Influencing the Practitioner’s Organization 161 present to the class an organization problem, its impact on clients’ lives, and its visibility in the organization. From these presentations, the instructor presents content on organizational problem formulation. 3. Assign students the following problem formulation assignment, which asks the following questions [the mini-assignments identified in this exer- cise and exercises 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 can be easily transformed into a single graded one]: a. Specify and describe the organizational problem. b. How did the problem come to your attention? c. What data supports your problem formulation? d. What additional data do you require? e. How visible is the organizational problem? f. What is your specific sought outcome? Select students to present their responses to these questions that reflect different types of organizational problems and invite class discussion on the nature of the organizational problem, clarity of formulation, supporting data, and any additional data that are needed. In relation to each identified organi- zational problem, engage students in a discussion of various strategies to bring greater visibility and attention to it. 4. Engage in a brief lecture on organizational assessment including elements of a force field analysis. Building upon the problem formulation assignment described in exercise 3, have students assess which formal and informal struc- tures will potentially support or oppose the proposed change. Break the class into small groups and have each student describe the orga- nizational problem. For each problem, ask the students to consider the following: a. What function might the present state of affairs serve? b. How do organizational properties of complexity, centralization, and formal- ization affect the student’s influence efforts? c. How might the organization’s informal culture affect the influence efforts? d. How might the proposed outcome affect the formal status and self-interests of key organizational representatives? e. How do the student’s formal and informal relationships, perceived profes- sional competence, and personal attributes affect the influence effort? f. What do the students consider to be the most intense and important supporting and restraining forces to the hoped-for outcome? Ask students to report to the class as a whole what they learned from this exercise, and then have them develop a formal force field analysis for the orga- nizational problem that they identified.
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