Effects of a reformulation of prioritized objectives upon the attitudes and composition of a professionally-oriented, volunteer governing body within an agency of the “third sector”: A case study
The purpose of this study is to determine what effect, if any, the reformulation of prioritized goals at the national level of a voluntary health organization will have upon the attitudes and ultimate composition of a professionally-oriented, volunteer governing body of an agency within the "third sector."
In an attempt to satisfy this objective, a comprehensive analysis beginning with the inception of the voluntary health organization was undertaken. The initial objectives and subsequent changes in these objectives were traced through the entire seventy-five year period of the organization's existence. Extreme care was exercised in determining what effect this series of changes had upon the board of directors at both the intermediate (state) level as well as the local level. Because of the length of time the local organization had been in existence, it was necessary to rely upon written records dating back to the beginning of the twentieth century as well as the memories of senior members of the local board.
To determine the effect of past goal reformulations and the potential effect of those that may occur in the future, personal interviews were conducted with several members of the present governing body of the organization. In addition to those cited in this work, other interviews were undertaken over a fifteen month period to help determine the accurateness of the selected sample. Since the local third sector agency had only one chief operating officer for a period of nearly three decades his opinions of the organization regarding its past and future activities was solicited.
Based upon the results of this inquiry, it is clear that reformulation of goals at the national level does have an effect upon the attitudes and composition of the local governing board. In addition, goal reformulation generally involves reorganization at the local level which is often resisted by the local board and may help account for the rate of attrition or at the very least the inactivity of several members. At the same time, each reorganization has had the effect of attracting a much wider variety of individuals to the board of directors. Generally this may be desirable provided this change in board composition remains fairly consistent with those changes which are taking place within society - that body of individuals which the voluntary health organization purports to service.
The disadvantage of a series of goal reformulations and concomitant reorganizations is that they require vast amounts of time devoted to matters which solely effect the internal operations of the organization and are often not construed as being necessary or desirable for the enhance meet of the health of the clientele group. It has been this type of activity in the past which has prompted the resignation of key members of the governing body and the disenchantment of that group of volunteers who perform a vast array of supportive services. If this trend continues it would be reasonable to expect that both those professional volunteers serving on the governing body as well as those performing the clerical aspects of the program of work would be affected as in turn could the integrity and goal achievement of the organization surveyed.
0703: Organizational behavior
0703: Organization theory