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Organizational Analysis Paper

Organizational Analysis Paper Amy Salomone Wayne State University

Organizational Analysis Paper The Organization Turning Point is an agency that works with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. The mission of the agency is to provide programs and resources that enable survivors/victims of domestic violence and sexual assault regain control over their lives and become more empowered (Turning Point, Inc., 2012). Turning Point provides services, and in some cases, shelter, so that the survivor can begin to rebuild their lives in a safe and stable environment. Turning Point is a duly registered, private non-profit organization with the State of Michigan and has 501(c)3 status with the federal government (Turning Point, Inc. , 2001). Meaning, the agency is tax-exempt and uses its profit to improve its services, rather than pay dividends to investors (U.S. Small Business Administration, 2014). Turning Point uses the profit left after expenses by putting it back into the agency through existing programs that may need a monetary boost in order to provide additional or better services to survivors, in addition, to creating more programs that also provide help and support to survivors and their families. Human service nonprofits are the organizations that most people think of when they hear the word nonprofit. They feed the hungry, assist crime victims and offenders, provide job training, house the homeless, help people prepare for and recover from disasters, act as advocates for children, and offer programs to help youth mature into adults who contribute to society (GuideStar, 2014). Turning Point works mostly with female survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault within the Southeast area of Michigan. In many cases, survivors flee their unfortunate situation with their children; Turning Point includes services for the male and female children of the survivors, as they may also be victims of domestic violence as

Organizational Analysis Paper well. Turning Point also helps to counsel family members of the survivors that may also be having a hard time with the situation, such as, the mother of a survivor that may feel guilty about not seeing the signs of violence and helping their child sooner. Departments within the Agency There are many departments within Turning Point. The first department is the Community Advocacy Program (CAP) department. In which, advocates are given clients/survivors for a twelve-week period; for this period the advocate provides emotional support, crisis management, and help gather resources based on their long and short-term goals. CAP has two sessions; one in the Fall, and one in the Spring. Turning Point also works to educate the community with the Prevention Education department. This department provides programs and information on dating violence, sexual assault, socialization, and many more topics to middle school and high school kids within Macomb County (Turning Point, Inc., 2001). This helps educate youth about what the agency does and how they can become more aware of how to stop and prevent domestic and sexual violence. Another department within the organization is Support Services, which provides counseling services to survivors. This includes individual counseling, family counseling, and a large variety of support groups, such as, trauma groups, sexual assault groups, domestic violence groups, and groups specifically designed for children and adolescents. Counseling helps the survivor cope with the stress created by the trauma of their situation; Turning Point provides this counseling free of charge to the survivors. The shelter aspect of Turning Point provides a safe haven for survivors and their children. They are given room and board to get away from their batterer. It also serves as

Organizational Analysis Paper a refuge while they try and piece their lives back together and start again. Also located within shelter is the crisis line, which provides crisis intervention to victims and survivors. Turning Point provides this service as an open ear for those that need help. Volunteers and employees work in this department, and provide support to those looking for hope, understanding, and support. Another department within the agency is the Childrens Department, which works with the children of the survivors. This department provides childcare and support to the children that are also coming out of situations of domestic violence. These children are provided with a security, whether it is through play, counseling, or just providing a safe environment. In many cases, Turning Point employees and volunteers provide another, or in some cases, the only person a child can confide in. A very important part of Turning Point is the Forensic Nurse Examiner Program (FNEP). This department performs examinations to survivors of sexual assault, collects forensic evidence, documents injuries, and provides medication and information on sexually transmitted diseases. (Turning Point, Inc., 2001). This department provides an invaluable service to Turning Point clients and enables them to provide evidence if they decide to seek legal action against their abuser. Next is the Volunteer Services department, which organizes the tasks and individuals that volunteer for the agency. Volunteers are involved in nearly every department of the agency; however, CAP does not allow volunteers because the work needed to advocate for the client can be intense and complex; therefore, only interns are allowed to work within this area. If it were not for volunteers the agency would not be as

Organizational Analysis Paper successful as it is. The volunteers provide an invaluable amount of service and support to the domestic violence and sexual assault survivors and their families. Lastly, Second Hand Rose is the resale shop run by Turning Point. Many people in the community are kind enough to drop off donations to be sold in the shop. Proceeds from Second Hand Rose go to help the efforts of Turning Point, whether it is for more programs for survivors or buying items needed at shelter. These extra funds help Turning Point provide the services so desperately needed by the clients. This helps survivors immensely, so they can get items they need. Organizational Theory of the Agency Turning Point seems to use the bureaucratic organizational theory as introduced by Max Weber; the agency could also be described as a bureaucracy. In a bureaucracy, the positions within an organization are separated into a clear and defined hierarchy (Netting, Kettner, McMurty, & Thomas, 2012). Turning Point has a clear chain of command in which Sue Coats heads the organization as CEO. Under the CEO there is directors, and under them are the program directors, also known as department heads; this shows a clear hierarchy. Attached is an organizational map, which is discussed later in this report; it shows the break down of the agency and the positional hierarchy that is apparent within Turning Point. Another characteristic of a bureaucracy is that staff members are employed on the basis of their qualifications, and each position has a defined level of competence and a high level of training (Netting et al., 2012). Turning Point is an equal opportunity employer, so when a new staff member is hired they are hired purely on the qualifications for the position for which they are applying. Also, each position is clearly defined; this is

Organizational Analysis Paper so applicants as well as employees know the level of knowledge and competence that is expected of them while holding this position. In addition, Turning Point also provides extensive training to new employees coming into the agency, in fact, this training is not only for employees but it is also required of interns and volunteers that will be working within the organization. Positions within a bureaucracy also demand full time employment, as well as the positions being career oriented; meaning, there is a system of promotions and seniority in the organization (Netting et al., 2012). Turning Point employs full-time employees, and those that begin as staff members may be promoted to serve as department supervisors or directors, if a position does become available. It is also possible for an intern to be promoted to an employee, if they show an outstanding level of work that warrents such a promotion. Lastly, bureaucracies have a rules or procedures that are outlined for the agency, as well as a central system for record keeping which summarizes the activities of the organization (Netting et al., 2012). Turning Point outlines the rules and procedures of the organization in the training portion of employment which is required for all employees, interns, and volunteers. The agency uses ALICE, a record keeping system, keeps track of all of the activities within the origanization, such as, the tracking of client records, department spending, and time expenditures on tasks. External Environment of the Agency Turning Point is located in downtown Mount Clemens. It services clients primarily in Macomb and Wayne County; however, it will service clients within Southeast Michigan that are not located in these areas. There are several poor areas

Organizational Analysis Paper within the region that Turning Point serves, the environment in which the agency is directly located is not the best, but it is secure. However, there are many areas very close to the agency that could be considered concerning or unsafe if one were alone. Organizational legitimacy is present when social values associated with or implied by an agencys activities and the norms of acceptable behavior in the larger social system of which they are a part are congruent (Dowling & Pfeffer, 1975, p. 122). In other words, the values of the agency are in agreement and acceptable to society or the community. When an agency does not have legitimacy this can cause legal and economic issues, as well as issues of community acceptance. Turning Point achieves legitimization by providing compassionate and comprehensive services that are wanted and needed within the community. In many ways the community, through volunteers and donations to Second Hand Rose, supports Turning Point. In addition, the agency also creates events within the community in order to create a fundraising opportunity for the agency. For example, the Tara Grant Walk/Run provided a recreational activity for those in the community to take part in as well as provided funds for the agency. Allowing community members to partake in activities that indirectly provide services to the clients helps community members feel connected to the cause, and feel good about the help they are providing. Another example is Trunk or Treat; this event is put on by Turning Point every October. Trunk or Treat provides a safe and controlled environment for children in the community to Trick or Treat. In return, Turning Point asked for donations from those that are sponsoring and decorating a trunk in order to provide extra funding to different areas within the agency.

Organizational Analysis Paper Turning Point has a beneficial relationship with other organizations within the community and surrounding areas. A large part of providing services to survivors is referring them to resources they may need or find useful. By maintaining a good relationship with other agencies and businesses in the areas these contacts may become useful for current and future clients at the agency. Goals of the Agency The main priority of Turning Point, as stated organizations philosophy, is to work toward ending the use of violence as a means of oppression and controlling others, and endorse the concept of helping people assume power over their lives (Turning Point, Inc. , 2001). The agency aims to empower women and help them become independent again and provides aid as needed, whether, it is through counseling or by helping them connect with resources they may need. These goals were formed at the creation of the organization in 1979, when efforts of community members wanted to provide a supportive and safe environment for victims of domestic violence (Turning Point, Inc. , 2001). No survivor has the same needs or goals when they enter into the agency. In order to deal with the unique situations created by each client the organization has created the various departments within the agency in order to provide better and more effective services to the survivors. There has not been goal displacement at Turning Point. The main goal is always to help the survivors through providing any service the agency can provide, or refer the client to services the agency does not offer. All survivors and their individual needs are different and unique to their situation, so the amount and type of services provided to

Organizational Analysis Paper them may vary, but the major goal of empowering and helping them regain independence and control is always at the forefront of the agency. However, additional programs have been created within the organization as a result of grants given to the agency; this is how the CAP department was created. The Community Advocacy Program was developed in order to help survivors after they exit the shelter and reenter the community; this added an additional aspect to the services Turning Point had offered survivors in the past. However, it did not exist before the grant was given to the agency. Organizational Structure of the Agency Organizational structure refers to the way relationships are constituted among persons within an organization (Netting et al., 2012). Turning Point seems to excel at structural organization. This is because although the organization is broken up into many different departments, and each department knows what tasks they are expected to perform in relation to helping survivors. In some cases, tasks of different departments may over lap; however, the open communication within the agency keeps this from becoming an issue. In fact, this is beneficial because then not every employee is trying to perform every task that needs to be done. Each department specializes in that particular area and they able to perform the related functions more quickly than someone from an outside department. This keeps the organization running more efficiently. In addition, the departments within Turning Point are constantly keeping each other informed through staff meetings for department heads. This keeps everyone in the know of what is going on in the agency and with the survivors.

Organizational Analysis Paper Turning Point manages its agency by working toward accomplishing goals and desired outcomes; therefore, Turning Point seems to use the management by objectives (MBO) approach. The MBO approach uses a backwards-working method. In this approach an organization sets out with a goal or outcome in mind then they work backwards to find methods to achieve the goal, solve the problem, or help the client (Netting et al., 2012). This is evident at Turning Point when working with the survivors. When a survivor becomes a client at the agency the main goal for them is already established helping the survivor cope with the abuse and regain control over their lives, while also empowering them. Every staff member that comes in contact with that client is then working with them toward this common goal. The survivor must work with the staff in order to figure out how to attain this desired outcome. This is evident in my own experiences with the agency. I intern in the CAP department, so each semester I am given a client to for which to advocate. When working with a client I am always keeping the primary goal of the agency in the forefront of my mind. I know that everything I do with the client is in order to achieve these outcomes, so we must plan together in order to achieve these desired outcomes. Strengths and Weaknesses of the Agency One of the greatest strengths of Turning Point is the constant communication between departments. Each department keeps continuous communication with the other departments. This is necessary for the success of the survivor and the agency, because in most cases the client is involved in multiple areas of the agency. For instance, the survivor may be at shelter, but also receiving counseling through the support services department. Each week the head of each department have case management, in which


Organizational Analysis Paper they discuss cases. This serves multiple purposes; it allows workers to vent and debrief which is necessary for the general health of each employee, and also it keeps all departments informed of what is being accomplished and what must still be done. The nature of the agency being helping people that have survived domestic violence and sexual assault, in many cases the stories are very difficult and the worker may need have an outlet of expressing the tough emotions they feel in working with survivors. In addition, the open communication keeps everyone involved with a survivor aware of their situation, as well as what is being done to aide the client. This keeps workers from wasting time and efforts. Another strength of the organization is the sense of camaraderie among the employees. The women that work there seem to have a high level of respect and friendship throughout the office. This is can be extremely important in an agency environment, as everyone has to work as a team for the betterment of the clients and the organization as a whole. As a result of the companionship among the employees there seems to be no issues as far as the employee level of happiness, as well as the ability to turn to colleagues for help when working with a difficult client or situation. One of the weaknesses of the organization may be the screening process for clients, specifically at shelter. Currently, if the survivor is not under the influence of any substance and they are not an immediate physical threat to others then they can be admitted into shelter. As a result there have been instances in which the events at shelter have created negative issues for survivors. For example, it has been the case that particularly abrasive survivors have become aggressive for a multitude of reasons, and this aggression creates tension amongst the house. This can also be triggering to other


Organizational Analysis Paper clients and can create individual stress and anxiety, being as they just fled a violent situation. With better screening processes for survivors the number of trouble clients can be reduced. This would be beneficial not only to residents, but also to staff as well. Another weakness that may become a factor at the agency is due to the lack of male social workers or caseworkers within the organization. Although rare, there are instances when males come seeking services for domestic violence. They may feel more comfortable talking to a male about their issues due to the nature of the situation; however, because one is not employed at the agency this service would not be available to a male client. As a result, counseling with a female may be uncomfortable or less effective for a male survivor had they had the option of working with a male social worker or case manager. Recommendations to Agency The following changes are recommended to the agency, first, a more stringent system for screening possible clients, specifically for those that are going to become residents in shelter. Despite Turning Points efforts to help all women that come to the agency seeking help, the organization could benefit by being more selective when admitting clients as far as psychiatric conditions, tendency toward erratic behavior, and aggression. This could be accomplished by using a more rigorous admittance process. This may meet resistance because of arguments that it may alienate clients from seeking services; however, it would be beneficial for both workers and other survivors knowing that everyone has been thoroughly assessed and issues are much less likely to arise as a result.


Organizational Analysis Paper To remedy the issue of not having a male worker at the agency, the solution is quite simple, and that is to hire a male employee to fill this void. However, there may be organizational resistance, because male survivors using Turning Point services that would that take advantage of a male worker is quite rare and would make this position underused. Therefore, you run the risk of hiring a person in this position and no one seeking their services, because the male clients are not always present at the agency. However, one must weigh the benefits of having a male worker, not only for services, but also to provide their point of view and suggestions to other colleagues. Organizational Map Attached is an organizational map of Turning Point, Inc. When looking at the chart the first thing one may notice is that women hold most positions within the organization. There are few males that work within Turning Point despite the fact that they are an equal opportunity employer. As stated in their volunteer manual, Turning Point will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, height, weight, marital status, handicap, or other reason prohibited by applicable law (Turning Point, Inc. , 2001). The lack of male employees is probably due to the nature of the type of agency. Also, not many males may seek employment at a domestic violence and sexual assault organization. In addition to the fact that the male presence may also be triggering for the survivors that are coming from situations in which they are not trusting of the male gender, so the agency must be sensitive to this as well. Turning Point employs individuals of different racial backgrounds, as well as a broad range of ages. The organization also employs individuals that are in their twenties in addition to individuals that are into their seventies; age is not a factor for employment.


Organizational Analysis Paper The organization has a strict non-discrimination policy. Currently Turning Point does not employ and individuals with disabilities. This is due to a lack of handicapped applicants at the agency; as the non-discrimination policy states the organization does not hold bias against any handicap.


Organizational Analysis Paper References Dowling, J. & Pfeffer, J. (1975). Organizational Legitimacy: Social Value and Organizational Behavior. The Pacific Sociological Review, 18 (1), 122-136. GuideStar. (2014). Turning Point, Inc. Retrieved Febraury 13, 2014, from GuideStar: Netting, F. E., Kettner, P. M., McMurty, S.L., & Thomas, M. L. (2012). Social Work: Macro Practice (5th Edition ed.) Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Turning Point, Inc. (2001) Turning Point, Inc. Volunteer Manual. Mount Clemens: Turning Point, Inc. Turning Point, Inc. (2001). Turning Point Program Descriptions. Mount Clemens: Turning Point, Inc. Turning Point, Inc. (2012). Turning Point Services to End Domestic and Sexual Violence. Retrieved February 13, 2014, from Our Mission: U.S. Small Business Administration. (2014). Nonprofit Organization. Retrieved February 13, 2014 from SBA. Gov U.S. Small Business Administration: