Health and Social Organizations Research

Examining organizational responses to environmental changes -- such as policy changes, financial incentives, or changes in the marketplace -- is an innovative approach that bridges the study of health policy and economics to health care outcomes. Our organizational research experts explore the full range of organizational structures, processes, and outcomes using qualitative analysis, quantitative analysis, and mixed-method research designs.

This distinct body of research focuses on the organization as the unit of observation, rather than the individual. Thus, by understanding and predicting how organizations respond to internal and external forces, actionable information can be used to better inform strategies to improve human health and well-being.

Focus Areas

  • Organizational behavior and systems
  • Organizational effectiveness and performance measurement
  • Policy and management
  • Interorganizational analysis
  • Coalition building and its relationship to performance


  • Survey development and analysis for consumers, organizations, health care providers
  • Qualitative data collection and analysis through case studies, focus groups, interviews
  • Analysis of Medicaid, Medicare, and other health claims data


We offer clients a sound scientific foundation to conceptualize, operationalize, and interpret organizational behavior. Some of our recent research projects include

  • Examining organizational adoption of health care innovations
  • Producing issue briefs on the dynamics of influenza vaccine supply and demand, including the economics, manufacturing, demand, purchase, and distribution of vaccine
  • Analyzing variations in service delivery in methadone maintenance treatment programs
  • Making operational organizational systems change and assessing the impact on population health outcomes by developing evidence-based indicators for state heart disease and stroke prevention programs
  • Investigating organizational arrangements for monitoring, reviewing, and reacting to research integrity issues and showing how these arrangements shape responses
  • Evaluating the adoption and diffusion of a Web-based tool to support quality of care for persons with sexually transmitted infections, HIV, and viral hepatitis in Indian Health Service facilities
  • Assessing the impact of the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act Minority AIDS Initiative (MAI) on access to care among HIV-infected people of color
  • Conducting cross-site evaluations of public-private partnerships for latent TB infection screening and prevention in vulnerable populations


Our organizational research focuses primarily on health services organizations. However, the research models and designs we use are also applicable to other types of social service organizations in the areas of substance abuse, mental health, and health communication and marketing. Some of our key clients in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services include

  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • Health Resources and Services Administration
RTI International to Evaluate Effectiveness of Worksite Health Programs

As part of a contract with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, RTI International will evaluate the National ... Read more »


Deborah A. Gibbs
Deputy Program Director, Women, Children, and Families Program
R. Craig Lefebvre
Lead Change Designer