160 Influencing the Practitioner’s Organization require more adversarial actions, especially in the face of marked dissent over goals and methods. Polite, respectful disobedience can be a highly effective strategy that involves limited risk. The worker holds to a stance of organizational loyalty and con- cern for client well-being rather than one of moral indignation. Group action can diminish the risk of reprisal for individual workers. Position statements, petitions, and demonstrations are effective methods in dealing with powerful harmful practices and organizational participants. An action that we might need to take is to refuse to engage in behavior that violates ethical or legal stan- dards. Our refusal should be presented matter-of-factly and should include a justification for our actions. After a desired outcome is adopted, it needs to be put into action, since initial acceptance does not ensure implementation. An adopted change can be negated by a delay in execution. It can be distorted, undermined, or scaled down by executive participants, organizational processes, or personnel responsible for the change. In the implementation phase, informal and formal structures can be used to reduce stress associated with the change. To maintain administrators’ cooper- ation, the innovation has to be seen as being in their self-interest. The social worker seeks to keep the agreed-on change in people’s minds and on the orga- nizational agenda by assigning specific tasks to participants. Social workers must be sensitive to the anxiety aroused by changes in role expectations and performance. Throughout the implementation phase, the worker pays careful attention to task performers and their need for approval and recognition. After a designated time, implementation is evaluated to determine whether the desired objective is being achieved and whether unexpected negative consequences have appeared. If modifications are needed, they are instituted before the innovation is standardized and formalized. The worker continues to monitor the institutionalization of the innovation as well. Teaching Methods and Skills 1. Provide a brief lecture about maladaptive organizational structures, culture, and processes. Ask students to exchange observations about organi- zational barriers that they have experienced in providing needed services to their clients. After the discussion, the instructor conceptualizes these barriers (programmatic, external and internal structures, cultures, and processes). 2. Have students, working in smaller groups, help each other specify, in concrete operational terms, an organizational problem that they would like to influence. Have them discuss the relevance of the problem, and, if eliminated, how would it make a difference in clients’ lives. Have them also discuss the visibility of the organizational problem. Ask each group to select one student to
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