United States Is the Diversity Assessment

  • Length: 18 pages
  • Sources: 3
  • Subject: Business - Management
  • Type: Assessment
  • Paper: #62722507

Excerpt from Assessment :

Because of the newer mobility of a significant amount of suburban America, driving to national parks was even more an option. The more people visited the Parks, it seemed, the more of a synergistic effect upon their funding and use (Jensen and Guthrie, 2006).

By the Johnson Administration in the 1960s, coupled with more media attention, there was increased public awareness of America's natural treasures. This was now that "Parks for People" Campaign. During this period there was also a fairly significant new awareness about ecology and the natural environment. The mission of the National Parks Service was called into question. Reacting to this, Congress passed the General Authorities Acts of 1970, which became known as the "Redwood Amendment," since a large part of the Act was devoted to conserving Redwood National Park. Based on political pressure from citizens, Congress was also forced to provide a rather significant funding increase not only to expand National Park areas, but to provide more services (educational, lodging areas, hiking trails, etc.). The environmental community seemed particularly strong during these times, calling attention to oil spills, pollution, and extinction issues resulting in much greater attention towards the maintenance and expansion of the NPS (O'Brien, 1999).

The National Park Service recognized that working with partners' organizations greatly enhances its ability to protect park resources and provide educational and other visitor services. This includes opportunities with in the parks and beyond park boundaries. There are many kinds of partners. Some provide funding for NPs programs, while others technical expertise for NPS projects. Some are the national level, while others are at the park of office level. While these partners are not actually a part of the NPS, they all share the Service's interest in the management of the national parks. Partnering also helped the NPS add more Alaskan areas duing the 1980s to now include more than 380 parks covering more than 83 million acres in every state of the Union. Its mission remains true to its founding, and despite criticism and the ebb and flow of emphasis and funding based on the administration in power, it supports the preservation of natural and historic places, as well as outdoor recreational areas outside the system through grants and partners (The National Park Service, 2002).

Hierarchy & Structure: The NPS has a chain-of-command structure that begins with the NPS director, extends down to the regional directors, and continues to each park or office. In general, the highest ranking position at a park is a Superintendent. Similarly, the NPS Training Centers have a Superintendent, and in Regional Offices the highest ranking position is the Regional Director. Each park of office organized its employees into different functional divisions, such as maintenance, resource management, and visitor and resource protection. Each division is lead by a Division Chief. The size and function of a park or office will determine which divisions it has and how the divisions are organized (McClelland, 1998)

Agency problems -Funding has been and continues to be a challenge for NPS. World War II had presented challenges for the NPS. Director Newton Drury had been faced with the task of protecting the nation's parks from those who wanted to use their resources for the war efforts he was besieged by many committee who wanted to use historic cannons for scrap metal, he managed to keep the parks intact. Even so the war years took their toll on the parks. Tight budgets left the NPS unable to adequately maintain facilities; and with the return on peace and the subsequent increase of travel, the parks' problems became painfully evident. The affordability of automobiles allowed the middle class a newfound mobility, visitation to national parks swelled, overwhelming run-down facilities. On June 26, 1956, in the midst of the Cold War, Congress passed the Federal Aid Highway Act, approving the creation of a 41,000-mile highway system to improve military mobility. These new roads meant that travel and, consequently, park visitation were sure to increase even more (Lee).

The challenges that Director Newton Drury faced during WWII are the same challenges many of the NPS Directors faces today. On March 17th 2010, NPS Director Jarvis told members of a House Subcommittee that "difficult economic times call for creativity, Director Jarvis told members of a House subcommittee when he presented the bureau's 2011 budget request." (inside.nps.gov). The $2.73 billion budget proposal for the National Park Service is $22 million less than the 2010 appropriations, "a fact of these economic times," Jarvis said. "we will be creative to meet the needs of Park visitors, protect resources, and continue our partnerships that help revitalize communities through local recreation and historic preservation projects. "This budget supports our mission," Jarvis said in his testimony before the House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies (Ibid).

Agency funding. The primary source of revenue used to fund the NPS is the general population- taxes, make donations, and pay fees to visit the various parks. In fact, fees collected from park visitors under FLREA have increased NPS annual revenue by tens of millions of dollars. Another important source of funding for the NPS is its partners. Partner organizations-such as the congressionally mandated National Park Foundation and any number of other independent national, state, and local organizations-conduct fundraising activities designed to support individual parks and the Service as a whole.

The development of a budget is multi-staged. It starts at the park, then moves through several levels of review and approval before finally being passed into law. As the budget request moves through the various levels of development, it "snowballs." That is, the park unit budget becomes part of the regional budget, which in turn becomes part of the total NPS budget, and so forth. At each level, the budget is also subject to modification, as politicians, partners, and special interest groups lobby for how federal money should be allocated or used. It can take more than 20 months to prepare a budget for any given fiscal year. Thus, at any given time the NPS is working on three separate budgets: two in the proposal stages, and one that is being enacted. "As a consequence of the blurred authority, heads of federal agencies, unlike their counterparts in industry, cannot set the level of their agencies' budgets. Rather, budgets must be submitted to department heads, who submitted them in turn to the Office of Management and Budget, which submits them in turn to the president, who in turn submits them to Congress (Grover, 2008, 13).

Leadership and Management - Within the context of organizational behavior, leadership is one of the most crucial aspects of the entire rubric of the organization. Scholars and philosophers alike have been trying to define leadership for centuries, albeit without much success. True, leadership is, in part, decision making at the nth level. Decision-making, of course, is one of the fundamental keys to the survival of an organization, more so now that economic boundaries between countries crumble, business becomes more complex, and the results of decisions often have global impact. Decisions are made constantly in business; it is the part and parcel of being effective in one's job. Innovation and improvement on a regular basis are required to maintain and improve the ability to make rational decisions, and some psychologists even believe that the ability to make effective decisions is at the core of the individual's success of failure within their organization (Porter, 1998; Drucker, 2001).

That being said, leaders and managers are not the same, just as leadership theory and managerial theory are similar but not synonymous. In general, a manager is someone who conducts and organizes affairs, projects, or people. Managers are given the authority by their organization to lead employees, therefore, they have subordinates. So even though managers are in charge, they are not leaders in terms of the definition. Managers do as they are directed, and in turn direct their subordinates. Management requires planning, schedules, production, and time constraints; basically management is task oriented (Brown & Pozner, 2001). The task orientation is quite critical -- management is often tactical, while leadership is strategic. Leaders do not have subordinates, they have followers. Leadership inspires, motivates and sets the direction to achieve goals; leaders focus on people. Both people and organizations want leaders. People want leaders to assist them in accomplishing their goals. Organizations want leaders to not only motivate, but to provide organizational direction for employees to follow. According to Kouzes and Posner (1994), five key behaviors for what is wanted of leaders from both people and organizations are: "(a) challenge the process, (b) inspire a shared vision, (c) enable others to act, (d) model the way, and (e) encourage the heart" (p. 960).

Leadership takes on less formal, more psychological roles, than management- even though it is possible to combine them. Leaders challenge the process. Effective leaders challenge the normal process. That is not to say that they are always controversial.…

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