Interorganizational theory suggests that a CCOP will enter into an exchange relationship with a research base to gain access to critical resources such as protocols, investigational drugs, and experiential knowledge (Kogut 1988; Powell 1990).
Since resource dependence reflects the extent to which a CCOP expects to participate in group trials, the level of resource dependence should have a direct bearing on the number of different protocols used.
By attending research base meetings and serving on scientific committees, CCOP physicians and support staff obtain important information on the objectives, eligibility requirements, and treatment plans of new clinical trials.
Participation in research base meetings and on scientific committees helps to resolve uncertainties that CCOP physicians may have about the scientific merit of new studies or the feasibility of certain protocols for community application.
The second indicator is a measure of the extent to which CCOPs think that unrestricted access to cancer control protocols, regardless of research base affiliation, is needed in order to increase their involvement in cancer control research.
CCOPs with prior experience in clinical trials programs will have greater aggregate accrual.
As alliance organizations, CCOPs comprise a variety of individuals and organizational components.
In part, this may be a function of the initial selection criteria, which assured that CCOPs were located in communities with a minimum population base required for accrual.
The CCOPs are based on the premise that participation of community physicians in clinical trials research will stimulate the highest quality of patient care while it expands the existing network of state-of-the-art practice.
The general hypothesis to be tested in this study is whether or not variation in outputs among the CCOPs is significantly associated with differing levels of environmental inputs, organizational inputs, and measures of structure.
The first generation of CCOPs was funded to carry out the key function of increasing community participation in NCI clinical trials.
Data were obtained from NCI files for each of the 62 CCOPs funded in 1983.