Identify the potential organizational problems faced by the Riverbend City Boys and Girls Club. What themes do these problems share?

Theoretical Practice Models

There are a wide range of organizational management theories. Theories generally address the application of concepts or beliefs to the roles of managers and employees, the values and goals of the organization, and the practical application of abstract concepts to real-world situations.

In your initial post, compare the primary concepts of social learning theory or transformational leadership theory to one of the management theories discussed in your text. Identify a specific human services organization and explain how each theory would apply to that organization.


Responsive Leadership: Motivating for Participation

Your Responsive Leadership in Social Services textbook addresses a number of elements that have been identified through research as having a significant impact on leadership and work environments. These factors include trust, integrity, respect, empathy, and safety. Your textbook also covers other key factors in motivation and engagement, including needs, values, goals, and strengths.

In your initial post, discuss how the factors of trust, integrity, respect, empathy, and safety impact organizational needs, values, goals, and strengths. Based on the scenario in the Riverbend City media presentation in the Studies for this week(See transcript below), explain how internal practices within the organization also influence relationships with outside agencies. What are potential challenges to building collaboration with external agencies if elements such as trust or integrity are not present in the organization internally? Use course reference material or other sources to support your discussion post.

Riverbend City: Internal Dynamics


An important part of leadership in the human services is managing resistance to change within an organization, no matter what the nature of the organization might be. This resistance can take many forms, and be directed both inward and outward. To be effective, a leader must know how to guide staffers through both varieties.

In the simulations associated with this course, you’ll encounter both kinds of resistance. You’ll assume the role of a case worker at the Riverbend City Boys’ & Girls’ Club, serving as project manager for a major upcoming event that will require cooperation with a number of local organizations.


Email from Jayme Young

From: Jayme Young, Executive Director, Boys and Girls’ Club RBC

Subject: Fundraising Event

I wanted to thank you again for agreeing to spearhead our organizational efforts for the fundraising concert! I’m excited to see what you can do with this.

Just to make sure all of our bases are covered, I’d like to lay out where we’re at with this, so that you have one easy place to look back to if you need any details. First off, this is all in service of our upcoming Northside Youth Rising initiative, which is intended to prevent youth violence and generally keep kids in school. Since this is such a huge undertaking, we’ll be partnering with the a couple of other Riverbend City nonprofits, the Riverbend Services Consortium and Second Chance Riverbend; outside of the nonprofit community, the coalition will include Elm Creek Lutheran Church, St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church, Crandall Manufacturing, Franzen InterTech, and liaisons from the Riverbend City school system and the Hennsey County juvenile justice system. Needless to say, that’s a lot of moving parts to manage.

Kicking this all off will be the Northside Blues Blowout fundraising concert; that’s where you come in. We’ve never tried anything at this level of size or complexity before, and I want to make sure we’re ready. I have absolute trust in your ability to project-manage the concert. However, I do worry about our ability as an organization to all pull the oars at the same time, if you catch my drift. We’re not going to be able to coordinate very well with a bunch of external entities if we’re not functioning as a team. To that end, I’d feel a lot better about this if you could do sort of an informal stakeholder survey, just talk to people around the hall and see if people seem like they’re in the right frame of mind to do this. After you’ve done this, I’d love to get your read on what people are saying and what kind of situation this all adds up to.

Thanks- we’re counting on you!

— Jayme


Susan Shirey

Of course, I’m very excited for the initiative overall and for the benefit concert in particular. Actually, it’s the concert I’m the most excited for- I want to help pick the artists! My nephew’s partner is a northside rapper, and I see just enough of that scene to know it’s really exciting. When you put together the talent committee, I want to be on it. Can I be on it, please?

Gonna be honest, I think I need that committee to look forward to. I’m really worried about burnout in the next six months or so. Like, we’re still busy closing out the capital campaign, and that’s not going to be resolved for a while yet. We’re past the peak of it, but the work’s ongoing, and it’s going to continue even after the campaign formally closes—we still have to collect those pledges, after all. We staffed up a little bit to cover the increased needs of the capital campaign on top of our normal development operations—which never stop, after all— but that was just barely enough. Now we’re adding another layer with however the fundraising burden winds up getting distributed with the Blues Blowout and the Initiative. I understand that there are bigger forces at play here that are driving the timing of all this, but WOW do I wish we were doing this a year from now. We’ll make it work, I guess, but I shudder to think of the corners that might wind up getting cut, or the risks for stuff to fall through the cracks. And that’s just here.

So, yeah. Can I be on the talent committee?

Pa Shoua Vang

I think it’s great that we’re stepping up our game like this! Both ways, I mean. It’s exciting that we’re taking on this big multi-level initiative, and it’s exciting that we’re having a big old party to kick it off and fund it.

I have to say I’m a little curious about how this is all going to go down. I already get kind of squicked out by our decision making process here. I don’t mean to talk behind anybody’s back, but ever since Jayme’s been Executive Director, I know I’ve felt kind of micromanaged on events, especially fundraisers. It’s gotten pretty frustrating—we’ll be deep into the planning stage, I’ll be close to finalizing contracts with vendors, and then Jayme swoops in and undercuts my decisions on little stuff like food, decoration, and all that. It’s really frustrating! It’s hard for me to do my job just at our existing level without the power to make my own decisions. I really have some qualms about what it’s going to be like trying to get stuff done and coordinate with all of these outside groups when we can’t get our own act together with this stuff. I think Jayme’s been a great leader overall, but this one thing has been really problematic, and I think there’s a big risk it’s going to bite us in the butt very soon.

Frank Willoughby

I know that, informally, I’m already starting to see a lot of message confusion about all of this. I get together for lunch once a month with other marketing folks from the Riverbend City nonprofit community, just to network and talk shop. A bunch of them have heard rumors about what we’re up to, and they’re really confused. Does this mean we’re going to stop what we’ve always been doing? Are we merging?

I’ve been able to set them straight, but it has me concerned that we haven’t thought this all through in terms of our messaging. If these people who are pros in the business are confused, what’s the public going to make of this? We’ve already muddied the waters for our general-operation fundraising a little bit with a capital campaign… now we’re going to throw in this separate other venture? I don’t know if people are going to be completely clear on who we are anymore and what we’re doing, and why we’re soliciting them. I mean, on some level it’s my job to take the tough challenges and make ’em work, that’s why they pay me the big bucks… but I wonder if we’re not setting ourselves up for trouble here.

Thomas Velazquez

I think we’re in trouble. If we’re going to make this work, we’re really going to need to clean up a bunch of our acts here. Every damned thing we do takes weeks of meetings to make sure we have a consensus and every voice is heard. I know, I know, that’s supposed to be good practice blah blah blah, everyone feels valued, whee. But what it means is that we take forever to make any decision, and really it’s just a big charade because everyone talks but 9 times out of 10 we wind up doing what the first idea was to begin with. It’s ridiculous, and it keeps us from being as great an organization as it could be. I have no idea how we’re supposed to deal with all these partners when we’re gonna have to have a damned town hall meeting before every decision.

Part of what rankles so bad with all this consensus silliness is that we’ve got a lot of dead wood around here. Look, I know Pa Shoua Vang’s a nice person, but she is stone cold incompetent at her job and it drives me nuts that we can never execute a decision until she chimes in. Why? Why do we need to get input from the woman so useless at her job that Jayme has to backstop her and do all of her work for her? It’s ridiculous. I love the mission of the Boys’ and Girls’ Club, and I really believe in the work we do here, but the organizational culture here is really hard to take. People outside of the building don’t believe me when I tell them how we operate; I think we’re all in for a rude awakening when we have to interface with these other groups that aren’t so dysfunctional.

Reflection Questions

Identify the potential organizational problems faced by the Riverbend City Boys and Girls Club. What themes do these problems share?

Your response:

This question has not been answered yet.

If the leadership of the Boys and Girls Club asked you to suggest two changes to improve the internal dynamics of the organization, what would they be?

Your response:

This question has not been answered yet.


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