The Systems Approach and Inclusion Melbourne

Introduction

Management studies have taken on a new trend in that organizations are perceived with a systems perspective (McNamara, Free Management Library). The vast number of innovative changes in their style of operations has prompted organizations to wake up to new methods of rapid and sure accomplishment. Inclusion Melbourne Incorporation is one such organization working in the Australian community and established a stamp of success in its ventures.

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Inclusion Melbourne Incorporation

This not-for-profit organization has endeavored to work with people with intellectual disabilities. They have aimed to help this group of people to develop a lifestyle that is totally personal and according to their individual wants and needs. The intellectually disabled normally are not given an opportunity to live as respected citizens. Inclusion Melbourne has changed that perspective. Preparing them to take up employment, learning, and leisure activities has provided the scope for making meaningful contributions to society.

How can we classify Inclusion Melbourne in terms of the type of organization?

Three theories have been recognized: the classical, human relations, and systems approach (Kelly and Kelly, 1998). The classical theory simulates an organization to a machine. Rational and economic considerations influence the members of the organization. A model is an economic man for the purposes of analysis. The second organization theory, the human relations approach, is based on the notion that emotions govern the feelings of human beings. They want to do and feel good about their actions, wishing to be part of the overall success. The third systems theory comes into play in an organization that has many inter-related parts. It can be simulated to a living creature; it seeks goals, imports things, transforms them through various processes, and exports back into the environment a value-added product that provides the profit (Kelly and Kelly, 1998). Inclusion Melbourne is obviously using the systems approach to expand its wings and ensuring successful operation. The value-added product here is the “enabled.”

An intellectually disabled person who can thenceforth live an almost normal life with a job and making his individual contributions.

Inclusion Melbourne as a system

“A system is a collection of parts or sub-systems integrated to accomplish an overall goal” (McNamara, Free Management Library). An organization is a system of people who work together to achieve a collective result. It is no more running on the shoulders of the head of the organization; each and every participant in the hierarchy contributes to the successful enterprise. Systems are inclusive of the inputs, processes, outputs, outcomes, and feedback among the various parts (McNamara, Free Management Library). Webb (2006) has many suggestions for utilizing a systems approach to correct the various problems that she has found in another organization, the Ecosystems-based Fisheries Management. The dynamic relationships were to be identified, and policies, legal implications, and management actions were to be coordinated. The key requirements were to be identified using a “comprehensive framework” (Webb, 2006). This has special significance for Inclusion Melbourne, which is a social service organization that probably had these problems and solved them as necessary to reach the present situation.

Inclusion Melbourne is a system organized to provide goods and services to the intellectually disabled who have needs. Wakefield was doubtful about the relevance of the systems theories in social work practice (1996 as cited in Warren et al, 1998).

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Organizational behavior

“Organizational behavior (OB) is the study of individual and group behavior in an organizational setting” (Kelly and Kelly, 1998, p. 3). A better working definition says: “Organizational behavior is the systematic study of the nature of organizations: how they begin, grow, and develop, and their effect on individual members, constituent groups, other organizations, and larger institutions.” (Kelly and Kelly, 1998, p.5). Structure, process, and values are the dimensions that can be applied to the various behavioral systems of the individual, the group, the organization, and the society. In this system, the task and the human are the end-products (Kelly and Kelly, 1998). The existential systems approach indicated by Kelly and Kelly, 1998, hopefully builds an efficient system that yields a meaningful achievement. Consumer demand has made organizational behavior an essential component of the industry. Organizations are variable, and needs are to be negotiated cautiously. Inclusion Melbourne which uses the systems approach comprises various activities which are governed by separate teams of staff. Each team is independently capable of performing its function expertly.

The services of Inclusion Melbourne

The world of the intellectually disabled has changed for the better with the services of Inclusion Melbourne. Each individual who is covered is asked about his activities, his choice of employment, his possible contributions to the community, and his control over decision-making. A life pattern is planned inclusive of his mentioned needs. Unique services tailored for his specific needs are then accessed to him.

Community-based services are provided by organizing activities incorporating various individual interests (About Inclusion Melbourne, Inclusion Melbourne Inc.). Different outreach programs are arranged, and the individuals who are interested are encouraged to participate. “TAFE, Neighbourhood Houses, clubs, groups, recreation programs, and voluntary or paid work experience” are some of the programs arranged. The beneficiaries are also trained to travel comfortably with the least problems.

Family gatherings are arranged to facilitate meetings between the caregivers and families of the beneficiaries as the home environment is of prime importance to the disabled.

(About Inclusion Melbourne, Inclusion Melbourne Inc.). This is understood to be highlighting the partnership between the caregivers and the families in ensuring that the intellectually disabled have the best outcome. One critical aim of the organization is to help the intellectually disabled develop and enjoy relationships that extend beyond the organizational activity so that they are not lonely.

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Their operations

A voluntary board of management handles the administration. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is appointed by the Board. Another staff is selected by the CEO. Transport for the beneficiaries is arranged by using taxis when necessary. Fees are taken for providing the services: compulsory fees for a one-year membership and Support Coordination. There are fees also for the support services of “planning, direct staffing, recruitment costs, transport costs” (About Inclusion Melbourne, Inclusion Melbourne Inc).

The staff

The coordinated efforts of the staff are the pillars of the success of Inclusion Melbourne.

Their strong support of the motto “People Creating Better Lives” has helped them “work together, imagine better and achieve more” (About us, Gavith Villa). Good relationships, well-being, and innovative changes were seen among the staff also are the implications of the logo.

Kevin Craig, the Chief Executive Officer, has been familiar with the disability field for 25 years. The individual support staff, Robyn Gray, has been performing his functions expertly for nine years. He has been intelligently thinking about the rights of the clients and championing their cause. His wise investigations and thinking beyond the requirements have been instrumental.

In achieving commendable results (About us, Gavith Villa), the literacy program at Phoenix Park for students is supported by Heather Anderson, who has adopted innovative changes for them. Alister Carl has provided a professional touch to the Arts Program. The impressive administrative team is led by a pleasant person, Samy Sathiya, who has enhanced the quality of the administrative services. The volunteers, who provide meaningful services, have made great inroads into the lives of the people who need them, and they are guided by Helen Calundro. A support worker who has touched the hearts of many is Natalie Robertson. We can believe that the staff of the organization has been responsible for its obvious success. Together they have supported the intellectually disabled to attain a life of good relationships and purposes (About us, Gavith Villa).

How they could have contributed

The behavior of a person in an organization will be invariably different from how he behaves as an individual. His perceptions, emotions, and actions lead him to behave differently in both situations. The level in the hierarchy in which the individual is placed will normally influence his behavior (Kelly and Kelly, 1998). If he is a manager in the higher rungs, we can expect his subordinates to nurse a feeling of dependency on the boss or higher manager. Probably psychologically, they may even feel apprehensive about that higher person. Bosses are not likely to think that they are deemed autocratic by their subordinates. However, their expertise in getting the consensus opinion reveals their organizational behavior as they are focused on the task to be achieved. Technically speaking, the dimension of structure in the organization is “a framework of perceptions or roles, the processes, a sequence of meaningful events and values, a set of useful beliefs for a purpose” (Kelly and Kelly, 1998). This is evident in Inclusion Melbourne. There is hardly a problem due to a difference in ranking. Simultaneous with the development of the structure, processes, and values, the individuals join various workgroups. The formal organization will have departments and sections depending on the tasks foreseen. It also develops an informal organization within it. Both together contribute to the organizational behavior of Inclusion Melbourne.

Further changes are seen in organizational behavior due to individual psychology and group dynamics. Efforts need to be made so that the behavior rises above individual and group concerns to the organizational level. Inclusion Melbourne, where the individuals who are working at the various levels of the organization have merged into their roles, demonstrates this.

Another problem noted in organizations is the feeling that all issues have hidden agendas. The tendency to interpret this is high. Simple explanations are overlooked for unobvious reasons. Occasionally these may be the real reasons, and the concerned individual has taken pains to hide the matter for fear of ridicule. This problem does not have a place in an organization like Inclusion Melbourne, which is a non-profit organization and is solely involved in social work for the intellectually disabled.

Research indicates that productive work is done by an individual only 25% of the time. Interpretation of this would be that the individuals are working against the organization and the people who would have benefited from the good work of the organization. Inclusion Melbourne does not have this problem. Their productive work is nearly 100% as they select and limit their number of beneficiaries.

Innovative changes

Economic growth requires innovation through the “creation, diffusion and use of knowledge” (Carayannis and Campbell, 2006). Innovation diffusion is the adoption of advanced methods and technologies by new users to ensure successful implementation (Manley, 2002). Complex interactions between nations and their sharing of technological information lead to innovation. Changes are accommodated better in certain economies. This could be due to the firms being flexible and able to promote linkages between the organizations. Ample collaboration allows the imbibing and development of innovations (Carayannis and Campbell, 2006). Inclusion Melbourne being a non-profit organization, cannot be described as having economic growth.

A system has a multi-level architecture which is considered an aggregate concept. The multi-levels can be the innovation, science, and technology followed by the research and experimental development; the innovation being highly aggregate, the science and technology less aggregate, and the research and development least aggregate (Carayannis and Campbell, 2006). In advanced economies and societies, innovative knowledge allows communication between the political systems and economic systems (Carayannis and Campbell, 2006). Hypotheses of modern political economy can be tested based on these.

The multiple linkages in the network open up the dynamic capability of the network. Policy workers can study a range of options before crafting programs (Paredes et al, 2004).

The Innovative changes in the Inclusion Melbourne

The organization started as Gawith Villa. Evolutionary changes have been made in the staff, location, activities, and the beneficiaries as and when needs have changed. The one thing that has been maintained as the uniform is the desire to shape a better future for intellectually disabled people.

In 1951, a group of family members decided to take the step to improve the circumstances of the intellectually disabled and called their association ‘Helping hand Association’. A donation of a building from C.S.Gawith, the Mayor of Prahran, started the organization in 1954. Training and support services with creative skills workshops and training for life skills were started in 1961. Renovations frequently occurred at the base. In 2007, the business base was moved to 67 Sutherland Road. The name was changed to Inclusion Melbourne. The worth and value of every person and his right “to live in, contribute to, and be respected by the community is the belief that is still keeping this organization on its feet. Relationships are believed to be worthy gifts. The organization goes forward with the conviction that there must be something better to offer the intellectually disabled.

The membership of Inclusion Melbourne includes “disabled persons, families of service users, caregivers, local community individuals and groups, community agencies, health, and human services professionals, educators and academics, human services students, local businesses and other interested people”. The members participate in the organizational activities, which include developmental activities, support services for the disabled, training programs, and promotion of social changes in the community. Like-minded people who are motivated towards such services may join as members.

Conclusion

Inclusion Melbourne, previously Gawith Villa, is a successful social organization that has adopted the systems approach to reach its present status. The unity of the effort must be appreciated as the intellectually disabled are transformed into able and useful members of a community and who are enabled to live life to the full. This, being a non-profit organization, is slightly different from a corporate organization in that economic progress is not a consideration in the success. The output is in the form of services to the beneficiaries, and the success lies in adding each member who is intellectually disabled and who makes some form of contribution to the community. The fact that the workers of the organization remain for long years conveys the satisfaction and the interest for the service to mankind.

References

  1. About Inclusion Melbourne,  Inclusion Melbourne Inc. Web.
  2. About Us, Web.
  3. Carayannis, E.G. and Campbell, D.F.J. (2006) “ Knowledge Creation, Diffusion, and Use in Innovation Networks and Knowledge Clusters: A Comparative Systems Approach across the United States, Europe, and Asia”.Pub by Praeger.
  4. Kelly, J. and Kelly, L. (1998). “An Existential-Systems Approach to Managing Organizations.” Published by Quorum Books. Place of Publication: Westport, CT.
  5. Manley, K. (2002). “The Systems Approach to Innovation Systems” Australian Journal of Information Systems, Vol.9. No.2, p. 94-102.
  6. McNamara, C. (n.d.) “Thinking About Organizations as Systems”, Free Management Library. Web.
  7. Paredes, T.A. et al, (2004). “A Systems Approach to corporate governance reform: Why importing the US corporate law isn’t the answer”( 2004). Washington U. School of Law Working Paper No.
  8. Warren, K. et al, (2996). “New Directions in System theory: Chaos and complexity”. Social Work, Vol. 43.
  9. Webb, H. (2006). “Ecosystems Based Fisheries Management”.
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