Focus on Need Inc
In choosing the appropriate charitable organization to support, it is imperative that one looks for an organization that has the same course as him or her. We chose to support Focus on Need Inc. a charitable organization that was established in 2011. It aims at providing varied educational programs including reading, lecture, writing, computer literacy, as well as mentoring in Philadelphia community. The organization plans to support or prop the local community, and the needy countries all over the world in enhancing their awareness and knowledge thereby allowing them to be productive in the society.
In choosing Focus on Need Inc, I carried out extensive research to establish the legitimacy of the organization and determine how it uses its funds. I, therefore, consulted the Internal Revenue Service, the charities bureau and the Illinois attorney general in an effort to unearth as much information as possible about the organization. At the minimum, I looked for a local organization that uses more than 65% of the funds on the charitable work. The organization’s objectives were in line with Indiana University Chinese Students and Scholars Association’s objective, which is to support new students and provide a community that will enhance the professional and academic growth of the students.
In an effort to raise $50000 so as to support Focus on Need Inc, fundraising came as the most appropriate option over general appeal. Fundraising offers opportunities to meet generous individuals who use all the resources at their disposal to make a difference in people’s lives. In addition, fundraising activities brings all classes of people together for a common cause. It is relationship-based and provides an excellent opportunity for involvement in other people’s lives. In deciding about the activity, it was imperative that we look for a large source of funds, one that can be built over time. It was imperative that the activity targets diverse sources of funds such as individuals, small family foundations, community foundations and corporate foundations among others.
The Organizational Structure
The organizational structure is informed by activities such as coordination, supervision and task allocation, which are aimed at achieving certain organizational goals. It defines how responsibilities for varied processes and functions are allocated to varied entities. It provides the basis for routine tests and standard operating procedures and determines the individuals who participate in certain processes of decision-making, and, therefore, the extent to which their views define the actions of the organization (Baligh 23).
Indiana University Chinese Students and Scholars Association (IUCSSA) has a matrix structure, where authority is divided by the project and functional area so as to meet the goals of the organization (Baligh 34). This structure allows for proper coordination or resources, specialization, communication, increase in the breadth of skills, as well as a flexible mode of sharing resources. The IUCSSA uses this structure to coordinate the interdependent and complex activities so as to meet its goals efficiently.
However, the varied groups, making up the association, adopt a functional structure where the group members carry out specialized tasks. This allows for enhanced efficiency and lowers the cost of carrying out activities (Baligh 37). However, it allows for little or no chances of communication with other groups.
Group Member Attitudes
The group members’ attitude refers to the obligations that bide the members to stay focused on the ethical and moral aspects. The IUCSSA is composed of young people who are dedicated to making enormous contributions so as to help other students grow professionally and academically. Members of the groups have an obligation to serve fellow students to enhance their professional and academic growth, while promoting the Chinese culture. In addition, all decisions incorporate the inputs of all members, in which case the members feel that they own the groups.
Motivation Concepts and Application
Motivation refers to the process that sustains, controls and elicits certain behaviors. It refers to a group of phenomena that affect how an individual behaves, the strength, as well as the persistence of behavior. Motivation may take on a social, cognitive, behavioral or a physiological approach. To motivate IUCSSA, compliments are given every time a person carries out a task satisfactorily. In addition, the groups adopt participative management processes where all individuals participate significantly in the process of decision making irrespective of their position in the group. Moreover, tasks are divided and assigned in line with individual strengths, likes and preferences so as to allow for intrinsic motivation, which is driven by the enjoyment and interest in performing the task and does not rely on external pressures (Schwartz 67).
Leadership refers ability of an individual to enlist the support and aid of other people with the aim of accomplishing a common task. In IUCSSA, leaders have the role of controlling, planning and sharing information, as well as enhancing communication and motivating members of the groups effectively. The president of the group was chosen by all members of the association, and has three vice presidents, each of whom leads one of the three departments in the association. The vice-presidents supervise the daily running of the organization’s operations, as well as communicating with other groups. Under the vice-presidents are managers who have the responsibility of overseeing the operations of the departments.
Group Policies or Procedures
In enlisting members of the group, the initial information provided by applicants is used to determine whether they meet the fundamental requirements of the job. The shortlisted applicants are taken through the interview process, which is guided by the mission of the association to determine the students who have made the greatest contribution to enhancing the professional and academic growth of others.
Communication serves various functions in organizations including providing information, expressing emotions, controlling behavior and fostering motivation (Harris and Sherblom 56). These are the roles played by communication in UCSSA. Most of the communication is done through face to face method. However, meetings should be held every now and then where vice presidents appraise members on the association’s daily operations, as well as the next mission.
Group and Team Behavior
Group and team behavior is defined by the rules and regulations that the organization has adopted. These rules give a clear outline as to the duties and responsibilities of varied members of the group. It is noteworthy, however, that the team behavior is mainly founded on the values of the group. However, deviation from the commonly held values warrants a disciplinary action.
Power and Politics
Every member of the group has an obligation to play their part so as to ensure that the organizational goals are attained efficiently. Power dynamics and group politics may hinder the attainment of these goals (Hardy 19). In essence, the acceptable politics guidelines should be written down as a guideline for the operations of the group.
Irrespective of the position occupied in the group, the association with IUCSSA brought valuable lessons not only on the intricacies of group management but also management of one’s personal life. As the association’s general assistant of operations and activities, it is only natural that I stood to learn quite a lot from the organization.
One of the most valued lessons that I learnt is the importance of motivation in enhancing the performance of the group or team. As much as appraising the performance of all the individuals in their respective capacities may have increased performance, congratulating individuals on performing a certain task satisfactorily enhanced their performance (Steers and Porter 65). This is especially where the individuals were intrinsically motivated through assigning them with duties that are aligned to their likes and preferences (Steers and Porter 67). This ensured that irrespective of the external pressures the individuals had the internal drive to carry out the tasks satisfactorily.
In addition, I learnt the importance of team work as far as accomplishing the organization’s goals is concerned. Teams carry out tasks at a faster pace than individuals. This is especially when the individuals in a group carry out tasks that are in line with their specialization. They learn to complement each other, as well as help each other thereby reducing the work pressure and workload. In addition, competition does not always lead to conflict. In fact, competition between team members has enhanced the motivation of the members to outdo their counterparts as far as performance is concerned. The relationship between the varied team members is improved, while all members stand to gain from each other.
In addition, I learnt the importance of rules and regulations in guiding the behavior of team members. This averted conflicts amongst the various members of the association and the group since the members always had conflicting ideas and motivations. Rules, therefore, set the means of operation for the team members thereby aligning their actions to the goals of the organization (Bacharach and Lawler 45).
The success of any project depends on the dynamics of the varied aspects of the project and their interrelationships. These include the organizational structure, the attitudes of group members, leadership strategies, motivational concepts and communication, as well as power, politics and group behavior.
There are variations as to the appropriate organizational structures within groups in organizations and the entire organization. The most appropriate organizational structure within groups in an organization is a flat structure where there are few or no intervening management levels (Baligh 35). This ensures that every group member participates in decision making thereby enhancing productivity. However, a matrix structure is the most appropriate within the organization. This allows for division of authority by the project and functional area. It enhances specialization and interaction between the constituent groups (Baligh 37).
Group Member Attitudes
Group members’ attitudes are affected by the composition of the groups. In essence, it is always imperative that any individual who joins the project is rigorously vetted to ensure that he or she shares the same attitudes as other team members. This would ensure that the perspective and the commitment of other team members remains unchanged thereby enhancing the attainment of the organizational goal.
Motivation Concepts and Application
Motivation is an essential component in any organization. It enhances the performance of employees and gives them the impression that they are valued. To motivate members, it is imperative that a reward system be incorporated where individuals who have performed exemplary are recognized and rewarded. In addition, team members should be assigned tasks that confine to their areas of specialization or their likes and preferences (Mitchell 45).
While many people may not feel the need to have leaders especially when all members are carrying out their duties and responsibilities appropriately, it is always imperative that the group chooses leaders who will be accountable for its decisions. However, they must undergo a rigorous interviewing process to ensure that they are sufficiently motivated to propel the project to other heights. They must be able to influence other people to assist in the attainment of common goals. In addition, they would enhance sharing of information, motivate the members and allow for communication.
Group Policies or Procedures
It is noteworthy that there are challenges pertaining to the miscommunication, as well as a deficiency of responsibility. Miscommunication signals a problem with the communication structures, whereas a deficiency in responsibility shows that the team members are not appropriately motivated. It is imperative that the appropriate selection process be carried out to allow people who have the internal drive to carry out the affected tasks. In addition, decisions must be communicated effectively in team meetings and avenues of clarification be established to eliminate chances of miscommunication.
Communication is extremely essential for the success of the project. In essence, it is imperative that the project incorporates clear communication structures. In essence, the decisions that affect the whole project should be communicated to every member through meetings and newsletters (Harris and Sherblom 68). In addition, communication between group members should be enhanced, and all members allowed to incorporate their input in all decisions affecting their groups.
Group and Team Behavior
Group behaviors have a bearing on the overall performance of the project. In essence, as much as the groups have different individuals it is imperative that they be taught how to act as teams rather than groups. This involves allowing the participation of all individuals and incorporating their inputs in every stage. In addition, increased coordination of the members’ activities is needed to allow for maximum output.
Power and Politics
Power and politics have a bearing on the performance of the group. It is imperative that the appropriate structures be incorporated to allow for the synchronization of the varied political opinions, especially as far as allocation of duties responsibilities and roles are concerned. The project must incorporate clear guidelines as to how decisions will be made. These rules have to be sufficiently flexible to allow for their usage in diverse situations (Hardy 16).
Baligh, Helmy H. Organization Structures: Theory And Design, Analysis And Prescription. New York: Birkhäuser, 2006. Print
Schwartz, Andrew E. Motivation: Linking Performance to Goals. New York: Andrew E Schwartz, 2001. Print
Steers, Richard M. and Porter, Lyman W. Motivation and work behavior. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1975
Mitchell, Terence R. Motivation and performance. New York: Science Research Associates, 1984. Print
Harris, Thomas E and Sherblom, John. Small group and team communication. London: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon, 2005. Print
Bacharach, Samuel B and Lawler, Edward J. Power and politics in organizations. Chicago: Jossey-Bass, 1980. Print
Hardy, Cynthia. Power and politics in organizations. New York: Dartmouth, 1995. Print
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