Reentry, partnerships, organizations, motivations, culture, interorganizational relationships, jails


This study explores the associations between the independent variables of organizational motivations and culture with the dependent variable of organizational commitment to local jail reentry partnerships. A cross-sectional, mixed methods design was used based primarily on a quantitative survey mailed to organizational informants involved in jail reentry activities within three central Florida counties. Qualitative data was also collected by observing conveniently sampled reentry meetings and analyzing the content of social artifacts, such as meeting handouts, minutes, e-mails, and other related documents. This study extends the literature by using the theoretical framework of Oliver (1990) to develop measures of organizations' motivations (i.e., reciprocity, stability, efficiency, asymmetry, and legitimacy) to partner with jails in reentry. It also extends the literature of Fletcher, Lehman, Wexler, Melnick, Taxman, and Young (2009) by furthering the development of valid measures of interorganizational relationships. Fletcher and associates found two levels of relationships (i.e., structured and unstructured); whereas this study found that organizations are linked according to elements (i.e., linking clients, services, providers, data, program evaluation and grant funding, and management) within increasing levels of complexity. Bivariate and multivariate analyses indicated positive associations between the predictor and outcome variables, as hypothesized. However, the sample size was not large enough to determine the strength or significance between the variables. The directed content analysis of the qualitative data supported the presence of the theoretical constructs, but also indicated that they were not mutually exclusive or exhaustive. Two of the three counties ended formal reentry meetings, so a case study approach was used to analyze the three counties using the theory of loose coupling (Orton & Weick, 1990; Weick, 1976). Although all three counties experienced the same external pressures to begin formal meetings, there were differences in partnership structures, leadership goals, and events which serve to explain why only one county was able to sustain those formal meetings. Results of this study have both research and practical implications. The development of valid measures for moderating variables in reentry will allow researchers to relate those variables to reentry program outcomes. By exploring the associations between organizational motivations and cultures with varying levels of commitment to interorganizational relationships, correctional officials will better understand who will partner, why, and to what degree. As a result, we may better understand the extent to which reforms targeting offender reentry can be successfully planned, implemented, and sustained. There are limitations to this study. Methodological errors associated with surveys, the primary data collection method herein, include the following: measurement, coverage, sampling, and nonresponse (Dillman, Smyth, & Christian, 2009). Despite having a relatively large sample size for analysis at the organizational level, the correlation design and small sample size (N = 68) limit the ability to draw causal inferences.


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Graduation Date





Langworthy, Robert


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Health and Public Affairs

Degree Program

Public Affairs; Criminal Justice








Release Date

December 2014

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Health and Public Affairs; Health and Public Affairs -- Dissertations, Academic