GLASGOW, MARGARET ROGSTAD; PHD
                         DUKE UNIVERSITY, 1984

                         SOCIOLOGY, GENERAL (0626)

                         This is the case study of the Well Woman Health and Awareness Clinic (WWHAC) of Yarmouth, Nova
                         Scotia--an innovative organization which sought to deliver preventive health services to its community
                         from 1976 through 1981. The study was undertaken to explain, within an ecological framework, the
                         appearance and disappearance of this Clinic. Two ecological concepts, niche and succession, shape the
                         explanation. Niche refers to a unique combination of environmental resources which permit the creation
                         of a new organizational form, and succession refers to the broad-based processes of selection which
                         affect its retention. The complexity of the case--which is anchored in historical context--involved the use
                         of multiple methods and data sources. Through a series of contextual analyses, evidence is presented to
                         indicate the creation of an environmental niche that the Clinic founders were able to exploit. State
                         support proved the crucial resource, and the Clinic's singular dependence on that support led to its
                         death. Clinic personnel, however, understood their transitory role, and chose as their primary goal the
                         demonstration of new ideas and health practices. To achieve this goal, and to provide a structure where
                         their innovations could reside after the Clinic was gone, they utilized a mobilization strategy best
                         represented by Granovetter's (1973, 1983) argument for the 'strength of weak ties.' Remarkably, the
                         Clinic was found to be imbedded in a loosely-knit, expansive network of primarily women's organizations
                         that shared goals and resources, and that was significantly connected to the Acadian communities
                         surrounding Yarmouth. The Clinic's position in the network is characterized as one of dependency, with
                         the Clinic serving as a broker between reformist federal health policy and community needs. More
                         importantly, the network was instrumental for the Clinic's integration into the community and in providing
                         a structure for the diffusion of the innovation--particularly in the Acadian community. This study
                         corroborates other research that shows that the mobilization of community groups by the activation of
                         weak ties, especially for the purpose of innovation, increases the likelihood that the goal will be adopted
                         and integrated into the structure (Steinberg, 1980).


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