Bielefeld, Wolfgang 1947-
Bielefeld, Wolfgang 1947-
Born April 13, 1947. Education: Michigan State University, B.A.; University of Minnesota, M.A. (sociology), M.A. (marketing), Ph.D.
Office—Indiana University—Purdue University, Indianapolis, 425 University Blvd., Indianapolis, IN 46202-5143. E-mail—[email protected]
Scholar, social scientist, educator, writer, and editor. Indiana University—Purdue University, Indianapolis, professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) and adjunct professor at the Center on Philanthropy, beginning 1999. Previously taught at the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Minnesota, and Stanford University. Served on the board of directors for the Lutheran Child and Family Services of Indiana/Kentucky.
Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations, Voluntary Action.
(With Joseph Galaskiewicz) Nonprofit Organizations in an Age of Uncertainty: A Study of Organizational Change, A. de Gruyter (New York, NY), 1998.
(With Sheila Suess Kennedy) Charitable Choice at Work: Evaluating Faith-based Job Programs in the States, Georgetown University Press (Washington, DC), 2006.
Contributor to periodicals, including Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work, Administrative Science Quarterly, Nonprofit Management and Leadership, and Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. Coeditor of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 1994; editorial board member for Voluntas—International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 1994—.
Wolfgang Bielefeld is a scholar whose primary interest is the involvement of faith-based organizations in service delivery. His research in the relationship between nonprofit organizations and their environments focuses on nonprofit sectors, human-service delivery systems, government human-service policies, and government spending patterns as they impact society.
Bielefeld's first book, Nonprofit Organizations in an Age of Uncertainty: A Study of Organizational Change, written with Joseph Galaskiewicz, looks at nonprofit organizations in and around Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. The authors comment on data gathered from 1980 to 1994 and analyze the fates of nonprofits that thrived versus those that dwindled or closed. The authors place a special focus on the specific strategies employed and how they ultimately influenced the survival or growth of the nonprofit organizations.
"The purpose of this monograph … [is] to see how well different theories developed in the fields of organizational sociology and management science could explain changes in a panel of nonprofit organizations in a single case community," the authors write in Nonprofit Organizations in an Age of Uncertainty. "Ideally the book … [is] a contest of ideas, with different theories coming out ahead depending upon the analysis." Noting that they identify "some change phenomena, e.g., a change in organizational size, a change in tactics, or a change in decision-making structures," the authors write that they look at "how different theories would explain these changes." Each chapter ends with an evaluation of the theories and their impacts on organizational change.
"Reading this book has indeed taught me something and influenced my thinking about organizational change," wrote Heather A. Haveman in AdministrativeScience Quarterly. "It has prompted me to think more concretely about how organizations' contexts affect their likelihood of undertaking change and, once they attempt change, their chance of successfully completing it without dying in the attempt."
Bielefeld and Sheila Suess Kennedy are coauthors of Charitable Choice at Work: Evaluating Faith-based Job Programs in the States. "Charitable Choice at Work is a vital addition to a growing library of scholarship on the workings of faith-based initiatives," wrote John P. Bartkowski in Journal of Church and State. "This book avoids polemics, and instead uses careful research to inform ongoing discussions about the role of faith-based providers in the post-welfare era."
In their book, the authors examine how well job-placement programs in three states performed for various constituencies, including religious and political constituencies. They also analyze various demographic factors that could possibly affect performance. Writing in the book's preface, the authors explain: "Our goals in this volume are to summarize what is known about faith-based contracting thus far, to explain what we think our research adds to that body of knowledge, and to use the combined information to draw conclusions about the larger philosophical issues and policy debates. Rather than a relatively restricted discussion of the conclusions reached in one particular study, we hope this book will provide readers with a more comprehensive, ‘holistic’ overview of the subject at hand."
Focusing on Massachusetts, Indiana, and North Carolina, Bielefeld and Kennedy provide comparisons of different organizations, including comparing nonprofits with for-profits and comparing faith-based organizations with secular ones. In the process, they also examine the Charitable Choice program, which is a provision of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 and involves direct government funding of religious programs. "This book has much to recommend it," wrote Bartkowski in Journal of Church and State, praising the authors for their "holistic perspective" that provides both a legal examination of the issues as well as a strong scientific analysis of the data.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Bielefeld, Wolfgang, and Joseph Galaskiewicz, Nonprofit Organizations in an Age of Uncertainty: A Study of Organizational Change, A. de Gruyter (New York, NY), 1998.
Bielefeld, Wolfgang, and Sheila Suess Kennedy, Charitable Choice at Work: Evaluating Faith-based Job Programs in the States, Georgetown University Press (Washington, DC), 2006.
Administrative Science Quarterly, June, 2001, Heather A. Haveman, review of Nonprofit Organizations in an Age of Uncertainty: A Study of Organizational Change, p. 367.
Choice, October, 2007, D.S. Pierson, review of Charitable Choice at Work: Evaluating Faith-based Job Programs in the States, p. 323.
Contemporary Sociology, November, 2007, Rebecca A. Allahyari, review of Charitable Choice at Work, p. 573.
Journal of Church and State, autumn, 2007, John P. Bartkowski, review of Charitable Choice at Work, p. 782.
Indiana University, School of Public and Environmental Affairs Web site,http://www.spea.iupui.edu/ (July 14, 2008), faculty profile of author.
Roundtable on Religion and Social Welfare Policy,http://www.religionandsocialpolicy.org/ (July 14, 2008), faculty profile of author.
SAGE Publications Web site,http://www.sagepub.com/ (July 14, 2008), brief profile of author.