Assistant Professor of Sociology, SUNY Brockport
I am interested in how organizations and organizational leaders respond to highly dynamic and often uncertain environments. In particular, how do organizational leaders use their understanding of how institutions and networks work to manage their organizations in a changing world? In past research, I studied multinational subsidiaries in Hungary. I examined how some foreign and local managers used their social knowledge of the corporate world and the local economy to give their organizations an important competitive advantage. Success in Hungary after the demise of state socialism depended in managers’ ability to use their existing knowledge in flexible and innovative ways. Those that tried to stick to business as usual inevitably encountered costly problems as did those who hoped to simply transpose business models from afar. My current research stems from my experience raising a child in the autism spectrum and navigating the world of preschool special education. New York State has a diverse spectrum of provider agencies for young children with special needs, but each year more agencies shutter their preschool programs and services. I want to understand how the complex reimbursement structure in New York, which involves multiple agencies and levels of government, is impacting the capacity of preschool special education providers to sustain and develop their agencies’ capacity to serve young children with special needs. Working with public and private providers, I have designed the New York State Provider Survey – a scientific survey of over 300 randomly selected agencies – that will give New Yorkers a clear account of how the current funding system is affecting the viability of preschool special education in our state.