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Midterm Exam, Application Essay Example

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Words: 1844

Application Essay

Describe the characteristics which distinguish the non-profit sector from the public sector and the private sector.

The nonprofit sector is best characterized by its status as a tax-free organization, i.e. it is not required to pay income taxes. However, nonprofits typically provide some type of product or service that is designed to support individuals and groups with specific needs that are not readily available under other circumstances. These organizations seek to develop programs and other efforts that offer a positive impact for the desired target group, such as those with special needs or in disadvantaged populations. This type of organization is very different from those in the public and private sectors, both of which are typically focused on the development and implementation of products and services to gain profits and recognition. Nonprofits are designed in such a way that they do not generate financial profits for the work that they perform and therefore, have the opportunity to conduct programs through donations, grants, and other resources that support their efforts in this manner. Nonprofit organizations serve as key drivers of growth in areas where there are limited resources and limited capacity to improve the lives of individuals across disadvantaged populations.

Of the major theories summarized in the handout, which would be the most valuable in explaining the operations and challenges facing NIU in the current economic times?  Provide some examples from former President Peters’ address to support your answer.

One of the key theoretical perspectives to consider is the institutional approach because the concerns of larger organizations are substantial and are reflected across a wide range of subject areas. As a result, it is important to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the internal work environment so that additional measures might be considered that will support effective outcomes for the organization on a long-term basis. The social environment in which organizations operate must also be considered because they provide a tremendous impact in the form of two-way communication and collaboration. These efforts are instrumental because they support the continuous growth and expansion of different areas within an organization, such as finance, operations, academics, and other key principles that promote quality, success, and achievement. Under current economic conditions, it is more important than ever to establish an effective understanding of the challenges and limitations of organizational success and growth as related to policies, procedures, the organizational culture, communication, future directions, and communication-based needs. Each of these directives is instrumental in supporting effective outcomes over the short and long term

According to Jack King, much of what Lipsky wrote about in 1980 has remained the same, yet there are a number of structural and organizational changes that have expanded the notion of street level bureaucrats.  How does Lipsky define street level bureaucrats, why was he concerned and what has changed in the approximately last 30 years? Refer to Lipsky and King to support your answer.  How does King’s view of the changes differ from Lipsky?

Lipsky’s perceptions regarding street level bureaucrats are important and relevant because they serve as the driving force in supporting open communication with the general public in regards to a wide range of issues. Under these conditions, it is important to identify the different areas where street level bureaucrats play a role in carrying out public policy initiatives, such as in schools and in law enforcement circles. Therefore, it is important to allow these individuals to perform their roles effectively and to take the steps that are necessary to produce the desired results. Under these conditions, changes have occurred over the past several decades, but due to the rise in access to these resources through social media and other outlets, this accessibility has had a tremendous impact on the ability of organizations to be effective in achieving their goals and objectives in the desired manner. When the general public is able to hear and see what is taking place from a street-level bureaucratic perspective without hesitation or delay, the feedback that is received may not be desirable and may change the course or direction of the chosen strategies. Therefore, it is important to identify the areas where there are significant opportunities for growth and change, while also considering that the emergence of different forms of technology has forever changed the way in which members of the public sector and street-level bureaucrats think, conduct business, and make decisions. These conditions are challenging yet instrumental to the development of new ideas to accommodate an ever-increasing dissent from chosen strategies and objectives. The efforts that are made in these areas also require these representatives to take feedback seriously and to seek guidance in providing support to this population in the desired manner without delays that could disrupt the flow of information or progress that is achieved.

What are the major components of George Ritzer’s theory of McDonaldization? Using NIU as an example, discuss the McDonaldization of NIU. Provide at least five examples of the McDonaldization of NIU.

George Ritzer’s theory of McDonaldization is best characterized when individuals utilize existing resources and frameworks to accomplish their objectives rather than to seek out the answers on an independent basis. Therefore, the use of existing strategies and solutions is the most desirable choice in order to support efficient outcomes above all else. This is perhaps not necessarily the optimal choice for organizations because it does not provide sufficient opportunities to explore creativity because the environment is severely rigid. This type of society does not value independent thinking and creativity in the desired manner; rather, it supports completing tasks at a rapid rate rather than to take the time that is necessary to address each task individually and to examine how these tasks contribute to the final outcome.

The organization in question has become fully immersed in McDonaldization in some areas due to the necessity to push through tasks and responsibilities at a rapid pace, rather than to focus on the final outcome. In the university setting, there is a greater likelihood that the work that professors perform is somewhat McDonaldized because it is limits the interaction between teachers and students in many ways so that other activities might be considered. In addition, this setting may be reduced to an online portal in some instances, which fully takes away the requirement to attend a physical classroom and to interact with the teacher and with other students. In this setting, it is also evident that the use of technology in the classroom setting often takes away from the ability of students to effectively communicate with each other on a consistent basis. In many ways, this practice is dehumanizing and removes the elements of human interaction that are critical to student-teacher interactions and collaborations. With this in mind, it is likely that there will be additional challenges in place that attempt to remove the human factor and the ability to establish open and honest relationships with other people. Therefore, the McDonaldization of universities and other areas throughout society does not do any favors and is likely to prohibit true interaction and the benefits that it provides.

In the Clark Kerr Lectures, Sociologist Neal Smelser discusses structural accretion and python goat problems that affect the academic community.  Provide a brief summary of Smelser’s key points.  Describe and discuss at least four python goat issues according to Smelser.  Discuss how Smelser’s lectures fit into the study of organizations.

Neal Smelser’s perspectives in regards to structural accretion and python goat problems demonstrates the lack of understanding and direction of organizations since there is continuous expansion into larger bureaucracies without any consideration of how to manage these complexities as they grow. These problems present a challenge to many universities because they often strive to become increasingly relevant to larger groups of students through course offerings and academic programs. However, they are not always able to accommodate this level of expansion without expanding administrative departments and staffing accordingly. This poses a number of problems for organizations because it reflects poorly on the decision-making of the organization and how it manages its available resources.

Organizations in general face many of these same challenges when they strive to be all things to all people but are not fully equipped to understand what that means on a larger scale. Therefore, it is important to recognize these challenges and to take the steps that are necessary to address these concerns as they influence outcomes for employees, students, customers, and other constituents. If an organization expands too far, then it does not achieve the desired outcomes in the expected manner and may be viewed as wasting resources or in possession of poor decision-making capabilities. Under these circumstances, it is highly likely that additional measures must be taken to promote effective outcomes that are based upon the streamlining of knowledge and resources in a manner that supports lower levels of expansion to better focus on the strongest areas. This process also demonstrates the necessity to support new directives to take existing resources and use them wisely to achieve effective results that will better serve end users in the desired manner.

Jack King planned today to post the exam early this morning. He has internet service provided by a major communications conglomerate, a smart phone, highly sophisticated software available through NIU and new university provided lap top computer.  His efforts to complete his work were foiled by technological glitches.  Describe King’s dilemma using the work of both Max Weber and George Ritzer.  What is the term that describes what happened?

In the example provided, it is important to recognize the value of technology in enabling individuals such as professors to perform their duties effectively. However, these practices also limit progress in different ways because they prohibit the ability to engage in old-fashioned practices, particularly in cases where technological glitches prevail. It is believed that these conditions are significant because they limit progress and achievement when technology serves as the primary focus of these organizations and their people. In addition, when these conditions take place, it is often recognized the dehumanization is more evident than ever because individuals simply cannot communicate face to face or by telephone as successfully.

It is important to convey the challenges associated with a largely technology-driven and dependent society because these concerns are significant in limiting progress and growth from a humanistic perspective. There are significant limitations that impact the lives of human beings when technology is their primary focus. Therefore, when technology is not operating in the desired manner, a breakdown of communication and productivity take place. These efforts lead to unfavorable responses and negativity in many cases that is difficult to overcome. As a result, it is important to identify other factors that are effective contributors to organizations in their efforts to overcome technological glitches or breakdowns in cases where these issues are evident. It is the responsibility of individuals to take the steps that are required to preserve productivity as best as possible and to refrain from a complete disconnect from humanism, particularly when these types of circumstances take place and are difficult to overcome without some degree of understanding and support from organizational employees, leaders, customers, and other constituents.

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Application Essay

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