Where can I go to learn more about this issue?

How do effective nurse leaders and others approach problem solving and decision making in organizations? As suggested in this week’s Learning Resources, systems theory provides a valuable way to assess situations and prepare to address problems.

For this week’s Discussion, you identify an issue or process that could be improved and apply knowledge and strategies related to systems theory.
Note: You may find it helpful to view the Assignment instructions and use the same problem for this Discussion.

To prepare:

Review the information presented in this week’s Learning Resources on systems theory and the difference between open and closed systems.
Reflect on the practices and processes with which you are familiar in your organization. Identify one problematic issue or process that could be improved.
Consider the problem from a closed-system perspective. Then think about how the issue or process you selected could be addressed by viewing it from an open-system perspective. How would the transition from a closed- to an open-system view help you and others to address the problem and improve outcomes?

On the Week 2 Discussion Board, post on or before Day 3 a description of the problem that you identified in your selected organization. Explain the problem from a closed-system perspective. Then, describe how the problem could be addressed by viewing it from an open-system perspective, and explain how this modification would help you and others improve health care outcomes.

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Organizational Structures and Leadership

In most health care settings, it is unlikely that you would hear the terms “ad hoc” or “matrix” as you walk down the hallway. Although it is helpful for any organization to delineate pathways of responsibility and authority in an organizational chart, the lived experience of these structures is most apparent through the inquiries and behaviors people share everyday.

In your own workplace, you may find yourself wondering, who should I turn to when I have a practice dilemma? or Where can I go to learn more about this issue? These questions speak to the intricacies of formal and informal organizational structure and leadership.

To prepare:

Review the information presented in Chapter 12 of the course text. Focus on the information about formal versus informal structure as well as the types of organizational structures.
Consider the overall structure or hierarchy of your organization or one with which you are familiar. Which organizational structure best describes your organization—line (or bureaucratic), ad hoc, matrix, service line, or flat? Note: It is possible to have a combination of structures in one organization. Is decision making centralized or decentralized in this organization?
What is the role of committees, task forces, and councils in the organization, and who is invited to join? Consider how this relates to formal and informal leadership.
Reflect on how decisions are made within a specific department or unit. Which stakeholders provide input or influence the decision-making process? Assess this in terms of formal and informal leadership.
To support your analysis, consider your own experiences and investigate these matters by speaking with others at the organization and reviewing available documents. Be sure to consider how the concepts of formal and informal structure and leadership relate to one another and are demonstrated in the organization and in the particular department or unit.

On the Week 3 Discussion Board, post on or before Day 3 a depiction of your organization’s formal structure, indicating whether it is best described as line, ad hoc, matrix, service line, flat, or a combination. Describe how decisions are made within the organization and within one department or unit in particular, noting relevant attributes of centralized/decentralized decision making. Explain the influence of formal and informal leadership on decision making within this department or unit

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