Implementing Community Care for People with Intellectual Disability: The Role of Organizational Characteristics and the Innovation’s Attributes

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Abstract

Background  Community care is the support of people with intellectual disability in everyday life aimed at enhancing their integration into society. This article investigates influences of organizational characteristics on the implementation of community care in the Netherlands. In addition, we explored whether the attributes of community care as an innovative process might impede successful implementation.

Methods  Findings from a questionnaire among 96 managers in seven care organizations for people with intellectual disability are presented.

Results  The main reasons for innovation are to meet the demands of clients and to improve the primary care process. The most important external influence on the implementation process is government finance. The results also support the notion that problems with the implementation process of community care are related to organizational characteristics and the attributes of community care.

Conclusion  An innovative management style was found to be associated with a more successful implementation of community care. Lack of observability of the innovation, perceived complexity, incompatibility with norms and values of employees, and lack of possibilities to experiment (triability) are important barriers in the implementation process.

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