Service Strategies

Strategy (from Greek στρατηγία stratēgia, “art of troop leader; office of general, command, generalship”[1]) is a high level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty. In the sense of the “art of the general,” which included several subsets of skills including tactics, siegecraft, logistics etc., the term came into use in the 6th century C.E. in East Roman terminology, and was translated into Western vernacular languages only in the 18th century. From then until the 20th century, the word “strategy” came to denote “a comprehensive way to try to pursue political ends, including the threat or actual use of force, in a dialectic of wills” in a military conflict, in which both adversaries interact.[2]

Strategy is important because the resources available to achieve these goals are usually limited. Strategy generally involves setting goals, determining actions to achieve the goals, and mobilizing resources to execute the actions.[3] A strategy describes how the ends (goals) will be achieved by the means (resources). Strategy can be intended or can emerge as a pattern of activity as the organization adapts to its environment or competes.[4] It involves activities such as strategic planning and strategic thinking.[5]

Henry Mintzberg from McGill University defined strategy as a pattern in a stream of decisions to contrast with a view of strategy as planning,[6] while Henrik von Scheel defines the essence of strategy as the activities to deliver a unique mix of value – choosing to perform activities differently or to perform different activities than rivals.[7] while Max McKeown (2011) argues that “strategy is about shaping the future” and is the human attempt to get to “desirable ends with available means”. Dr. Vladimir Kvint defines strategy as “a system of finding, formulating, and developing a doctrine that will ensure long-term success if followed faithfully.”[8] Complexity theorists define strategy as the unfolding of the internal and external aspects of the organization that results in actions in a socio-economic context.

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Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Reid Mandell, B., & Schram, B. (2012). An introduction to human services: Policy and practice (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education.

· Chapter 3, “Intervention Strategies” (pp. 79–104)

In this chapter, the authors describe direct-service and systems-change intervention strategies. They also explain ways to implement these strategies.

McEwen, E. (2009). The public/private partnership. Policy & Practice of Public Human Services, 67(2), 11–13.

Human services professionals address needs at the micro level for individuals, the meso level for families and communities, and the macro level for whole systems (i.e., by making changes to laws and policies in response to social needs). This range from individuals to entire systems forms a continuum of possible services strategies (Bronfenbrenner, 1994). For this Discussion, review the media program “Defining needed services: Chapter 2,” and consider issues that are presented in the case. As you think about service strategies you might recommend at the micro, meso, and macro levels, reflect on your role in the continuum of services.

With these thoughts in mind:
By Day 4

Post a description of two service strategies that might be helpful to the clients in the media presentation, and explain why they might be helpful. Then, explain your role(s) in the continuum of services (refer to the Learning Resources) if you were the human services professional assigned to the case.


Discussion Questions (DQ)

Initial responses to the DQ should address all components of the questions asked, include a minimum of one scholarly source, and be at least 250 words.
Successful responses are substantive (i.e., add something new to the discussion, engage others in the discussion, well-developed idea) and include at least one scholarly source.
One or two sentence responses, simple statements of agreement or “good post,” and responses that are off-topic will not count as substantive. Substantive responses should be at least 150 words.
I encourage you to incorporate the readings from the week (as applicable) into your responses.

Weekly Participation

Your initial responses to the mandatory DQ do not count toward participation and are graded separately.
In addition to the DQ responses, you must post at least one reply to peers (or me) on three separate days, for a total of three replies.
Participation posts do not require a scholarly source/citation (unless you cite someone else’s work).
Part of your weekly participation includes viewing the weekly announcement and attesting to watching it in the comments. These announcements are made to ensure you understand everything that is due during the week.

APA Format and Writing Quality

Familiarize yourself with APA format and practice using it correctly. It is used for most writing assignments for your degree. Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for APA paper templates, citation examples, tips, etc. Points will be deducted for poor use of APA format or absence of APA format (if required).
Cite all sources of information! When in doubt, cite the source. Paraphrasing also requires a citation.
I highly recommend using the APA Publication Manual, 6th edition.

Use of Direct Quotes

I discourage overutilization of direct quotes in DQs and assignments at the Masters’ level and deduct points accordingly.
As Masters’ level students, it is important that you be able to critically analyze and interpret information from journal articles and other resources. Simply restating someone else’s words does not demonstrate an understanding of the content or critical analysis of the content.
It is best to paraphrase content and cite your source.

LopesWrite Policy

For assignments that need to be submitted to LopesWrite, please be sure you have received your report and Similarity Index (SI) percentage BEFORE you do a “final submit” to me.
Once you have received your report, please review it. This report will show you grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors that can easily be fixed. Take the extra few minutes to review instead of getting counted off for these mistakes.
Review your similarities. Did you forget to cite something? Did you not paraphrase well enough? Is your paper made up of someone else’s thoughts more than your own?
Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for tips on improving your paper and SI score.

Late Policy

The university’s policy on late assignments is 10% penalty PER DAY LATE. This also applies to late DQ replies.
Please communicate with me if you anticipate having to submit an assignment late. I am happy to be flexible, with advance notice. We may be able to work out an extension based on extenuating circumstances.
If you do not communicate with me before submitting an assignment late, the GCU late policy will be in effect.
I do not accept assignments that are two or more weeks late unless we have worked out an extension.
As per policy, no assignments are accepted after the last day of class. Any assignment submitted after midnight on the last day of class will not be accepted for grading.


Communication is so very important. There are multiple ways to communicate with me:
Questions to Instructor Forum: This is a great place to ask course content or assignment questions. If you have a question, there is a good chance one of your peers does as well. This is a public forum for the class.
Individual Forum: This is a private forum to ask me questions or send me messages. This will be checked at least once every 24 hours.