1 Formal Organizations Wendy Whiting Blome, LICSW, PhD National Catholic School of Social ServiceFall 2010
2 What is a formal organization? …collectivities of people, with a high degree of structure, working together to meet goals (Hutchison, 2008, p. 409)All organizations must: define objectives, hire staff willing to work towards goals, control the contributions of staff, get resources from environment, dispense products or services, and work with environment
3 Organizations are Everywhere… In what organizations do you participate?Have you ever thought about how the structure of the organization affects the functioning of the organization?How might the structure of the organization affect client outcomes?
4 Leavitt’s Diamond Model of Organizations From: Scott, R. (2003). Organizations: Rational, natural, and open systems—Fifth edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall/Pearson Inc, p. 18.
5 Organizational Theories Rational system theoriesIdeal-type bureaucracyScientific managementNatural system theoriesHuman relationsOpen system theoriesContingency
6 Rational System Theories of Organizations Max Weber—proposed bureaucracy as the most efficient organizational formFocused on internal structure of organization—not the environment
7 Ideal-type Bureaucracy Formal rationality—there is ‘one’ best way to organizeClear hierarchy; chain of command—worker to supervisor to manager to administratorFor greatest effectiveness, communication follows hierarchyDivision of laborMerit based recruitmentRecord keeping important to document actionsNo organization will meet the ideal-type 100%Organizations will vary in how they implement components
8 Scientific Management Theory Frederick Taylor—established during pre-industrial period; problems of unhealthy work environments; child laborQuestion: how can scientific methods be applied to the work place?“Enlightened capitalism”—how can work be structured so it is more efficient?Analyze tasks—which produce maximum output for minimum input of resourcesManagers use data, not arbitrary decision making; are ‘fact finders’
9 Scientific Management (cont) Taylor believed labor and management have compatible interests—work at peak efficiency for top wagesBelieved man was rational and would make economic choices based on the degree of monetary reward offeredRational approach to organizing tasks from the ‘bottom up’Change individual tasks to change larger structure of the workMass production—simplify work of each person; enforced inspection oriented rather than prevention oriented approachIgnored human component—boredom, sense of completion, self determination
10 Scientific Management (cont) Given credit for developing principles of management including:Clear delineation of authority and responsibilitySeparation of planning from operationsIncentives for workersManagement by exceptionTask specializationCriticism—assumes workers are motivated by money aloneIn social services more agencies are tracking ‘billable hours’; have incentive systems for workers—ex: SW gets bonus if exceed billable target for the monthEnvironmental (remember Leavitt) demands from 3rd party payers—organizations are dependent on the resources, so they will organize the work accordingly
11 Natural Systems Theories of Organizations Developed in response to concerns about rational system theoriesRecognized the ‘irrational’ aspect of organizationsDifference between ‘stated’ and ‘real’ goals of organizationsExamples?????
12 Human Relations ModelHawthorne effect—Rational theories did not explain why effectiveness and efficiency increasedElton Mayo and others recognized the importance of human interaction in organizational studiesEmphasis on informal structures within organizations
13 Human Relations (cont) Assumes organizational effectiveness needs congruence between goals of the organization and the personal needs of the workersViews people as having an inherent desire to work and can exercise self control and self direction if they are committed to the goals of the organizationDemocratic style, confidence of leaders in subordinatesDifficulties with model: social service organizations lack clear service technology
14 Open System Theories of Organizations Maintenance of boundaries and cross boundary transactions are importantAll systems are part of larger systems
15 Builds on Systems Concepts Input-conversion-output processesInput processes—all open systems draw from the environment raw materials needed to achieve goals and maintain existenceConversion processes—resources are processed in keeping with the system’s purposes; the work the system does to achieve its goalsOutput processes—results of the conversion process are returned to the environment, these output resources may in turn become raw material for another system within the environment
16 Example…. What is the ‘input’ for a mental health clinic? What is the ‘conversion process’ for the clinic?What is the ‘output’ of the clinic?The ‘output’ of the clinic is the ‘input’ of what other organizations?
17 Organization—in—Environment Contingency theory is the organizational version of the person-in-environment approachSocial work builds on the importance of viewing a person within an environmental contextWhat does that mean when looking at organizations?
18 Contingency theoryUsed in organizational management—‘It depends’ modelNo one best way to organize—depends on the nature of the environmentIf organization’s internal features best match the demands of the environment the organization will thrive
19 Contingency Theory (cont) Design of organization must ‘fit’ organizational strategy and structureLook at the ‘fit’ between the manager and the organization and the environmentSignificant work by Paul Lawrence and Jay Lorsch
20 Example…..Beacon Center What was the ‘fit’ between the organization founder, Martha Green, and the environment?When Helen Blue became director had the organizational environment changed?The organization had two more CEOs—what type of leader should the Board be looking for now?
21 Mechanistic—Organic Continuum Contingency theory looks at the continuum from mechanistic to organic organizations
22 Mechanistic…. Job highly specialized; separated into discrete tasks Supervisor assigns and directs workHierarchical structureCommunication top downDecisions made high in organizationMechanistic systems manage the process
23 Organic....The more varied the environment the more differentiated the structureFocus of work is on resultsResponsibility is delegatedTeamwork is emphasizedProject teams adapt to needs—fluid structureInformation is sharedOrganic systems manage the results
24 Examples….Social service agencies can be found all along the mechanistic—organic continuumWhere does your agency fall?
25 Applying Contingency Theory Northouse article—using contingency theory to analyze leader—organization matchLeader—member relations: confidence, loyalty felt for leaderTask structure: level of structure of each task and how it is monitored—from highly to minimally structuredPosition power: amount of authority a leader has to reward or punish—pay raises, promotions, fire staff
26 Contingency model….Questionnaire asks people to identify their ‘least preferred coworker’High score=relationship motivatedLow score=task motivatedRead chart (p. 111) from top to bottom—good leader-member relations; high structure, strong power—low LPC score would be effectiveNot all leaders are effective in all situations
27 Exercise…. Look at Northouse page 121, Case 6.2 What kind of leader-member relations exist?What level of task structure?What kind of position power?Given a LPC of 44 would you anticipate problems or success for this leader?
28 Summary…. Social work is conducted in organizations The structure of organizations influences the success of staff and the outcomes for clientsSocial workers are part of organizations and are responsible for assuring organizations function effectively and efficiently