Theories and Concepts that govern the National Association of Social Workers (NASW)

NASW is an organization of social workers which works together to promote either social justice or social change on behalf of other people. Thus, it improves the human well-being by helping and empowering oppressed, poor and vulnerable people in society. The social workers are more concerned about ethnic diversity and culture, and they strive to abolish discrimination, poverty and other kinds of social injustice. All the activities in this organization are in the form of supervision, direct practice, advocacy, consultation, education, and political action. Over several decades, economists, academic researchers, and business analysts have developed several theories, which explain the governing of organizations. These theories help an organization to resolve conflicts, make decisions, distribute power, promote changes and resist changes. Both theory and concepts provide focus on the performance, success, characteristics effects of every individual and the effects of the environment that include the political, task and cultural environment. The paper will explore both theories and concepts, which tend to make the organizations run effectively.

Theories

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Bureaucracy 

    The bureaucracy theory is associated with both the structure and administrative process of a particular organization. Bureaucracy theory was established by Max Weber which strictly stresses on rules and distribution of power in an organization (D’Adderio, et al., 2018). The theory has two important elements, which include organizing an organization into the hierarchy and having rules, which helps in governing both the organization and its members.  An organization such as NASW is governed by the bureaucratic theory which has standard principles, the hierarchy of authority, trained administrative personnel, rules and regulations which enhance productivity. This type of theory is always impersonal, and the rule-based activity judges the performance of every person. The promotions in the organizations are determined by the merits and performance of an individual. Besides, the organization has the hierarchy, which embodies a line of authority that enables everyone to know the immediate supervisor one is directly accountable to. This theory contributes fully to the classical organizational theory, which outlines that, the structure of an organization and a certain line of authority is essential in an organization since it brings about an effective workplace. 

Human relations

    Human relations theory focus on the need for understanding the necessity of human capacity, attitudes as well as abilities about organizational effectiveness. Elton Mayo developed this theory, and it tends to respond to the upcoming social pressures when the employees are handled with dignity (D’Adderio, et al., 2018). The approach emphasizes the idea that people require companionship and they have the right to seek satisfaction in the relationship they are likely to form at their workplace. Since the employees become more productive once their needs are satisfied, the manager has an easy task in handling the employees and running the business effectively. The employees become self-governing teams, and since they can consult one another, they become highly committed to the management and achieve the organization goals.  Due to the benefits of human relations theory in improving productivity, it is usually practiced in NASW organization. 

Scientific management

The scientific management approach emphasizes improving the efficiency of every employee in an organization. It was developed by Fredrick Winslow Taylor. The employees’ efficiency is done by increasing production by using intensive technology. The technology always makes work easier since there is the use of a machine in the performance of daily work. Scientific management theory comprises major principles such as the better scientific selection and training of the employees, providing workers with financial incentives to increase productivity, employees work in a conducive environment and the planning is separated from the performance (D’Adderio, et al., 2018).  The NASW always train the social workers to increase the performance of the organization, and this is in line with the scientific management theory. However, it is concluded that the theory emphasizes more about the automation and mechanization. It focuses on the technical aspects of productivity but not human behavior in the organization. 

System theory

System theory is defined as an external standard, which measures the effectiveness of the organization, and it is based on sustainability and long-term growth. Effective systems are considered to be on steady states, which the system theorists refer to it as homeostasis. If the organization has the capability of maintaining homeostasis, which includes both the survival and growth of the organization, then it considered being effective.  According to the system theory, organizations, which are effective such as NASW, adapt to their environment. The environment, in this case, refers to any effects, which can happen in the country and has an impact on the activities as well as the outcomes of the organization. An environment can be either static or dynamic. Static environments are stable and do not have many variations while dynamic environments are constant (D’Adderio et al., 2018). Since the environments cannot be fully static or continually changing, the organization have changing levels of either a static or dynamic environment. All the organizations that consist of dynamic environments are open systems since can maintain homeostasis. The dynamic environment always creates some uncertainty about an organization on what it should do for it to survive and grow. An open organization usually monitor its environment and gather the information concerning the environmental deviations, which is labeled as input. The essential information is the negative input since it alerts the organization on the problems that need to be corrected.  The positive input informs the organization that they are doing the right thing and they should increase on the activity they are carrying out. 

Concepts

Leadership 

The leadership concept emphasizes leadership skills as well as abilities, which are relevant to the organization. It works towards what is best for the people and the organization. It is a work ethic and an attitude, which empower people in any field to lead from bottom to top. Both Leaders always possess certain traits, which help in directing the organization on the way to achieve goals other than managing resources (Lee, 2016). Organization leadership always manifests itself in the executive directors or the owner of the organization. Many business owners are leaders since before they start the business, they have an idea and vision on the way to go about it. Business owners have the potential of creating a business venture irrespective of the challenges that may arise. Organization leaders always respond to negative challenges based on their personality traits. The leaders in NASW possess leadership traits such as boldness, enthusiasm, self-assurance, and conscientiousness. These characteristics give the social workers the intangible business skills for achieving tasks and motivate people to work with the leaders especially when there is an injustice. NASW leadership traits include maturity, empathy, charisma, and intuitiveness. In every organization, leadership and management always work together for better achievements in an organization. Successful leadership involves capitalizing on the strength of the business and managing the weaknesses. The success of NASW is because of the social workers discovering the weaknesses in the organization and handling the issue as soon as possible. 

Internal and external environment

Every organization consists of the marketing environment, which facilitates in running the business. Marketing environment is defined as the combination of both internal and external factors, which affects the organization’s ability to create a relationship, which enhances it to serve its customers. The growth of an organization is determined by its strength and adaptability to both external and internal environment (Lee, 2016). Internal factors are anything within the organization, which under the control of the organization regardless of whether they are tangible or intangible. They are forces within the organization, which brings impacts to the organization. The internal strength consists of technological, financial and human resources. Financial resources denote the financial strength of the organization.  Funds are allocated to the NASW activities facilitate in maximizing the output at a lower cost. Physical resources denote physical assets such as building, plant, and machinery, which changes inputs to outputs. The human resources denote the workers with particular knowledge who facilitate in the performance of the organization. The external environment factors outside the organization that is not controlled by the organization. They include socio-cultural, demographic, political and legal factors. The external environment allows the organization to make a better adjustment to their organization plan to adapt the changes in the environment. However, the external factors are very dangerous for the organization since they are unpredictable. Both the external and internal environment contribute to the success of the NASW since the organization considers them before making a decision. 

The mission

The mission is one the requirements in an organization since it ensures everyone is okay with the activities of the organization. This serves as a baseline for better business planning. The mission statement is developed to explain what the organization is and the reason it exists.  It defines who primary customers in the organization are. Mostly it describes the products or the services provided by an organization. It reflects every aspect of the organization. Writing a mission statement is considered be valuable team building activity.

In most cases, the mission is used in the organization’s marketing. For instance, the organizations include their mission in their websites. The main mission of the NASW is to improve the human well-being whereby they help the vulnerable, poor and oppressed people meet their basic needs and empowering people who are facing social injustice (Beimers, 2015). The social workers promote social change as well as social justice on behalf of the clients. Clients, in this case, refer to the groups, organization, families, and communities. The mission of the NASW organization is formed from the core values of the organization, which are base of the social worker’s perspective and purpose.

Hawthorne effects

Hawthorne effects can be defined as the tendency of some individuals to work harder and do better when participating in an experiment. The term is used to suggest that people may change their behavior because of the attention they are getting from researchers but not due to the effects of the independent variables (Sedgwick & Greenwood, 2015). The aim of the Hawthorne studies aimed to determine how various aspects of work environment such as the timing of breaks, length of the workday and lighting had on the employees’ productivity. According to the research, any change due to the experimental conditions causes an increase in productivity. Decreasing the illumination increased production. Also, the production also increased when the breaks were removed and when the workday was extended. Hawthorne effect is applied in the NASW organization. There is high productivity whenever the supervisors pay attention to the social workers. 

Privatization 

Privatization is the transfer of property, business or ownership from the government to the private sector. Privatization tends to lower government costs while increasing the quality of services provided when the ownership assets are transferred to the private sector. The privatization aims to prevent the state from economic business innovativeness. This tends to increase the employees’ ownership in the state’s assets. Privatization is also a way in which both politicians and policymakers increase their political interests. The NASW is a private organization, which is found in every country. It was formed from five organizations which included American Association of Group Workers (AAGW), American Association of Social Workers (AASW), National Association of School Social Workers (NASSW), American Association of Medical Social Workers (AAMSW), American Association of Psychiatric  Social Workers (AAPSW), Association for the Study of Community Organization (ASCO) AND Social Work Research Group (SWRG) Beimers, 2015). 

Diversity 

Diversity has great influence to the performance of the organization. Diversity is defined as a way of identifying, understanding and accepting other people differences irrespective of their age, race, physical ability and ethnicity (Ntim, 2015). Diversity can be classified into a primary dimension and secondary dimension. The primary dimension comprises age, sexual orientation, age, and gender. It influences the initial encounters, and it is easily noticed. Secondary dimensions consist of education, religion and geographical location are not easily noted, and they can change on different encounters. Currently, globalization has enhanced more interaction of people from different background and cultures.

Various organizations have adopted diversity with the aim of becoming more creative as well as opening more to change. Increasing and improving diversity in the workplace has become an essential issue in the organization because of the changes occurring in the organization.  It enables managers to learn different managerial skills, which are required in a multicultural working environment. They in turn teach other people within the organization on the way to value cultural differences and handle the employees with dignity (Ntim, 2015). This enhances morale and increases productivity in the organization. Since diversity involves different employees with different cultures, it can lead to frustration and confusion when there is miscommunication in the organization. This can lead to low productivity. Also, miscommunication is likely to enforce stereotype to the minority group, which can create tension. This cause the organization to be vulnerable to lawsuits. Respecting diversity has been a fundamental value to the social workers in NASW organization.  Social workers always have ethnical responsibility which enables them to demonstrate cultural awareness, and they develop competence to work with people from different cultures. NASW is committed to ensuring that the minority groups in the organization are not stereotyped and this has increased productivity and has created a positive reputation for the company.

The social system in an organization is associated with interaction among individuals who has a specific role to play concerning the status they occupy in the system. Social organizations such as NASW social system. Social systems comprise of subsystems such religious, economic and political and their interrelation (Carter, 2017). The social systems are mostly affected by the environment such as geography, and they are always differentiable. Both faith and knowledge cause equality in the behavior. They serve as a controlling agency in various types of human societies. Faith is caused by beliefs and customs that exist in different communities. For instance, religious beliefs can prevent some communities not to attend schools or hospitals. They typically enjoy the force of the individual, which direct them not do things like the rest of the people. Such beliefs can decrease the productivity in an organization such as NASW, which has diverse communities with different beliefs.  Sentiments, which can be social, notional or filial, influence the organization.

Question 2 Diversity

People can have different views concerning a particular issue, and this can bring misunderstanding. This is likely to bring conflict leading to low production. Under some circumstances, individuals are born with characters of being social and dependent. This means that they have to meet their needs and fulfill their obligations. Man and society go hand in hand with both needs and satisfaction. All these factors express the nature of the social system. They bring a positive impact to the organization since every social worker will strive to meet their basic needs. However, the organizations can set norms and ideals to maintain the social system and determining the several functions of different units. These ideas and norms include fashions, customs, religion, folkways, and morality. The standards set both rules and regulations on the ways people can attain their cultural goals. Thus, both norms and ideal are accountable for the ideal system. Due to these norms, human behavior does not differ much, and they act depending on the norms of the organization. This contributes to stability in the organization. Just like the status, the organization set different roles for different people. When people are performing a particular task, they always observe the status. This leads to social integration and unity in the organization.

Question 3 Social systems

Additionally, power has both positive and negative impacts on the organization. Misuse of power can lead to conflict in the organization and will hinder development. The performance will be very poor leading to poor production. The usage of power can lead to high production if the people in high position are using the power to bring a positive impact in the organization. For instance, the NASW ensure that all the social workers are striving to improve the human well-being by helping and empowering people who are oppressed, impoverished and those who are vulnerable.

To sum up, theories and concepts, which are applied within an organization, play a significant role in achieving the set goals. A theory such as Bureaucracy stresses on rules and distribution of power in an organization, which helps in governing both the organization and its members. Human relations theory focus on the need for understanding the necessity of human capacity, attitudes as well as abilities about organizational effectiveness. This theory together with scientific management approach emphasizes improving the efficiency of every employee in an organization. Leadership and mission are key concepts which work towards what is best for the people and the organization. Besides, both external and internal environment are considered since they enhance the organization growth. Nonetheless, the diversity influences the organization performance since it enables managers and employees to learn different skills, which are required in a multicultural working environment. The NASW value cultural differences, which allows them to handle the employees with dignity which increases productivity in the organization. 

References

Beimers, D. (2015). NASW involvement in legislative advocacy. Journal of Policy Practice14(3-4), 256-274.

Carter, I. (2017). Human behavior in the social environment: A social systems approach. Routledge.

D’Adderio, L., Glaser, V., & Pollock, N. (2018). Performing theories, transforming organizations. Academy of Management Review, 1-9.Lee, M. R. (2016). Leading virtual project teams: Adapting leadership theories and communications techniques to 21st century organizations. Auerbach Publications.

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