Mengisteab Eyehalik Mengistu (Hasenfeld, PP. 1- 29)



What are some of the factors affecting the survival and growth of organizations? If so, what and why?
  • Legislative actions that influence legitimacy and access to resources
  • Changing demand/ needs of service recipient
  • Poor organizational structure/ working model; organizational behavior and negative norms
  • Lack of resources
  • Case load of social service organizations
Is there some good in the decline of some organizations?
  • State mental hospitals reached their peak in the early 1950s and started to decline in the 1960s and 1970s with the advent of psychotropic medications and community mental health. The argument is; if the plan was successfully excuted, it would make the decline of state mental hospitals justified.
WHY DO WE NEED TO KNOW THE LIFE CYCLE OF ORGANIZATIONS? What are the practical implications?

Understanding the cycle and dynamics of growth, transformation, and decline allows human service organizations to adapt to new needs/ demands, structure the organization accordingly, and develop responsive service delivery system.

Organizational life cycle theories identify circumstances affecting the growth, transformation, and potential markers of unnecessary decline.


  1. Formation
  2. Development
  3. Maturation
  4. Elaboration
  5. Decline
  6. Death


  • External environment is unstable, uncertain, unknown
  • Resources unidentified
  • Structure is informal
  • Managerial process is informal, characterized by little planning, coordination or communication
  • Size is small
  • HR management is informal and is dependent upon the founders’ skills


  • External environment is moderately stable
  • Resources are identified
  • Structure is organic
  • Managerial process is still informal; communication, collaboration of team work and action
  • Size is still small
  • HR management is dependent upon group dynamics and the nature of team work


  • External environment is stable at this stage, there is certainty
  • Resources have a steady flow
  • Structure is formal, differentiated, and functional at this stage
  • Managerial process has a formalized rules, procedures, and standardization
  • Size is medium
  • HR management is formalized; there is specialization and professionalism


  • External environment is unstable
  • Efforts directed toward new resource identification and steady flow
  • Decentralized structure
  • Managerial process is less standardized
  • Has big size
  • HR management is strategicb


  • External environment is poor
  • There is a sharp decrease in resources and legitimization
  • HR management needs for new leaders and followers
  • There is a cutback in size
  • Managerial process involves management cutbacks


  • External environment is very uncertain
  • There is loss of resources and legitimization
  • Structure is centralized
  • Managerial process is dysfunctional

Derek Orbiso Dizon Handbook (pgs 65-67; Anti-Racist Organizational Development)

Dismantling Racism Western State Center


This portion of the handbook talks about dismantling institutionalized racism within organizations through critically understanding how race, power, and oppression operate within organizational culture.


  • What diversity efforts are being developed/exist within your org? How are they sustainable?
  • What stage of organizational development is your organization in? Does there need to be shifts? If so, how do you see yourself contributing this shift?

4 States of Organizational Development

1.) All White Club (AWC)
  • AWCs are nonprofits that, without trying, find themselves with an all white organization
  • AWCs are not organizations that purposely exclude people of color (POC)
  • These clubs develop recruitment plans to get more POC into their organization. However when POC join, the club expects them to fit in their existing culture (which is usually centered in white privilege)
  • AWCs have no analysis of racism/power and privilege
2.) The Affirmative Action or ‘Token’ Organization -
  • purpose is to eliminate discrimination in hiring and promoting
  • sets clear goals, unambiguous job qualifications/criteria, percentage of POC who need to be in a candidate pool for a new job, and a bias-reduced interview process
  • staff are encouraged to reduce/eliminate their personal biases/prejudice
  • Affirmative Action/Token Orgs are still a white club -- however now it includes structural/legal means to bring in POC
3) The Multi-Cultural Organization
  • reflects contributions/interests of diverse cultural/social groups in its missions, operation, and products/services.
  • actively recruits POC
  • white people “feel good” about diversity / POC still asked to fit in dominant culture
  • most multi-national corporations are at this stage
  • most organizations/non-profits are in the first two stages (AWC/Affirmative Action)
4) The Anti-Racist Organization
  • Based on an analysis of history of racism and power in this country
  • Supports developments of anit-racist white allies and empowered people of color through organizational culture/accountability
  • Challenges power/privilege through giving leadership positions/opportunities to people of color within their organization

Assessing Organizational Racism Questions:

  1. Who makes decisions in your organization?
  2. Who has control and influence over financial resources?
  3. What kind of education about racism and oppression is provided through the organization?
  4. What is the cultural of your organization?
  5. How does your organization work alliance with people of color organization

Is yours a LEARNING organization?

Garvin (David)


1. What is a way your practicum site could provide a more supportive learning environment? OR What is your practicum site already doing right?

2. What are your organization’s methods for self-analysis? Is there meaningful reflection and debate, or just data-crunching?

Because of intensifying competition, advances in technology, and shifts in customer preferences, organizations must become learning organizations. Many organizations come up lacking in this regard. “In this article, we address these deficiencies by presenting a comprehensive, concrete survey instrument for assessing learning within an organization.” To use the tool, compare scores based on self-report with benchmark scores and look for areas for improvement.

Building blocks of a learning organization

1) Supportive learning environment:
  • a. Psychological safety
  • b. Appreciation of differences
  • c. Openness to new ideas
  • d. Time for reflection
2)Concrete learning processes and practices
  • a. Information can move vertically or lateral
  • b. Importance of efficiency in disseminating information
3) Leadership behavior that provides reinforcement
  • a. Actively question and listen to employees: “I am far less interested in people having the right answer than in their thinking about issues the right way”.

Moving forward: four principles for cultivating learning organizations

  1. leadership alone is insufficient (specific, targeted interventions may be necessary)
  2. organizations are not monolithic (different departments have different cultures)
  3. comparative performance is the critical scorecard (a score alone means little until it is compared to competing organizations)
  4. learning is multidimensional

“The most productive discussions were those where managers wrestled with the implications of their scores, especially the comparative dimensions (differences by level, subunit, and so forth), instead of simply assessing performance harshly or favorably.”

Driskell Brenton 2005 (Adriana Ramos)

Organizational culture


This article provides an overview of major elements of culture within an organization that we may encounter everyday, but may have not been able to recognize their value until now.


Have you heard a story from within your agency that has symbolic significance?

What is a ritual within your organization, and what does it tell you about the culture?

Comparisons of Strong and Weak Organizational Cultures

Refer to table on handout

Major Elements of Culture

  • (Master Element)
  • Values dictate what is most important, what to pay attention to, and how to interpret meaning.
Symbolic Elements
  • Symbols: Physical objects or icons that represent an organization: ♣ Logos, corporate newsletters, annual reports, building architecture and etc.
  • Stories: Narratives that members tell to newcomers. ♣ Often a form of socialization for new organization members. ♣ Often told to encourage members to accept a certain rule or value, explain morals or lessons, or to allow the listener to draw their own conclusions.
  • Language/ Nonverbal: Language distinguishes insiders from outsiders and helps define cultural boundaries.
  • Metaphors: The values embedded in a metaphor are also found in patterns of rituals, informal rules, heroes, and communication networks that profoundly affect how the company does business.
Role Elements
  • Heroes: People who are respected by a majority of the corporation because they embody group values.
  • Outlaws: People who defy organization practice but are still considered valued members because they exemplify counter cultural values that the organization wants to cultivate.
Interactive Elements
  • Rituals: Often seen as the “acting out of values”
  • Informal Rules:These tell what behavior is preferred, permitted, required, or prohibited in organizational life.
  • Organizational communication style: the collective preference by organization members for certain types of communication
Context Elements
  • History: Knowledge of the founding of an organization, persistent patterns which creates resistance to change.
  • Place: complex environment in which an organization resides.




Created By
SOC W 513 Group I April 13, 2016


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