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Organizational Analysis
Anika Davis
Wayne State University
SW 4020
March 4, 2015




Organizational Analysis
This paper is an in depth analysis of Gateway Detroit East Health Services. In this
analysis, the writer will identify the agency’s type of work, mission and goals of the agency. A
personal evaluation will be included to express the writer’s opinion of the agency’s ability to
operate in a capacity that supports its mission. The organizational structure of the agency will be
examined and broken down to determine the race and gender of staff members. During the
analysis, information was gathered to examine the relationship of the organization with its
community and other organizations. Using the information gathered about the agency, the writer
will determine the agency’s level of functioning according to theoretical perspectives and
recommend a course of action to improve the overall functioning of the agency.
Organization and Services
Detroit East Health Services is a non-profit agency that services children and adults with
severe and persistent behavioral health issues and those with co-occurring diagnosis. Cooccurring diagnosis can include mental illness, substance abuse, and homelessness.
Mission and Goals
According to the agency website, its mission states:
Detroit East Health Services will ensure access to a contracted network that provides
comprehensive, culturally competent mental health and substance abuse services for
children, adults, seniors and their families. These services will support recovery,



independence, collaboration and empowerment within the home and community
(Gateway-Detroit, East, 2015).
The agency goals are to successfully provide members of Wayne County with
mental health and substance abuse services that work and assist them in finding housing that is
affordable to them. Its ultimate goal is to assist community members with the successful
treatment and management of mental health and substance abuse for integration or a return to the
community after periods of absence. These goals were determined when the founding members
recognized a steady increase in substance abuse and mental health issues throughout Detroit.
From this identified problem, the community of Detroit was chosen with a target population of
the mentally ill and/or substance abusers. Because of the growing problem, community members
and professionals recognized the need for services that would aid residents at becoming more
productive and independent citizens (Gateway-Detroit East, 2013).
The organization works to achieve these goals by offering various programs to the
community such as Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH), Skill
Building, Super Clubhouse, Assertive Community Treatment (ACT), Peer Support services, and
more. PATH offers outreach housing assistance, mental health services, assistance with SSI/SSD
benefits, and crisis intervention. Members in this program are those who suffer from serious
mental illness accompanied by homelessness or substance abuse. Those with mental illness who
are at risk of homelessness are serviced as well. This program offers rental payments to prevent
eviction on a one-time basis as well as security deposits for new housing. The PATH fund is used
to provide job training, and education services, mental health clinic services, referrals for
primary health care service, habilitation and rehabilitation services, alcohol and drug treatment,



outreach services, screening and diagnostic services, and supportive and supervised residential
setting services.
Many of the clients who use the PATH program also participate in CoOccurring/Integrated Dual Diagnosis Treatment (IDDT). Group therapy is daily in this program
along with individual therapy sessions scheduled weekly or once a month, depending on the
needs of the client. The target populations of this group are those with a mental illness diagnosis
paired with substance abuse. IDDT focuses on dual recovery. The group therapy covers an array
of topics to assist members in coping with the daily issues that may trigger their mental health
symptoms or cause relapse. Group topics include domestic violence, trauma, relapse prevention,
parenting, community life skills, substance abuse education, health & wellness, and more.
For those who do not qualify for the IDDT program, the agency offers Skill Building.
Skill Building is also a daily program that assists members with developing and improving the
skills needed to adjust socially and function within their community. Members of this program
are provided breakfast, lunch and snacks, and transportation to and from the program daily. In
order to qualify for this program the individual must be a member of the agency, live in the
community in an AFC Home or independently. Members must also attend the program three to
five days per week, and be a Medicaid or private insurance subscriber.
Two other agency programs that significantly aid in realizing agency goals are the Super
Club house and Peer Support program. Operated daily, the Super Club house allows members to
work along with staff to complete daily tasks of the clubhouse. Members get an opportunity to
develop socialization, learning, living, and working skills.
Finally, in the Peer Support program individuals who have personal experiences with
mental illness and/or substance abuse disorders are certified by Detroit East Health Services to



assist others like them with finding and receiving services to improve their quality of life. The
agency also offers child and adolescent home based mental health intervention services, a
medical and dental clinic.
At the establishment of Detroit East the goals were clear and precise. Over the course of
forty years the agency has attempted to remained focused on achieving those goals with the
implementation of its programs and providing transportation to its members. Detroit East
continues to believe that substance abuse and mental illness are diseases that with compassion,
innovative care, and community outreach, can be treated and successfully managed (GatewayDetroit East, 2015). However, it appears the line-level employees have entered into a power
struggle with upper management and the Board of Directors to remain focused on the primary
goals of the agency. Upper management seems to have shifted the focus to efficiency of
operation, paperwork, and productivity. Lower level workers struggle to maintain standards set
by upper management and still deliver quality services to clients. Typically, because of this issue
both efficiency and quality of service tend to suffer. The statement, “I can only do what I can” is
heard throughout the agency frequently. What lower-level employees mean by this statement is
that they must take care of their clients and they will do as much paperwork as possible but that
is all they can guarantee. More recently, employees have been working harder to adhere to the
organizations new guidelines and productivity goals. This has caused a severe displacement in
the original goals of the agency because staff members are no longer focused on providing
quality care. Workers focus more on quantity to meet productivity guidelines. This process has
not only affected the client’s level of care but has lowered morale amongst employees.
Organizational Structure and Staffing



The agency is set up under a bureaucratic structure. A few of the basic characteristics of a
bureaucracy according to Max Weber are:
1. positions in a bureaucratic organization are grouped into a clearly defined hierarchy
2. Job candidates are selected on the basis of their technical qualifications.
3. Each position has a defined sphere of competence.
4. Positions reflect a high degree of specialization based on expert training.
5. Positions are career oriented and there is a system of promotion according to seniority
or achievement, and promotion is dependent on the judgment of superiors (as cited in
Netting, Kettner, McMurtry & Thomas, 2012, p. 213, 214).
The breakdown of the organizational structure is explained next. Please refer to the
attached Organizational Chart for gender information.
The Board of Directors is comprised of the Chairman of the Board who is an African
American male, a Palestinian President and CEO, and an African American Chief Operating
Officer (COO) who also serves as the Medical Director. Four Directors (Arab American,
Caucasian, and 2 African Americans), and the Treasurer & Secretary (Caucasian) are direct
subordinates to the CEO. The middle level workers operate under the supervision of the COO
and Medical Director. Those employees include the Director of Consumer Financial Services,
Director of Information Technology, Clinical Administrator, Senior Director of Administration,
Director of Quality Improvement, and the Director of Human Resources (all Caucasian), all
Medical Clinic staff, and the Psychiatrists of whom one is African American and the others of



Indian descent. The Clinical Administrator manages the Clinical Supervisor (African American),
the Facilities Director (Caucasian), Therapists in the Children’s Outpatient Clinic and Children’s
Home-Based Program (all African American). Finally, the Clinical Supervisor is responsible for
over twenty-five lower level employees: These include the case management department,
employees in the ACT, Co-Occurring, and Skill Building Programs, the Super Clubhouse and
Therapists who work with adults.
All members of the Board of Directors are men except one. The one female member of
the Board is African American. Out of the middle management staff, there are three Caucasian
women and two white men. Overall, the organization is clearly diverse. Minorities as evidenced
by the Chairman, CEO, and COO hold the highest positions. The writer was unable to gather
information on the number and positions of any employees who identify as gay, lesbian, or
transgender. Two employees with disabilities were identified as therapists (Caucasian, and
African American). In the writer’s opinion there is no issue with race and oppression within the
agency however, considering there is only one woman on the Board and she is African American,
the writer suggests that there is a glass-ceiling.
Management enforces very strict guidelines for employees to adhere to with regard to
productivity and paperwork requirements. In order to ensure employees adhere to these
guidelines, threats of disciplinary action and termination are used. These approaches by
management cause employees to focus more on productivity than the improvement of their
clients. Merton coined the term “bureaucratic personality” to describe this phenomenon, he went
further to coin the term “trained incapacity” to describe how bureaucratic personalities lose focus
on the needs of their consumers (as cited in Netting et al., 2012, p. 216). Unfortunately, when



employees in the agency lose focus on the needs of their clients the clients suffer from
substandard care. They are often not allotted sufficient time to adequately address their needs
unless they are in crisis. Many social workers in the agency visit clients for 10 to 15 minutes
instead of an hour. They shorten their time with clients to see multiple people during a timeframe
they would normally spend on one. While discussing this issue with Clinical Supervisor Virgil
Williams, he was quoted, “Some level of care is better than no level of care”. Mr. Williams
believes strongly in the original goals and values of the agency. He stated if the agency turned
away people in need they too would have smaller caseloads but then the people in need would
truly suffer a disservice (personal communication, February 16, 2015). Employees who have
consistently failed to meet productivity have been terminated from the agency causing larger
case loads for the remaining staff. Other employees have resigned after finding more attractive
positions with smaller caseloads. Again, this effects remaining employees with even larger case
loads that make it virtually impossible for them to service every client. The operations of
management if continued in this fashion may prove to be detrimental to the organization.
Internal and External Environment
The agency is deeply rooted in the community. To ensure community members are aware
of the organization the ACT program offers an outreach program that provides services in the
client’s home or community. These services are available 24 hours a day. This program is able to
reach community members who might not otherwise be aware of the agency. The PATH program
has the SOAR Initiative, which is an outreach program that targets homeless service providers
such as shelters, churches, and soup kitchens. The medical clinic is a key aspect in the



organizations community relations because it not only services members of the agency, but
provides services to members of the community in need of medical or dental care.
Community outreach programs, hospital referrals and crisis line, and referrals from
primary care physicians aid the agency in obtaining clients. The newest population to the agency
is referred by the court system or a psychiatric hospital on a Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity
contract (NGRI).
The agency has a strong collaboration with organizations such as Capuchin which offers
food services to agency clients in need. The agency has a HUD program located inside which
operates separate from the agency. HUD provides low cost housing for qualified members, rental
assistance, and assistance with security deposits for affordable housing.
As stated in the attached SWOT Analysis, the agency is funded by state and local funds
including the Detroit Wayne County Community Mental Health Authority (DWCCMHA or
DWMHA). Grants and minimal in-kind donations are utilized. The writer was unable to gather
any specific information regarding funding from the organization or electronic sources. During
an interview with Elizabeth Richardson, case management supervisor I was told that financial
information was not ready to be shared outside of the organization (personal communication,
January 26, 2015).
Theoretical Construct of Organization
After assessing the agency’s strengths and weaknesses, and managerial approaches the
writer believes the best organizational theory to describe the agency is the Management by
Objectives model. I chose this theory because the agency was originally created based on an



identified problem in the community. The founders determined what they wanted to achieve then
worked to establish an agency that could achieve those goals. Over time the organization has
shifted its focus on maintaining certain goals that suit upper-level employees or Board members.
In the case of this organization, it does not seem that middle management has realized the shift in
objectives. Middle-level staff members have not recognized that the agency has become an
institutionalized organization. According to Selznick, this term speaks to the way in which an
organization starts to operate to satisfy the interests of the leaders more than those it is intended
to service (as cited in Bagozzi & Phillips, 2012).
In assessing Detroit East Community Health Services, the writer has identified several
key issues within the agency. The problem the writer will address is the heavy caseloads of the
case managers within the office. As stated in the SWOT Analysis, the agency has an inadequate
number of employees to service the agency population. Currently the agency has five case
managers to provide case management services to its members. To remedy this problem, the
writer suggests hiring of at least ten additional case managers. With the current staff, each case
manager has approximately 130 members on their caseloads. There are also approximately 675
members who do not have case managers because of a lack of staffing or their previous case
manager separating from the agency. If ten case managers were hired bringing the total case
management staff to fifteen case managers, all 1375 members could be divided among the case
managers to lower their caseloads to approximately 89 members per case manager.



In order to provide a salary for the additional ten case managers additional grants would
need to be sought. The agency could create a program designed specifically towards a targeted
grant to better the odds of attaining a grant.
Assigning the case managers a smaller caseload could assist in resolving the problem of
consumers’ not having adequate time to spend with their case managers. With more time to
devote to a client, workers will be better equipped to assess their needs and resources that could
improve the client’s quality of life.
Another serious problem is lack of organization during transitional periods including
layoffs. A feasible remedy for this problem is for upper management to collaborate with essential
personal in the pre-layoff stage to assess what deficiencies will be caused by the upcoming layoff
and determine the new responsibilities of remaining staff. To implement this policy the agency
only needs to enforce a confidentiality or gag policy to ensure that information of an upcoming
layoff is not discussed, within or outside the agency, and outline the consequences of violating
the policy. This strategy would not cost the agency any additional funds with the exception of
possibly having their legal team draw up the policy and violation guidelines. The policy can be
put in digital format, with digital signatures using employee’s current company passwords to
avoid printing costs.
Detroit East is a promising agency that offers numerous resources to its members
and the surrounding community. Heavy caseloads and a high turnover rate among its case
managers has been a presenting problem within the agency. With proper planning and refocusing



on the core goals of the organization, the agency can thrive again. The continuously growing
need for the services the agency provides in the community should serve to keep the agency
grounded in the core values, goals, and mission.

Bagozzi, R. P., Phillips, L.W. (2012). Representing and testing organizational theories.
Administrative Science Quarterly, 27(3), 459-489. Retrieved from

Gateway Detroit East. (2013, January 1). Retrieved February 22, 2015, from
Netting, F.E., Kettner, P. M., McMurtry, S. L., Thomas, M. L. (2012). Social work macro
practice (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.