Analysis of a Professional or Workplace Organization: Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.

Abstract

This paper is an analysis of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., a professional organization using the Bolman and Deal’s four frames.  In details, the paper discusses the organization perceives each of the frames; structural, human resource, political and symbolical in its management dealings. In the paper, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. is shown to have had a strong leadership that emphasizes in clarity on the division of work and coordination of all the activities of the organization. Care for the human resource is not underestimated, and there has been facilitation of the alignment between members and the needs of the organization. People have always been attended to through open communication, empowerment, support and coaching and establishment of effective teams. To achieve distributive justice in Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., empowerment has been the central focus as leaders concentrated on bargaining, negotiating and setting agendas by making sure that power is concentrated in the right places and is dispersed appropriately. Through proper leadership, faith has been built and meaning shared among the Omega men through hope and promise. Actors have always played their parts effectively and symbols have always had meaning. Leaders see possibilities and communicate to the members effectively. They create a shared vision, manage meaning and infuse creativity and passion through building on the past for a new vision of the yet to come, leading by example and leveraging the power n ceremony.

Analysis of a Professional or Workplace Organization: Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.

Introduction

The four frame theory was developed by Bolman and Deal (2003) as a means that led to the understanding of organizations as well as leadership within them. The developers defined frames to mean the lens used by individuals to view the world. Through the frames, people can filter unwanted things from the world so that they do not see them; thereby in reality the frames are skewed and inaccurate. However, the frames are essential in helping people make sense of the world and experience therein as they assist in determining and guiding their actions.

According to Bolman and Deal (2003), each person has frames that are personal and preferred, which they utilize in gathering information, making judgments, determining behavior and explaining behavior. Moreover, each of the available frames gives a version of life in an organization, while providing specific ideas, methods and processes that range narrowly, which can possibly be used in improving the organizational efficiency and productivity. Bolman and Deal (2003) recommended four frameworks, which when arranged in order are structural, human resource, political and symbolic. The structural framework is concerned with factories and machines, the human resource framework views the organization as a family unit, and the political framework perceives the organization as a jungle, while the symbols framework entails theatres, temples or carnivals.

In the past, leadership was all about competencies and skills like being able to plan, finance and analyze a business. Command and power controlled businesses, and the leader managed people like pawns, which made it very difficult to achieve efficiency in organizations. When the leaders in the organization spoke, employees jumped out of fear that was created within them. While the system of career in many organizations is still founded on functional skills that are hard to possess in order to progress, executives aiming to reach the top of their organization need many varying skills. Although many corporate leaders today are capable of doing financial analysis and plan strategically, their communication of ideas to the organization employees might be poor. In addition, they might lack the insight of the manner in which they can motivate the staff. Therefore, modern leaders in any organization need a collection of skills (Thompson, 2000).

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc is an international community that has more than 750 chapters for undergraduate and graduate. Founded in 1911, the fraternity has been the first at a black university to predominantly consist of African Americans (Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., 2014). Antonio Knox is currently serving as the 40th Grand Basileus of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. under his leadership, he has promised to continue with the mission of uplifting the community and serve as a mentor for the youths of African American origin. In addition, he aims at championing the efforts of the ongoing civil rights. Other than his leadership role in Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc, he is North Carolina’s credit union division deputy administrator where he regulates and controls above 2 million members as well as assets worth $30 billion. The fraternity has partnered with various groups such as Feed the children and the Malcolm Foundation where almost 1,300 families have benefited from non-perishable items that the fraternity offered. Therefore, the main objective has been community service required (Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., 2014). The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. has sustained throughout the years since it was founded through its ability to recognize the four frames and integrate them well in its management for the achievement of its main business, which is community service.

 

 

Four-Frame Analysis

The organizational influence by leaders can be understood using leadership models. Bolman & Deal (2003) suggest that there are behaviors portrayed by leaders, which fall in one of the provided four frameworks. For successful organizational management, a specific organizational setting is required.

Structural. Rationally, organizations are perceived as instruments that have been designed to realize the set objectives (Sowell, 2014). Therefore, an organization such as Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. was established with a purpose of serving the community, and is for this reason that the activities of and the communications of its members are coordinated centrally to realize a shared objective. Moreover, the behaviors in the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. are sensible, which means that the role relations and individual roles are given out notwithstanding the individual personal characteristics in the structure.

Strategies drives organizations and it has been the responsibility of the management of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. to develop these strategies and align them with the external environment, while at the same time considering the organizational structure. There are two approaches towards the development of strategy. In the prescriptive approach, the objective of the organization has to be defined before the strategy is brainstormed. As far as Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. is concerned, the organization’s main objective has been defined, which is to serve the community. In the second approach where no clear objective is present, strategy development occur during the process, and this is an emergent approach that is not practiced by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.

The strategy approach taken by an organization is what determines the roles that each member plays to achieve the set goals, and this is what generate the strategic opportunity by the organizational structure from the management based on the environment, relations, technology, human resource and political power. A change in strategy is very important in planning and leaders like Antonio Knox can use it in change management of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.

The core aim of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. is to serve the community, an objective that is founded on friendship that the members believe that is important to the soul. The major principles that guide the functionality of the organization include manhood, scholarship, uplift and perseverance.   There have been internal growths in the organization since 1922. For example, the district representatives have continued to increase and today there are eleven officers.  The Lambda Chapter was organized in 1923 at Southern California University.  The organization became the pioneer black Greek association, whose membership spa across America from the Pacific to the Atlantic. IN 1931, the hymn, Omega Dear, was made official. By 1940, the “Sweetheart Song” was made the official sweetheart song, and in 1941 Ernest E. entered the Omega chapter. The fraternity has undertaken a National Social Action program since 1945 with an aim of meeting the African American needs in the health, housing, education and civil rights. By 1949, the scholarship fund got renamed in Charles R.’s honor.

In the fifties, the primary organization thrust became the social action to the community as many Omega men actively became involved in the battle to eradicate discrimination based on race. In the sixties, the Omega members shifted the social justice into higher level as they participated actively in the civil rights demonstrations. In addition, the undergraduate brothers got involved in the demonstrations of the fights of civil rights. In the seventies, the revised constitution and by-law became effective. The life membership program was revived, thereby resulting in many memberships. By today, the organization is committed to promote humanities. This has resulted in many notable Omega men that are leading in science, arts, business, government and businesses.

Human Resource. Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. is seen as an extended family. Therefore, each member in the organization has to behave ethically by caring for every member of the family. Even though individuals are rational intentionally, some human behaviors are irrational. For example, when people report to work in the morning, they carry their emotions and feelings to work. As a result, both economic and non-economic objectives are chased side by side. As far as the human domain is concerned, the man issue is the manner in which the human needs can be integrated with the rationality of the organization.

The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. considers people as an essential assets, which makes the organization pay a lot of attention of motivation of people, the organizational culture and the personal desire to manage and keep individuals work effectively and confortable. The leaders of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. have been putting members and shareholders first. Through his efforts, Antonio has been an effective leader and has used the corporate brand across its services to the community. His values are innovation, quality, innocence and fun. He is a servant leader and a couch to the organization’s members. He recognizes the needs of the organizations members and controls it to keep on being in the front line, while leveraging the organizational powers and influence to uplift the people and the community.

For example, as far as the sentencing reform and the correction act is concerned, Antonio counts on the Omega members because he values them and knows that he cannot do it by his own. Men of Omega have been called to join in huge numbers in support of the petition. This is in a bid to give the African Americans the justice they deserve because they are affected by the mass incarceration disproportionately, and sentencing reform and correction act as well as the sentencing reform act will help towards changing the justice system, which is broken and every citizen will be able to be given equal justice (Fruehauf, Al-Khalifa, Coniker, & Grant Thornton, 2015).

In Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., the knowledge, skills and suggestions of other Omega members are very important to the organization. Today, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. has continued to flourish because the leaders are men of the highest intellect and ideals. Moreover, the founders, Coleman, Cooper, just and love ensured the selection and attraction of men with similar characteristics and ideals. Among the greatest black men in America are or were members of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.

Political. Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. is perceived as an arena or jungle. The management has a responsibility to ensure that justice prevail in all of the organizational dealings. From the perspective of politics, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. is a coalition of diverse people and groups with withstanding differences in values and inclinations. The organization is not controlled by a sole center like the rational view assumes, but an overriding partnership of interest groups. Therefore, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. operates with unresolved goal conflicts. Based on the human domain view, malfunctions may arise from the misalignment of the organizational structure or from human resource deficiency. However from the political view, conflicting interests and the scarcity of resource can inevitably turn organizations to be political.

In Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., as far as admission to the National Pan-Hellenic Council was concerned, there are those individuals that are for the ideas of pledging as an admission form before 1990. However, to ensure that justice was served for all, all member organizations came together in discussing the issue and ended up disbanding the pledging. The members reaffirmed their equivocal hazing opposition and people that seek to preserve it. The membership intake process has been difficult thereby resulting to issues. Through the relevant policy, the leadership of the organization has emphasized the founding ideal of the fraternity as a way to overcome resistance (Kimbrough, 2009).

Since the core business of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. is to serve the community, there are several policies that have been put in place. Policies relating to website guidelines, anti-hazing statement, legal notices, vendors and trademarks or logo usage have been put in place to guide the operations in the organization and to ensure that justice prevails. As far as the personal usage of the organization’s website document is concerned, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. has authorized users to view, download or copy and print documents for personal use available, but following the set conditions to the later. For instance, the organization prohibits users to modify the documents from the website.

Symbolic. In the organization, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., people view it as a carnival, a temple or a theatre that is controlled by faith as the organizational ethics of its members. The human experience is significantly shaped by the role symbolism plays. While in the rational domain life is a choice, the organizational life is founded on the decisions made. In the later regard, making of decisions is a field for symbolic actions.  The expression of processes and events is more important compared to the products thereafter. In Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., leaders have been using symbols to capture the attention of the members towards achievement of the set objectives as they framed experiences through provision of plausible experience interpretations.

For example, the current leader, Antonio, communicates the vision of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. He understands the matters that affect the population served by the organization and aims at offering a solution. For example, he has made plans for 2017 for the organization to give support to St. Jude Game Day. As a national volunteer, the organization has been in partnership with St. Jude Children’s research Hospital and offers support for the doctors and researcher to go on leading the way understood by the world, treating an defeating cancer in childhood as well as other diseases that are life threatening. In the symbolic frame, policies and the authority of the management matters less, while the symbols, culture and spirit provide the pathway to the effectiveness of the organization. Therefore, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. leaders have always been challenged to create faith in its members and partnerships and maintain it (Jenkins, 2012).

Antonio and other leaders that have previously served Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. have led in the assumption that individuals no not interpret the experiences the same way. The making of meaning is the main process of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. and through the creation of an efficient culture of the organization; members can emotionally and intellectually identify with therein practices in faith that their values and beliefs are valid and lead to a positive impact to the served community.

Conclusion

             Each of the four frames suggested by Bolman and Deal (2003) put forward issues or areas for attention and mediation. The design of the model is based on multi-frame thinking and presentation. The structural frame emphasize on the organizational architecture including the roles, goals, relationships and coordination of events. In Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., the architecture has been excellent and this is why the organization has continued to execute its mandate effectively over years since its foundation. While the main challenge for many organizations and their leaders involves aligning structural forms with the present circumstances of the organization, leadership in Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. ensured that all the structural forms are aligned to the goals set.

The frame on human resource focuses on understanding organizational individuals and their associations. The leadership in Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. has always recognized that the fraternity members have feelings, needs, fears, biases and opportunities for development. Therefore, the leaders have always focused and understood the fit that existed between the people and the organization. Since the management has been attending to people, the organization has been able to meet its needs as the jobs are done by people that feel good concerning their responsibilities.

The political frame focuses on power, opposition and gaining resources. It emphasizes on the manner in which differences in values, beliefs, behavior and competencies provide a context for the power and resource allocation. The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. has managed its political frame effectively by setting an agenda, negotiations, coalition building and conflict management. The setting of policies in different areas has enabled the omega men to work towards a common goal while avoiding conflicts in the organization. Therefore, it is through effective management and leadership that has enabled Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. disburses power and influence, thereby determining its effectiveness as an organization.

The life in an organization is treated as drama as the organizations are captured as theatres, carnivals or temples. For Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. to have survived through the many years since its foundation, its members must have been having meaning and faith. It is a frame that ensures the engagement of the heads and hearts of the members as it focuses on the culture and rituals. The meaning that Omega Men have had is more important than the results, because it is through meaning that their efforts are geared towards community service. The built up faith in those members and the shared meaning infuses into passion and creativity.

Summary

  • The four frames by Bolman & Deal (2003) are structural, human resource, political and symbolical.
  • Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.’s main business is to serve the community
  • Structurally, the organization has set goals and procedures for attaining the goals through adherence to the rules and policies put in place
  • The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. has recognition that it operates as a family and that its members have individual needs and feelings.
  • Politically, the management recognizes that the organization consists of people with different interests that compete for power and resources. It appreciates that conflicts are normal.
  • The Omega members appreciate the culture of the organization and find meaning in what they commit to do.
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