Publications & Resources

Exploring the Intellectual, Social and Organizational Capitals at LA’s BEST

May 2007

Denise Huang, Judy Miyoshi, Deborah La Torre, Anne Marshall, Patricia Perez and Cynthia Peterson

This exploratory study sets out to investigate how LA’s BEST, a nonprofit after school organization providing services for at-risk students, leverages their organizational, social, and intellectual capitals to enhance student engagement. Six LA’s BEST sites were selected to participate in this qualitative study. A grounded theory approach was employed. Interviews and focus groups were conducted with key LA’s BEST program personnel and participants as well as day school personnel, parents, and community members. To place our findings into context with our study population, Maslow’s Theory on the Hierarchy of Needs (1954) was introduced. The findings revealed that in leveraging their intellectual, social, and organizational capitals, LA’s BEST has provided an important level of support for the students. In addition, LA’s BEST has realized that fostering and maintaining social capital is a continuous task calling for the efforts of “communities of practice.” As a learning organization, LA’s BEST has accepted this challenge and has expanded their efforts to continue learning and growing.

Huang, D., Miyoshi, J., La Torre, D., Marshall, A., Perez, P., & Peterson, C. (2007). Exploring the intellectual, social and organizational capitals at LA’s BEST (CSE Report 714). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).