From a comparative analysis of 214 nursing homes in the Chicago area, it was found that the nursing home field is composed of institutions with great variations in treatment resources available to the residents (Kosberg and Tobin, 1972). While the determination of organizational correlates to the extent of treatment resources was the major objective of the study, an exploration of the attitudes of a sample of nursing home administrators was undertaken in an effort to learn of possible relationships between attitudes and the characteristics of facilities.

There is a commonly-held assumption that not only the academic background of an administrator is related to the orientation and characteristics of the institution, but that the attitudes of the administrator are also of prime importance. That is, administrators with positive opinions of the client group will have better facilities than those with negative opinions. Similarly, administrators with low expectations of their clients' chances for improvement will provide less in way of care and services than administrators with higher expectations. Such conclusions have been reached by those interested in organizational theory or service provision, such as Etzioni (1964), Linn (1966), Terman (1965), Scott (1955), Kostick (1964), and Gottesman (1970).

It was the purpose of this exploratory endeavor to learn whether there were differences in the attitudes and opinions of administrators representing polar types of proprietary nursing homes and, if so, whether these attitudes might begin to explain the characteristics (i.e., extent of treatment resources) of the nursing homes. What was sought from this limited study were areas for further detailed analysis.