Multicultural Development In Human Services: A Theoretical Framework, Literature Review, And Evaluation

Theoretical Framework

Globalization is increasing at a fast rate, and every individual and organization currently strives to come up with strategies for managing diversity. Human services agencies are faced with a challenge of how to handle different cultures. According to Holvino (2008), multicultural organization development refers to a change process that supports an organization to move from a monocultural to a multicultural or inclusive organization. To determine whether an organization practices multicultural development, the first step is to assess where the organization is and its commitment to achieving its vision and future goals. The assessment will then lead to an analysis of the identified gap between the organization’s vision and its current position which will guide one to come up with interventions that are designed to accomplish the change goals identified (Holvino, 2008). This paper presents an evaluation of an article by Hyde (2004) on multicultural development in human services.

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Theoretical Framework

A theoretical framework is a crucial component of a research paper that all researchers ought to embrace. Iqbal (2007) noted that many researchers struggle to find the most appropriate theoretical framework for their studies and hence, end up writing papers that are inconsistent with the topic and the purpose. There are critical elements that need to be considered when developing a theoretical framework, one of which is that it should be limited to two pages. The two pages should elaborate the proposition within the framework. The second important element is an introductory paragraph which should indicate how the theoretical framework is organized. The framework should also contain statements which elaborate definitions, assumptions, and propositions. All these statements should be introduced appropriately and in a systematic manner. Endnotes or references must be provided to support any claim in the theoretical framework.    

A closer look at the article by Hyde (2004) reveals that the author did not provide a section for the theoretical framework; rather, he linked the study to a theory that serves as the theoretical framework that guided the study and decisions. Specifically, the theoretical underpinnings are based on the agency of life. The author views the challenges of multicultural practices that organizations face from the lens of realities of the agency of life. The article makes use of different perspectives to build their research and propositions and to achieve this; the agency perspective is used throughout the study to develop the research and help in bringing new insights regarding the topic. This helps a researcher to produce a paper that applies to other disciplines and hence improve external validity (Micthell & Jolley, 2012). The daily realities applied in the study include agency climate, motivations for multicultural organizational development (MCOD), and the current multicultural practice (Hyde, 2004).  

Evaluation of Literature Review

An in-depth analysis of the theoretical framework also reveals it is specific to the topic. The researcher applies a more specific approach to the study as opposed to viewing the topic from a broad spectrum. The author applied the agency life perspective as a particular view rather than the overall organizational set up which would have lead to confusion as to what should be handled in the study. A specific framework is essential since it enables researchers and the reader to easily identify the specific theories regarding the various human existence aspects (Beaton & Funk, 2008). The framework makes reference to other studies to support the claims. One of the most critical studies that were referenced is by Rubin and Babbie (2010) which extensively covers the development of multicultural dimensions in organizations today. The theories applied in this study can be used in studying real-life events. The theoretical framework in this study was used to analyze the topic and guided the interpretation of data and results. The problem, however, is that there is no concrete model that can be seen as a theoretical framework. A good theoretical framework is one that has a graphical depiction of how it relates to the topic.                      

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Evaluation of Literature Review

A literature review refers to the search and evaluation of the existing studies or literature regarding the subject or topic under study (Webster & Watson, 2002). The literature review section of a study highlights the state of the art regarding the topic or subject that is being written about (Jose & Galvan, 2017). The primary purpose of literature is to convey to the reader the existing knowledge and ideas that have already been published regarding the subject and review their strengths and weaknesses and describe what needs to be done to fill the existing gap. A good literature review should be specific and have guiding principles such as the problem statement, a research objective or the thesis of the research. It should not appear like a mere description of the available material or summaries of existing research (Webster & Watson, 2002). Additionally, the review should be systematic and thorough in reviewing all the relevant literature.

When looking at the study by Hyde (2004), it meets most of the features of an excellent literature review. The literature review depicts a thorough and clear understanding of the research topic as the researcher provides an in-depth review of past studies that are linked to the topic. In the introductory paragraph, for instance, the researcher provides insight on the significance of human services agencies to adopt multiple cultures and proceeds to provide some studies that were carried out in the past which support the claim (Sevilla, Ochave, Punsalan, Regala & Uriarte, 1992). The author argues that the need for embracing multiculturalism in organizations is crucial considering the increase in a population that is diverse in terms of race, age, gender and physical abilities that need to be recognized and treated equally in the public welfare sector. This claim is backed by Bocage, Homonoff, and Riley (1995) and Ferguson (1996). Supporting claims with previous research is an indication that the research was well informed about the topic and hence, the results and conclusions are valid.    

Data Collection Techniques

A closer look at the literature review reveals that the researcher provided a thorough review of previous studies and established the existing gaps in the body of knowledge which needs to be filled. The identified gap in the literature is what dictates the approach through which the study will be conducted and which areas need to be addressed. The gap also helps the researcher to identify the most critical areas about the topic in order to determine the primary purpose of the study (Rubin & Babbie, 2010). The study provides reliable sources which are published within a reasonable period. Providing a scope of literature is essential to avoid inappropriate use of study materials. The scope is important as it helps one to capture the most common issues which seem dominant in the past studies.

One of the weaknesses is that the researcher does not point out the weakness of each previous study. The author failed to discuss the limitation of each study as a basis for justifying the current research. The researcher also failed to provide the literature review strategy that was applied. It is essential to inform the reader about the strategy that will be used in conducting a literature review.  

The selection of data collection tools and techniques is a vital step in the process of conducting research (Bastos, Duquia, González-Chica, Mesa & Bonamigo, 2014). In selecting a data collection instrument, it is crucial to prioritize the validity and reliability of the collected data as well as the comparability with data available from other studies done in the past (Bastos et al., 2014). According to Bastos et al. (2004), instruments for data collection must be designed and administered carefully to help a researcher in gathering the relevant information required.

The primary method used by Hyde (2004) is interviews. Hyde (2004) notes the study involved in-depth analysis of twenty consultants and twenty practitioners in a metropolitan area in New England. The researcher applied reputational case selection and purposive selection types of sampling. Data was gathered using unstructured scheduled interviews in order to provide flexibility to the respondents. The researcher specifies the questions that will be asked during the interviews and highlighted the fact that the phrasing, order, and follow-up are tailored to each respondent. The researcher specifies what the questions will cover; such as personal philosophy, agency context, involvement history, factors that facilitate or hinder positive outcomes, and examples of positive and negative outcomes (Hyde, 2004).   

When collecting data, it is essential to consider respondents who at least may have an idea of the topic. This will help a researcher to gather relevant information regarding a study subject. Hyde (2004) used a sampling technique to select respondents from a sample comprising of people who had experience and knowledge about multicultural development in human services. Another consideration for sample construction that Hyde (2004) used is diversity. The inclusion of people from diverse background is important as it ensures that the information provided will be valid to all various people and not specific to, for instance, Whites or Hispanics. In this regard, it can be said that the study applied proper selection criteria and data collection techniques that helped in collecting valid and reliable information.

Results and Conclusions

The results section of a research paper is where one reports all the findings of the study based on the methodology and techniques used in collecting data and information. The results section is supposed to highlight the research findings and arrange them in a logical manner without bias. This section of a study is crucial especially when a research paper involves data generated by the researcher (Ruiying & Allison, 2003).

The researcher made an effort to depict the results in a clear and concise manner. The results also have a direct link to the research questions, and hence, it is easy for the reader to understand the findings presented. The results section clearly highlights the responses from the study participants of the interviews, and hence, it helps the reader to gain insight into the correlation between the research questions and the views of the respondents. In order to help other interested researchers on the subject, the results section outlines the challenges faced by the respondents during the interviews. This will help future researchers to prevent similar challenges in order to get the most out of the interviews. The conclusion of the study is succinct and supports the research questions. The researcher provides and discusses a number of solutions which answer the research questions identified.           

Researchers must always keep in mind the ethical implication of any subject when conducting a study. It is clear that the researcher considered a number of ethical issues regarding multicultural diversity in all phases of the study.  During the data collection phase, the researcher considered objectivity, integrity, and validity of data. This is manifested when the researcher used consultants who had prior knowledge and experience in multicultural diversity. Since they had knowledge and experience, it is evident that they provided reliable information which is in line with ethical principles. The researcher also applied inclusivity in selecting the respondents by including people from all genders and race. Both men and women were selected from different races, and hence, the sample used is a valid presentation of the entire population.  

The researcher selected twenty practitioners and twenty consultants. Out of the twenty practitioners, eleven were women while nine were men. The racial composition of the twenty consultants was seven black, eight white, four Latinos and one Asian (Hyde, 2004). Out of the twenty practitioners, thirteen were women whole seven were men (Hyde, 2004). The racial composition of the practitioners was nine white people, three Latinos, three Asians and five black people. The inclusion of people from various backgrounds helps the researcher to capture the trust of the reader. It can, therefore, be said that the study maintained the highest ethical principles required in a study.   

References

Bastos, J. L., Duquia, R. P., González-Chica, D. A., Mesa, J. M., & Bonamigo, R. R. (2014). Field work I: selecting the instrument for data collection. Anais Brasileiros de dermatologia, 89(6), 918-923.

Beaton, A. A., & Funk, D. C. (2008). An evaluation of theoretical frameworks for studying physically active leisure. Leisure Sciences, 30(1), 53-70.

Bocage, M. D., Homonoff, E. E., & Riley, P. M. (1995). Measuring the impact of the fiscal crisis on human services agencies and social work training. Social Work, 40(5), 701-705.

Ferguson, S. A. (1996). Towards an anti-racist social service organization. Journal of Multicultural Social Work, 4(1), 35-48.

Holvino, E. (2008). Developing multicultural organizations: A change model. Chaos Management, Ltd.

Hyde, C. A. (2004). Multicultural development in human services agencies: Challenges and solutions. Social Work, 49(1), 7-16.

Iqbal, J. (2007) Learning from a doctoral research project: Structure and content of a research proposal. The Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods, 5(1),11–20.

Jose, G.L., & Galvan, M. C. (2017). Writing literature reviews: A guide for students of the social and behavioral sciences. Routledge.

Rubin, A., & Babbie, E. (2010). Research Methods for Social Work. New York: Cengage Learning.

Ruiying, Y., & Allison, D. (2003). Research articles in applied linguistics: Moving from results to conclusions. English for specific purposes, 22(4), 365-385.

Sevilla, C., Ochave, J., Punsalan, T., Regala, B., & Uriarte, B. (1992). Research Methods. Rex Bookstore, Inc.

Webster, J., & Watson, R. T. (2002). Analyzing the past to prepare for the future: Writing a literature review. MIS quarterly, xiii-xxiii.