FALL 2018: EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP PRACTICE ORGANIZATION ANALYSIS PROJECT ASSIGNMENT

Over the weeks of this course, you will conduct a thorough analysis of a human service organization, preferably the agency hosting your practicum. Alternatives to the practicum agency might include an organization in which you are/have been employed or volunteered. If you think you will have difficulty finding an organization, please immediately contact your instructor.

Your analysis should cover all the topics of the course, as presented in the text, and should be guided by the questions in the required text, Kettner, Chapter 12. Although the following outline may look formidable to you, the total length of the paper, not including appendices or references, should not exceed 16-20 double-spaced pages with one-inch margins and a standard 12-point font. It is highly recommended that you write each section the week after the chapter regarding the section topic is presented/discussed in class. However, you may want to revisit, and revise sections drafted early in the course based on your increasing exposure to and understanding of the course content and the organization you are analyzing.

Note: To complete this paper, you may need to access agency documents (e.g., policies, procedures, reports, etc.) and/or conduct interviews with agency leaders and/or other personnel. Be mindful of confidentiality issues. For example, you should use pseudonyms or job titles to refer to any specific individuals in the organization.

Paper outline

  • Title Page
  • I. Description of Organization
    • A. Name and Location
    • B. History and Purpose
    • C. Targeted Clients/Consumers
    • D. Main Activities
  • II. Executive Leadership & Management Theory (refer to text, chapters 1 and 2) 
    • A. Description: How would you describe the leadership style of the Executive Director? What management theory/theories appear to characterize this organization?
    • B. Analysis: How are major decisions made within the organization? Who has input into these decisions? How well do the concepts discussed in the text or other readings apply?
    • C. Evaluation: How well do the leadership and management styles fit the organization’s goals? What modifications to the leadership and management styles would you recommend, if any?
  • III. Mission/Vision & Goals (refer to text, chapter 3)
    • A. Description: Is there a mission statement? A vision statement? If yes, please attach them as an appendix.
    • B. Analysis: This includes your perceptions of the extent to which the mission and philosophy permeate the organization. Are program goals and objectives understood and supported by staff? How well do the concepts discussed in the text and/or other readings apply?
    • C. Evaluation: Why does or doesn’t the mission permeate the organization? How could the organization improve in this respect, if at all?
  • IV. Organizational Structure/Operations (refer to text, chapter 3)
    • A. What is the staffing structure?
    • B. Analysis: Why do you think the agency is structured as it is? Does the structure support optimal working relationships between/among staff who are expected to work together and collaborate on cases and projects? Does the current structure pose any barriers, either to internal collaboration or to work outside the agency? Are informal structures working as intended? How well do the concepts discussed in the text and/or other readings apply?
    • C. Evaluation: What is your assessment of the adequacy of this structure for this organization? What changes, if any, would you recommend? Why?
  • V. Organizational Structure/Governance (refer to text, chapter 3)
    • A. Description: Is there a Board of Directors? How large? Are there Bylaws outlining the Board’s governance functions? How often does the Board meet? If there is not a Board of Directors, what entity performs governance oversight?
    • B. Analysis: Create a Board matrix of current Board members (see text, pp. 81-82). What is the nature of the relationship between the Board and the rest of the staff? Are Board members actively engaged? How well do the concepts discussed in the text and/or other readings apply?
    • C. Evaluation: Is the current composition of the Board appropriate and adequate to support the organization’s mission? Are Board policies and procedures adequate? What modifications, if any, would you recommend to the Bylaws or other aspects of governance?
  • VI. Job Design (refer to text, chapter 4)
    • A. Description: What are the staff positions within the organization? Are there written job descriptions? Are important tasks in the organization allocated to volunteers and/or interns?
    • B. Analysis: How well do the positions fit within the overall organizational system to accomplish the mission, goals, and objectives? What duties and tasks are being performed by staff that can be performed by lower-level, less costly staff? What aspects of their jobs do staff like and dislike? How well do the concepts discussed in the text and/or other readings apply?
    • C. Evaluation: What job design modifications, if any would you recommend?
  • VII. Human Resources Policies and Procedures (refer to text, chapter 5) 
    • A. Description: Do the organization’s Human Resources policies and procedures incorporate all aspects of Human Resources Law?
    • B. Analysis: Does the organizational culture value diversity beyond the letter of the law? How is this expressed? How well do the concepts discussed in the text and/or other readings apply?
    • Evaluation: What recommendations would you make, if any, to enhance the cultural competency of the organization?
  • VIII. Employee Recruitment, Screening, and Selection (refer to text, chapter 6) 
    • A. Description: Does the organization have written policies and procedures for recruitment, screening, and selection? Have any of these activities occurred recently? If so, what happened?
    • B. Analysis: If there are written policies and procedures, how well do they address the legal requirements described in the text? If any of these activities occurred, how well do you think they followed both the letter and the spirit of the requirements?
    • C. Evaluation: How do the recruitment, screening, and selection policies and procedures affect the organization’s ability to acquire the best staff? What recommendations would you make, if any, to modify these policies and procedures?
  • IX. Supervision, Training, and Staff Development (refer to text, chapter 7)
    • A. Description: How is supervision structured in this organization? How frequently does supervision occur? What are the organization’s training and staff development policies and practices? Does the budget incorporate training and staff development? Are any of the costs the responsibility of the staff? Are career paths apparent within the organization?
    • B. Analysis: How do staff feel about the supervision practices and about training and staff development opportunities? What effects, if any, do you perceive between practices in these areas and other aspects of the organization’s functioning or culture? How well do the concepts discussed in the text and/or other readings apply?
    • C. Evaluation: What recommendations would you make, if any, to modify these supervision, training and/or staff development policies and practices?
  • X. Motivation and Reward System (refer to text, chapter 8)
    • A. Description: What methods, techniques, policies, etc. does the organization use to motivate employees?
    • B. Analysis: What appears to be the organization’s assumptions about motivation? Do the methods, techniques, and policies, etc. incorporate both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards? Do the best employees typically receive the highest rewards? How well do the concepts discussed in the text and/or other readings apply?
    • C. Evaluation: Does the motivation system appear to be working? Why or why not? Is the reward system fair and equitable? What modifications to the motivation and reward system would you recommend, if any?
  • XI.Performance Appraisal, Termination Policies and Procedures (refer to text, chapter 9) 
    • A. Description: What written policies and procedures does the organization have, if any, regarding performance appraisal and termination? If there are no written policies, what do staff at various levels understand and expect regarding performance appraisal? From interviews with staff, what are some examples of recent performance appraisals (note: be careful of confidentiality issues here)? How are involuntary terminations managed?  Does the organization practice progressive discipline techniques?
    • B. Analysis: How well do the concepts in the text apply to this organization? What effects, if any, do the organization’s practices in this area have on other aspects of the organizational culture and functioning?
    • C. Evaluation: What recommendations would you make, if any, to modify these policies and procedures?

XII. Data Collection and Information Systems (refer to text, chapter 10) 

    • A. Description: What data collection and information systems does the organization have in place?
    • B. Analysis: Who are the stakeholders served by the information systems? Is the organization collecting the right information, and in an efficient manner, to answer the questions it needs to answer and to produce required reports? Is the information shared with staff? Is the information being used? How well do the concepts discussed in the text and/or other readings apply?
    • C. Evaluation: What are the strengths and weaknesses of the organization’s current data collection and information systems? What modifications, if any, would you recommend?
  • XIII. Budgeting and Financial Management (refer to text, chapter 11)
    • A. Description: What kind of budgeting system(s) does the organization use?
    • B. Analysis: Do budget priorities reflect the organization’s mission and philosophy? Do the budget reports indicate levels of effort and accomplishment that are consistent with projections? How well do the concepts discussed in the text and/or other readings apply?
    • C. Evaluation: Do you think the organization should consider changes in either the way budgets are organized, the way resources are allocated, or both?
  • XIV. Summary and Overall Assessment 
    • A. Main Strengths of the Organization
    • B. Main Weaknesses of the Organization
    • C. Prioritized Recommendations for Organizational Improvement
  • References in APA style
  • Appendices (e.g., copies of documents, charts, tables, as needed)

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