
innovation or even an organization. For example, it is often claimed
that "teacher- proof" materials fail because teachers do
not feel a sense of ownership in them, and, conversely, that materials
developed, in part at least, by teachers do work (or work better)
because the teachers feel a sense of ownership. Again, a recently
completed longitudinal study by the Institute of Higher Education,
Teachers College, Columbia University found that faculty morale, which
declined significantly between 1970 and 1980, seems to be
"unrelated to changes in college income or average college
salary;" rather, it appears to be tied to the fact that faculty
members feel less involved in the important decisions about running
their institutions. The study shows that while finance affects
successful college functioning, "within the ranges of financial
variation that occurred at these 93 colleges and universities, others
like leadership style appear to be more important.130-1
It was thought that this concept of ownership might apply to Youth-
work projects; those where participants appear to have felt a high
level of shared ownership should experience less slippage.
Data from this study at best only partially support this
hypothesis, and then only at a weak level. For all sites, nearly three
in ten participants indicated they felt no sense of ownership (1) and
another four in ten appear to have felt a "fairly low" (2)
sense of ownership. Only three in ten seem to have felt a "fairly
high" (3) or very high sense of ownership or control of the
To some extent, this may be explained by the participation of
cooperating organizational members (e.g., a business manager
providing "work-sites," a high school counselor referring
students to the project). Most of these non-staff members did indeed
seem to feel a low level of ownership or participation in the
operation of the project.
At the same time, as Graph 4.5 indicates, only moderate levels of
ownership were expressed by even low-slippage site participants (2.6
vs. a mathematical norm of 2.5), while medium-slippage sites
averaged only 2.1 and high-slippage sites were at a rock-bottom
average of 1.8.
Two important factors may be involved. One is that the expected
level of perceived ownership by low-slippage site personnel may have
been inappropriate. This is to say that for public school personnel,
at least when compared to college and university faculty members, a
strong perception of ownership and participation in organizational
decision making may not be the norm. Typically, school superintendents
and principals may be less likely to consult with faculty members on
organizational matters than are college and university presidents.
Thus, school staff may simply accept a low sense of ownership as
The second factor is, in a sense, a corollary. It may well be that
what is involved in the success of a precollege level project is not
that participants feel a strong sense of ownership, but rather that
they do not feel completely "disenfranchised." Thus, for
example, half the participants at high-slippage sites appear to have
felt that they had no say in the way the project was run and another
third appeared to feel they had only minimal levels of ownership. In
comparison, fewer than two in ten low-slippage project members
indicated they felt disenfranchised, while an equal percentage
evidenced a "very high" (4) level of ownership.
Interestingly, the remaining two-thirds were split evenly between
"fairly low" (2) and "fairly high" (3).
While several questions relating to individually held
organizational goals will be discussed later, a few comments may be
appropriate at this point.
One involves the question of narrowness or breadth of the
"vision" or perspective of project leadership persons and
the relationship of that scope to slippage. This subject was raised
earlier in Question 4. Questions 23, 24 and 25 concern the degree of
participant interest in promoting the projectís image and subgoals
beyond the immediate task at hand. In a sense, what is involved is the
reverse of the familiar statement, "If it ainít in my job
description, I ainít goiní to do it."
What emerges from responses to these questions is a sense of the
same narrowness and breadth of thinking that appeared in Questions 2
(Roles) and 4 (Background). Projects which had narrow mixes of roles
(administrators, oversight, staff) and narrow mixes of participant
back grounds (e.g., above average concentrations of public school and
other CETA-type project people) also evidenced less concern for
promoting positive relations with either the funding source or with
their respective communities. This narrowness of perspective or vision
appears to be a syndrome associated with high-slippage sites.
At low-slippage projects, the reverse seems to have been the
case. First, these projects characteristically had a far wider range
of roles (e.g., the inclusion of private industry employers and of
active cooperating high school principals). Second, these participants
typically represented a greater diversity of backgrounds. Third, these
participants, both individually and as a group, consistently appeared
to evidence considerable positive concern for project relations with
the funding sources and with the community. Fourth, they also seem to
have been far more willing to work with other individuals and agencies
in order to secure services for the youths served by their projects.
In brief, it may be that the memberís perspective of his or her
job, both in terms of goals and means, may be important in accounting
for the individualís role in contributing to slippage.
D. PERSONAL SUBGOALS
The next set of questions concern individually held personal sub
goals, the third category of subgoals posited in the Simon Hypothesis.
Simon suggests that, in loosely coupled systems, individual behaviors
will be strongly influenced by three sets of subgoals, one of which is
Following Simon, personal subgoals are formulated in terms of
safety, economic security, job rewards, career advancement, a sense of
helping project youths, and a perception of participating in
personally rewarding activities.
In broad terms, it was asserted that an inverse relationship exists
between the extent to which an individualís sense of personal needs
are threatened and the amount of concern and effort the individual
will expend on achieving organizational and professional subgoals.
Conversely, it was asserted that the delivery of project services
(i.e., out puts) will be directly influenced by the degree to which
the individualís personal subgoals are met.
1. Individual Questions
Question 28 Personal Safety. Violence in schools,
particularly in those serving large concentrations of disadvantaged,
low-income students, has been well documented and widely publicized.
In more than a few schools, assaults, rapes and killings are familiar
fears. Various polls and other studies have indicated, for more than a
decade, that violence and threats to personal safety are among the
chief concerns of many school people.
It was hypothesized that, where project participants felt
personally threatened, delivery of services would be diminished.
Overall, safety does not appear to have been an important concern
for participants in Youthwork projects. Indeed, more than eight in ten
persons indicated that they were not concerned. Only one in seven said
his or her personal safety was at the "important" level.
Participants at low- and high-slippage sites, however, seem to have
differed considerably from each other and from the overall average. At
low-slippage projects, more than 95 percent indicated safety was of
low concern (1) or (2). At high-slippage sites, however, less than
50 percent gave similar responses, while close to four in ten
evidenced that personal safety was "important" or "very
Question 29 Economic Security. It has been widely observed
that a strong relationship appears to exist between morale and
productivity. It has also been noted that morale is adversely affected
when oneís economic security is threatened.
Applied to this study, it was hypothesized that sites where members
expressed the most concern for job security would experience high
levels of slippage.
Overall, three in ten project participants expressed some concern
about economic security, while seven in ten evidenced no concern or
else indicated that it was not a significant factor influencing their
behavior. Fewer than one in twenty, overall, seemed to indicate a high
degree of concern for economic security.
As might be expected, participants at low-slippage sites
evidenced the least concern, while nearly 30 percent of high-slippage
site members indicated that job security was a "important"
(3) or "very important" (4) concern for them.
When both personal and economic security are considered together,
it appears that a strong inverse relationship exists between the
individualís sense of perceived threat and overall performance at
the site. At the same time, it is not yet clear as to which, if
either, is a causative factor. It is possible, for example, to suggest
at this point that a personís performance may have produced actions
by others (e.g., students, employers) that were perceived by the
individual as threats to either personal safety or economic security.
Question 30 Structure. Given the troubled backgrounds of the
students served in Youthwork projects (and, therefore, the likelihood
of continued troubling behavior on their parts), it was thought that
projects stressing structure and orderliness would be more successful
than others. A corollary suggested that persons who held as personal
subgoals the value of structure and orderliness would be more
successful. In contrast, it was believed that persons who placed
lesser concern on such things as helping youths with their personal
problems, for example, rather than structure, would have a more
difficult time, would be less effective, and that their projects would
experience higher levels of slippage.
Overall, most participants were judged to be positively oriented to
structure and orderliness, with a strong majority evidencing a
"important" (3) or "very important" (4) level of
concern. Fewer than one in ten received a rating of "little
importance" (2) or "not important at all" (1). For all
participants at all sites, the average rating was 3.2.
The data in this study, nonetheless, strongly support the idea that
structure is important. When low- and high-slippage sites are
compared, it is clear that those projects where participants rated
structure most highly were those that experienced the lowest level of
slippage. Conversely, those projects where participants rated
structure and orderliness as least important were the projects that
experienced the highest levels of slippage. At low-slippage sites,
for example, 80 percent of the participants gave structure and
orderliness a rating of "very important" (4). In contrast,
fewer than 20 percent of participants in high-slippage projects gave
structure the same level of importance.
Moreover, projects with high levels of slippage were also those
which had significantly higher concentrations of participants who felt
that structure was either of "very little" (2) or
"no" (3) importance. In fact, the ratio of persons at high-slippage
sites to those at low- slippage sites who ranked structure and
orderliness as relatively unimportant was 61.
The two projects at the slippage extremes (i.e., the lowest and
highest slippage sites) dramatize the differences. At the one low-
slippage project, 100 percent of the participants were judged to rank
structure at the "very important" (4) level, while less than
10 percent of those at the highest slippage site were given the same
Question 31 Rewards. A question was asked concerning the
extent to which each individual felt "fairly rewarded" by
the project. As with the three previous questions concerning personal
subgoals, it was hypothesized that relationships exist between an
individualís morale and productivity, and, in this question, that
morale would be influenced by a sense of job rewards, defined to
include both monetary and psychic factors. The question asked To what
extent (on a scale of 1 to 4) does the individual feel
"fairly" rewarded for his or her participation in the
It should be noted that a rating of 3, that is, "fairly"
was expected in most instances, and that a rating of 4, that is
"more than fairly" would be most unusual. It was also
expected that a rating of 2 (less than fairly) might be common,
particularly among those in higher slippage projects, and that a 1
rating ("very unfairly") might appear occasionally.
Overall, regardless of position, most participants seemed to feel
fairly rewarded. Fewer than one in five indicated they felt less than
fairly rewarded and only three percent evidenced that they felt very
unjustly rewarded. Interestingly, about the same number felt they were
"more than fairly" rewarded.
It is not surprising to find that nearly all those who indicated
they felt "more than fairly" rewarded by the project worked
at sites in the low-slippage group. Even more interesting is the
fact that almost half of those giving their rewards a 4 rating were
employers. It may be that employers, regardless of their personal
reasons for participating in Youthwork projects, expected very little
in personal terms, and were more than mildly pleased with the
outcomes. It might also be noted that a number of staff members also
fell into this category, which is particularly interesting because it
was not expected that any staff level participant would evidence that
he or she was actually "more than fairly" rewarded.
Incidentally, in the cases of several staff members, the actual words
"more than fairly" or clear facsimiles were quoted by the
High-slippage sites were predicable. About half the participants
there seemed to feel either "less than fairly" or "very
unfairly" re warded, and none indicated that he or she was
"more than fairly" rewarded.
Question 32 Career Advancement. The extent to which an
individual perceives participation in a project as a positive step in
advancing on a career ladder was believed to be related to morale and
productivity. The question, however, revealed little.
In general, regardless of project, participants seemed to view
their participation as either irrelevant to career advancement or the
idea of career advancement itself as irrelevant. In retrospect, there
appears to be no particular reason to suppose that an employer, for
example, would see participation in a local Youthwork project as
having any particular influence on his or her career in business. The
same could be said for "cooperating" high school principals.
At the same time, school teachers and guidance counselors--the
majority of project members--do not seem to think in terms of
"career ladders" and "career advancement."
Oversight persons (i.e., CETA staff, board of directors members)
appear to have viewed their participation as "just part of the
daily job." Finally, a small number of participants, although far
from a majority, were drawn from the ranks of the retired or semi-retired.
For them, careers had long since peaked.
Overall, nearly 90 percent indicated their participation had either
"no" effect on their careers or that it might have helped
"somewhat." Fewer than one in twenty said their
participation may have hurt their careers. It might be noted that
among the latter were participants who were fired or otherwise
dismissed for misconduct, malfeasance or sheer ineptitude. One of the
project directors fell into this category.
It is interesting to find that there was no significant difference
in this general pattern among high-, medium-, and low-slippage
projects-- with one exception almost all of the small group of
participants who said their participation had helped their careers
"a great deal" were at low-slippage sites.
Question 33 Personally Helping Youths. Since participation
in the Youthwork projects was almost exclusively determined on a self-select
or similar voluntary basis, and since an overriding concern of all
projects was to help a particular group of needy youths, it was
hypothesized that participants would have a personal need to help such
young people. The question asked the interviewer to rate (on a scale
of 1 to 4) just how much the Individual participant felt he or she was
helping youths served by the project.
Overall, participants were highly positive about their personal
contributions to helping youths, with half giving their efforts a
rating of "a great deal" (4)139-1
Of all project participants, fewer than one in twenty rated their
efforts at less than a 3 level--which would Indicate they felt they
were helping youths "a little" (2) or "not at all"
Low-slippage site participants seem to have felt more positively
about their personal participation and its consequences than did
those at medium- and high-slippage sites. The average for all
low-slippage site participants was 3.7, compared with a 3.4 for high-slippage
project members and a 3.5 overall average. At low-slippage sites,
nearly seven persons in ten rated their participation at a 4 level and
the remaining participants viewed their contributions to youth as a 3
level activity. This included primarily administrators, CETA staff,
employers and cooperating principals. By contrast, about one in ten
high-slippage site participant rated his or her performance in this
category at a 2 level-just one step above a "not at all" (1)
Question 34 Personally Rewarding. Many suggest that people
have a need for activities they feel will contribute to their growth
and development as human beings. In Youthwork projects, participants
were considered in terms of the extent to which they seemed to feel
that the individual project afforded an opportunity to participate in
activities that each felt was personally needed and rewarding.
The question was posed in two forms. In its positive sense, the
question referred to the opportunities afforded by participation in
the project. In its negative sense, the question asked about the
extent to which project participation interfered with or otherwise
decreased the individualís opportunities to participate in such
activities. Given the difficult nature of the students being served
and resulting problems serving them, the frustrations associated with
organizing and implementing a new project, and the now-traditionally
chronic complaints about federal paperwork, a high level of
satisfaction on this question was not anticipated.
It is therefore mildly and pleasantly surprising to find that, over
all, about half of all participants seemed to find the requirements of
their jobs afforded them "somewhat" (3) of an opportunity to
participate in personally needed activities, while almost one in five
said their participation gave them "a great deal" of
opportunity to participate in such activities. About one-third rated
their participation at a 2 level ("a little") and one in
twenty seemed to feel their ability to work in personally needed and
rewarding activities was at a 1 ("not at all") level.
Participants at low-slippage sites had an average of 3.1,
compared with those at medium-slippage projects who averaged 2.8 and
high-slippage site personnel who had an average of 2.5.
Overall, there appear to be systematic differences between the
extent to which persons at high- and low-slippage sites believe their
personal subgoals are fulfilled. High-slippage sites had a greater
percentage of persons worried about their personal safety and economic
security than did low-slippage sites. In addition, personnel at low-
slippage sites were somewhat more convinced that they were helping
youth and were participating in rewarding activities than were their
counter parts at high slippage sites.
The data do not provide the bases for making firm statements about
the nature or direction of causation. Are persons more satisfied
because they are in low-slippage sites, or is there low slippage
because staff are satisfied? The data do suggest there may be a
distinction between having subgoals threatened and having them
E. OVERALL OPINIONS
Participants were asked seven questions concerning their
evaluations of the individual project and its success, and their
personal feelings of subgoal conflicts--conflicts between the
project and organizational subgoals, and conflicts between their
project and their professional sub goals. The question derives from
the Simon Hypothesis concerning the roles of organizational and
professional subgoals in influencing individual behavior in loosely
coupled systems, and is designed to help explore the relationships
among the various subgoal types within a goal- conflict situation.
It would be interesting and possibly instructive, for example, to have
some indication as to which type of subgoal, under what circumstances,
takes precedence over other subgoal types.
Question 35 Project Helps Youths. Participants were rated on
a scale of 1 to 4 on the extent to which they felt the project
actually helped the youth clientele.
Overall, participants gave their projects high marks, with nearly
90 percent indicating a rating of "pretty much" (3) or
"very much" (4). Only one in ten persons said "only a
little" (2) and no one seemed to feel it helped "not at
all" (1). The overall average for responses on this question was
3.4--the second highest rating for any question and barely below
the average participants registered for their own personal
This, however, is not particularly noteworthy since, if a project
did nothing else--and all did--every project did get money
into the hands of demonstrably needy poor youths. Therefore, no matter
what any individual might have wished the project to do beyond
distributing money, all project personnel can be presumed to have
shared that subgoal and, consequently, would have found it next to
impossible to give the project a rating of less than (2).
It may be more than mildly interesting, nonetheless, to note that,
while the familiar pattern of differences between high- and low-slippage
sites was evidenced in this Question (respective average ratings of
3.1 and 3.7), the two groups differed markedly in their responses to
this question compared with Question 33, concerning their own
performance. Low-slippage site participants gave an overall rating
of 3.7 on both questions. High-slippage project members, however,
rated project performance well below their own performance level (3.1
vs. 3.4 respectively).
Question 36 Project Quality. Participants were asked to
judge the quality of their individual projects against similar
projects serving similar youth populations. It should be noted that,
during the time of Youthwork projects, the Department of Labor,
through CETA prime sponsors and various pieces of CETA legislation and
funding, also operated a host of related school-to-work-oriented
programs. Moreover, similar programs were funded under federal
Vocational Education appropriations. One re- suit was that, in all
communities served by Youthwork projects, there were a half-dozen to
several dozen other programs serving essentially the same youth groups
in work-oriented, federally funded programs. Consequently, nearly
all participants (and most youths involved) had some fairly strong
basis for comparison.
Across sites, by a ratio of nearly 9 to 1, participants thought
their respective projects either served youths "better" (3)
or "much better" (4) than related youth programs. Only one
in thirty seemed to feel students would be better of f in another
Interestingly, the division between high- and low-slippage
project participants was unexpectedly small, and the difference
between high- and medium-slippage sites was almost non-existent.
The average ratings were, respectively, 3.2, 3.1 and 2.9.
At the same time, the relatively modest rating given even by the
most positive (low-slippage) project participants (3.2 compared, for
ex ample, with a 3.7 on overall project satisfaction) may be
indicative of an overall low regard for all federally sponsored
programs. There is additional evidence, which will be discussed in
later chapters, to sup port this suggestion.
Question 37 Regular Schools. A second question involving
project workersí judgments of their respective projects concerned
how well they thought that their students would do in other regular
school programs. The question asked was, "Compared with this
project, how well do you think these same students would do in a
regular school program? (1) much worse, (2) about the same, (3)
somewhat better, (4) much better."
More than eight in ten participants thought students would do much
worse (1) and another 15 percent indicated they thought students would
do about the same (2) in regular school programs. Only one in two
hundred seemed to think that students would be better off (3) or (4)
in a regular school program.
Generally, these responses are probably a fair reflection of
reality, and may reveal more about reality than about individual
judgments concerning the overall effectiveness of Youthwork programs.
For most of the students served, these projects were, indeed, the
"last chance." In fact, many of the schools and programs
within which Youthwork projects operated were called "last
chance" or "schools of last resort."
What is interesting is the apparent overwhelming conviction by
participants that students would be "much worse off" in
other school programs. The strength of this view is stronger, for
example, than participantsí beliefs in the efficacy of either their
own performance or that of the project.
Question 38 Future Funding. Jobs for school people were
noticeably In short supply during the period of Youthwork projects.
Given this fact, and especially since Youthwork projects were rated by
participants as the "best game in town" as far as serving
the particular client youths, it might be expected that project
workers would wish to ensure the continuation of their respective
Such was clearly not the case.
One question asked, "If or when federal funding should no
longer be available, should this project be continued with local
funds? (1) definitely not, (2) probably not, (3) probably yes, (4)
Perhaps surprisingly, about one in four indicated a clear
"definitely not," while almost four in ten were scored as
"probably not." Together, about two thirds were given scores
of 1 and 2. Only a few of the remaining third indicated anything
stronger than a mild affirmative. Overall, then, it is probably fair
to conclude that the vast majority of Youthwork project participants
liked their projects--as long as the federal government paid the
bill--but even when their own current jobs might be involved,
local funds should probably not be used to continue them.
There was a marked contrast, however, between the scores of those
in different site-slippage groups. In low-slippage projects, about
six in ten persons gave a positive response. In contrast, about eight
in ten members at high-slippage sites got a negative response.
The discrepancy does not seem to be explainable solely by local
socio economic variables. Poor rural communities and poor urban
communities are represented, and all the youths served are even
poorer. What does not seem to be involved is the case of a wealthy
suburban community that may be willing to take a chance and a poor
ghetto that cannot afford to do so. It seems that, from the point of
view of project workers, even when their own personal subgoals are
considered, most would have voted against continuing these project at
local expense--if that were the only question.
Questions 39 and 40 Subgoal Conflict. Two questions were
aimed at finding subgoal conflicts. Participants were rated on a scale
of 1 to 4 as to their perceived levels of conflict between their own
professional sub goals and those of the project. The second concerned
conflict between individualsí organizational subgoals and the
Across all sites, slightly over half the participants were rated as
indicating they felt little or no conflict between their
organizational subgoals and the project subgoals, and just under half
seemed to experience little or no conflict between their professional
subgoals and the project subgoals. At the other extreme, however,
about one in ten indicated a very high level of organizational subgoal
conflict and one in ten experienced a very high level of conflict
between professional and project subgoals.
The differences in levels of perceived conflict between those at
high- and those at low-slippage sites is interesting. On both
subgoal conflict questions, those at low-slippage sites seemed to
have felt a somewhat lower sense of disparity (1.4 and 1.5) than did
their counter parts in high-slippage project (2.0 and 2.0). This may
be an important point, and is one that will be discussed later.
When responses to these two conflict questions are compared with
responses to Question 26 (organizational commitment), a curious
inverse relationship appears. High-slippage site personnel, overall,
were some what less strongly committed to their organizational
subgoals than were participants in low-slippage projects (3.1, 3.4);
yet, the same high- slippage participants seemed to experience a
somewhat higher level of conflict between their organizational
subgoals and their projectsí sub goals than did low-slippage site
members (2.0, 1.4).
F. PROFESSIONAL SUBGOALS
Another set of questions involved what are termed in this study as
"professional subgoals," and are derived for purposes here
from the categories used by Youthwork in its Request For Proposals, as
well as by the projects themselves, outside evaluators and other
researchers dealing with Youthwork projects. These subgoals are the
specific services or outputs which projects contracted to provide.
It is a central assertion in this study that professional subgoals
of staff do influence types and levels of outputs delivered. Since
each project contracted to provide only certain services and,
moreover, since each project differed as to the emphasis and mix of
services it agreed to offer, cross-site totals and comparisons are
not presented at this point. A discussion of these findings is found
in the next chapter.
It is nonetheless interesting to note that there appears to be an
overall difference in response to these questions between high- and
low- slippage sites. In general, participants in low-slippage
projects seem to have had stronger professional subgoals or at least
to have expressed themselves more positively on questions of
professional subgoals than did participants at high-slippage sites.
It is also interesting to note that low-slippage site personnel
seemed generally to have expressed a higher level of conflict between
their professional subgoals and the subgoals of their projects than
did their colleagues in low-slippage projects.
The purposes of this chapter have been to present the data obtained
from analyses of nearly a thousand protocols covering ten Youthwork
projects and from one hundred of the many hundreds of project
participants encountered, to explain the details of how these data
were gathered and aggregated, and to point out a few of the more
apparent trends that will be examined in greater depth in subsequent
One of the most obvious patterns in these data is a decided
tendency of low-slippage site personnel to evidence strong, positive
attitudes in comparison with those at high-slippage sites. This
pattern holds for all subgoal groups.
A second fairly strong pattern is the apparent tendency of low-
slippage site participants to be more concerned with quality (both
academic and job-site related), with community relations, and with
order and structure than appears to have been the case with their
counterparts in high-slippage projects.
A third pattern involves strength of organizational commitment and
of professional subgoals, and conflict between an individualís
professional and/or organizational subgoals and those of the project.
In the main, there seems to have been a tendency of persons with
relatively strong professional subgoals and comparatively high
commitment to their organizations to perceive less subgoal conflict
than others did. It is not clear at this point, however, why this
particular set of relation ships appears to have existed.
A corollary appears to be that sites where fairly large percentages
of participants seem to have perceived relatively high levels of
subgoal conflicts also tended to be high-slippage sites.
A final and fairly strongly suggested pattern involves personal sub
goals and slippage. There appears to have been a consistent, strong
and direct relationship between the extent to which a participantís
personal subgoals were perceived to be threatened and the degree of
slippage in the project. This does not imply that a high level of
concern for personal safety, economic security or a sense of fair
reward were necessary conditions for slippage; rather, it suggests
that perceived threats to personal subgoals have been a large part of
the sufficient conditions.
4-1See Appendix B for additional data.
130-1Jack Magarrell, "Decline in Faculty
Morale Laid to Governance Role, Not Salary," Chronicle of
Higher Education 25 (November 10, 1982), p.3.
139-1It should 1e noted that these data include
not only staff and administrators, but oversight personnel, employers
and cooperating high school principals as well. When only staff are
considered, the percentage rating their contributions at the 4 level
increased from 50 to 75 percent.
148-1See also Tables B-1 to B-l0,
"Service Outputs by Sites," Appendix B.