Analyzing and Offering Solutions to Problems at the Social Security Administration
Discussion 2 Instructions
Using your knowledge about the organizational theories you gained this week, scan the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report, “Social Security Administration Field Offices. Reduced Workforce Faces Challenges as Baby Boomers Decline” to find problems that were identified in the U.S. Social Security Administration that can be explained by one or more of the organizational theories we studied this week. Specifically, how can problems you identify in the GAO Report about the Social Security Administration be explained either by the ineffective application of a particular organizational theory or theories or the failure to apply an organizational theory to prevent the problems from developing in the first place? Explain which organizational theory or theories would be most effective in helping to solve the problems, why, and how.
Post an initial entry in which you identify two specific problems (make sure to reference the page/pages in the GAO Report where you identified the problems but do not copy the wording directly from the Report; articulate the problems in your own words); explain how one or more of the organizational theories you learned about this week potentially led to the development of the problems; and make an argument about which theory or theories would best help to solve the problems. Make your post as analytically rich as possible; don’t be satisfied with a superficial overview. For example, explain not only specific problems but also the broader implications of the problems for the Social Security Administration and the public it serves. In applying organizational theories to help solve the problems, dig as deeply into the theories as you can to explain how a particular theory or a combination of theories can be applied to resolve organizational issues. For example, if you apply lessons from the Hawthorne experiments, explain which aspects of the experiments are relevant. If you apply contingency theory, articulate the specific contingencies involved and/or explain how the concept of “protecting the technical core” of the Social Security Administration might apply. Critical thinking means making connections, here between theories and a practical case study, that are not immediately apparent. Think carefully about the organizational theories we study this week, go beyond the obvious, and analyze how theories that might be new to you – such as resource dependency, or institutionalism, or goal displacement, for example – might help resolve problems and their implications that you identify in the GAO Report about the Social Security Administration.
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