Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Elizabeth Hagens


Although Code of Maryland policy mandates multidisciplinary, integrated teams for residential service provider organizations (RPOs) for an intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD) population, alignment criteria to identify and evaluate the functional characteristics of such teams do not exist. This ambiguity has resulted in potential conflict in the goals of service delivery, as well as misaligned quality assessment and policy development criteria. The intent of this general qualitative study was to use complex adaptive systems theory and Vitkiene's work on corporate ethos to determine whether the services provided by a single RPO were consistent and aligned with the regulatory mandate set by the state. Data were acquired from the Maryland Office of Health Care Quality, for the years 2010-2015 that consisted of compliance inspections, reports, citations, as well as responses and corrective actions made by the IDD-RPO. Data were deductively coded according to Vitkiene's 3 ethos principles: economy (profit), procedure (task completion), and beneficence (customer service) and then subjected to a content analysis procedure. The study affirmed the lack of alignment criteria within the RPO by demonstrating ambiguity in how services were measured. Findings identified beneficence as most likely to be associated with a multidisciplinary team. Positive social change implications stem from recommendations to repurpose public health compliance data to address issues of misalignment in institutional service delivery; these findings may also be used by policy makers to focus on ethos as a means to focus on realigning policy objectives, the regulatory environment, and the work done at the RPO level to encourage better quality of life for individuals diagnosed with IDD.