Management Essay Questions

Short Answer (up to 350 words):
1. You now work for an NGO. Your task is to improve the “social determinants of health” in rural America. The CDC outlines 5 key areas: economic stability, education, social/community context, health/ healthcare, and neighborhood environment. Embedded in these areas are access to the following: (healthy) food/water, stable housing, education, safe play spaces, affordable healthcare, transportation and physical safety.

For the NGO, design your ideal organizational structure, culture and approach that will allow you to meet the organization’s mission and to get that work done. Please explain why you think those choices would be best suited to your task.
Mid-length Answers (up to 500 words each):
2. At some point in the next 18 months, we’ll see the first wave of COVID-19 vaccinations. Some people are eager to take it, wanting the protection or viewing themselves as appropriate “phase 4” trial subjects. Others worry that politics have contaminated the FDA approval process and cast doubt on both the safety and efficacy of any new vaccine.
It is possible that the military as well as many health care systems will mandate that their personnel get the new (FDA-approved) vaccine as soon as it is available.
Write an opinion piece aimed at either of those audiences. In it, you may advocate for or against them taking the new vaccine.
At the end of your message (after the opinion piece text), note which communication principles you used and why you think they’d be persuasive to the intended audience.
3. Think about the IT or health care setting in which you currently work. Using tools/concepts from this course, choose two ways in which you could improve it substantively (e.g., your team, the systems, processes, broader organization…). Describe the two specific areas you want to address, what tools/concepts you’d use, and why and in what way those will help.
4. You work for a small hospital, the only one in its geographic area. It has strong ties to the community and surrounding towns. It is well run and has never had financial issues. The staff is a dedicated bunch who find creative ways to provide cutting edge, high quality care within the constraints posed by the hospital’s small size and resources. They have collegial relationships with local health care providers, many of whom don’t have admitting privileges. The hospital staff and local providers work well together to coordinate care for their patients.

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The Board recently hired a new CEO. His prior experience is in the high tech sector, most recently in consumer goods. He has spent a month poking around, and today has called everyone together. He has decided that the hospital is too siloed for such a small place. He wants more collaboration, more integration! He has decided that the heads of each department and support functions will attend an all-day meeting on Saturday to redesign the hospital. And, they will leverage the principles of holacracy in their work!

As we discussed in class, a holacracy rejects a traditional hierarchy and divisional structure in favor of self-managed small teams (“circles”) that have authority to make decisions, define roles for the work that the team needs to do, and flex and adapt as the organization’s work changes. The roles are task-based, not person-specific, which should reduce any “office politics”. Employees rely on a common set of written norms to guide their behavior. Those who had positional power and/or command-and-control authority under the old system will need to find new ways of operating. Those who didn’t have much voice before should, in
theory, be better positioned to share their expertise.
· What effect would you expect this change to have on the different workers in the hospital and their motivation/performance? Why?
· What advice would you offer the new CEO as he leads this change? Be specific on what you’re recommending and why.
· What advice would you offer to the leaders who were drafted into the Saturday meeting? Be specific and explain why you’re offering that advice.
· Is this move an innovation? Why/why not?

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