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Comparing articles on organizational structure and culture

The article ‘Strategic management and organizational behavior in dental education: reflections on key issues in an environment of change’ by David et al is a 2009 publication in the Journal of Dental Education volume 73, issue number 3. This article discusses organizational structure, specifically the organizational structure of dental faculties. David et al (2009) highlight dental education as requiring changes in various organizational aspects considering that old organizational structures are not able to tackle present challenges in dental schools.

The role of deans in dental schools has particularly been examined since dental school deans are viewed to have an upper hand in the management of dental schools. In additional to looking into the dental school deans’ role, this study also questions several skills and qualities that deans in dental schools may need to reconsider in the wake of defining a new organizational structure. Indeed, this article challenges players in the field of dentistry by highlighting organizational areas that require change.

Despite economic challenges being cited as critical in the successful running and productiveness of dental schools, David et al (2009) devote this paper to organizational behavior in dental schools since this has been overlooked. Whereas it has been realized that dental schools

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have been facing challenges due to decrease in state funding and greater control by other external forces, there has not been much effort on how deans may influence the observed challenges in dental schools. This is despite the fact that dental school deans have an upper hand in decision making as far as the success of the dental school is concerned.

Several issues facing dental schools are discussed by the authors of this article most of which are related to organizational structure in dental schools. David et al (2009) indicate that dental schools are run using old leadership styles especially the team-oriented model and task oriented leadership model. However, new leadership styles including a non-participatory approach have become popular recently. As such, the authors of this article challenge dental school deans to consider such an approach.

As such, deans would be able to identify different forms of challenges and appropriate expertise that can handle such kinds of challenges (i. e. adaptive and technical challenges). Since dental schools are experiencing political and financial challenges, the article argues that it is high time dental faculties adopted adaptive leadership and abandons consensus-building type of leadership. While looking at the organizational structure characteristic of dental schools, David and colleagues (2009) recognize that dental schools have remained inflexible as a result of departmental type of organizational structure.

As such, dental schools are incompetent in handling current changes within the schools and also external to the schools. In view of the ineffectiveness created by the olden organizational structures, David and colleagues suggest that dental school deans and other administrators should consider adaptive leadership as a means of restructuring the organizational structure of dental schools. This article also explores access to dental care as one of the issues that dental schools have to tackle.

The authors of this article highlight that dental colleges are left to facilitate in provision of dental care yet they have very few resources to implement. Such Dental schools are overburdened with the mandate to provide care to Medicaid patients among other large classes of patients. Even with the private dental practitioners providing substantial care to a substantial proportion of patients, dental schools still seem to take more of this responsibility through models that target patients and dental students. The new models of care provisional are viewed as such adaptive forms of leadership that dental schools should adopt.

David et al (2009) also highlights ethical issues related to recruitment of persons to various positions in the dental schools especially the dean position. In this aspect, the article highlights the tendency to become unethical and unaccountable in decision making as faculty leaders attain power. The likelihood of misappropriating such power especially in recruiting faculty members is of great concern. A critical issue that is mentioned in this article is the problem of work overload and meager pay among dental school faculty members compared with private practitioners.

As such, faculty members experience poor wok-life balance and the wage disparity between dental faculty members and private practitioners is expected to continue widening. On this note, this article highlights the need to set up better remuneration for dental faculty members especially dental educators. The culture of dental schools is also criticized especially on the note that dental school deans seem to be sandwiched between higher authorities in the universities and other external forces especially federal and state requirements.

That being the case, dental schools and faculties can hardly institute their own independent policies that would be able to deal with all the above challenges. It is for this reason that David and colleagues (2009) propose that dental school administrators and especially the dean be left to be independent of university and external annexation. The article ‘Dental school deans’ perceptions of the organizational culture and impact of the ELAM program on the culture and advancement of women faculty’ by Dannels et al is a 2009 publication in the Journal of Dental Education, volume 76, issue number 6.

In this article, Dannels et al (2009) look into the culture of dental schools by identifying how dental school deans perceive and incorporate family-friendly policies as well as their efforts to promote women to take leadership positions. In specific, this has evaluated how the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women has impacted on women taking leadership positions in and their representation in the dental school and practice. This article begins by appreciating that involvement of women in the dental profession both in dental schools and dental practice has increased since the 1970s.

Increase of women in leadership positions in dental schools and women’s access to dental schools have been spearheaded by the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) through issuance of policies and policy statements. The ELAM program has been one of the many ways through which ADEA has helped women to rise in the dental faculty leadership and practice. Despite the increased participation of women in dental school leadership positions, it is notable that women have continued to face bias as expressed by women’s views that the leadership of dental faculties is in favor of women more than it is in favor of men.

To change this culture, Dannels and colleagues highlight the need to have the number of women in dental schools and practice be increased to a certain threshold so that their potential is realized. As such, dental school deans are viewed as crucial leaders who can institute and maintain such a policy thus changing the culture in the dental schools. The authors of this article have sought the views of dental school deans as regards to the culture of dental schools and the climate in the dental faculties as concerns women in leadership positions and access to dental practice.

This is a primary research that has been carried out using a non-experimental design. A survey type of study has been utilized by these authors with deans of dental faculties being the sample. From this survey, several findings are reported. For instance, it is identifiable that most of the dental deans are of the view that the culture in dental faculties is changing such that more and more women are becoming leaders in dental faculties. In addition, it is also viewed that the climate in dental schools is positive for women.

Faculty members however are not as positive about the culture and climate as the deans are. This article reports that the dental cooperate has set up better policies that are family-friendly and which promote women participation in dental practice in the dental schools. Dental schools are generally inflexible and support structures and policies for women are generally lacking. Where policies that support women exist in dental schools, such policies are rarely practiced thus jeopardizing efforts to support leadership development.

It is also the view of many women that the existent policies are not in favor of women thus the climate in dental schools seems to favor men and bias women. In view of the need to change the organizational culture in dental schools, this article emphasizes the need to have the number of women in dental schools and dental school leadership be increased to a certain threshold. Training and retaining more women in dental schools as well as developing leadership skills are an important initiatives towards this goal.

It is suggested that since deans are crucial in shaping and maintaining an organizational culture, more women should be positioned to take up the dental school dean leadership positions. The existent deans are supposed to promote the gender and family friendly policies that will encourage women participation thus changing the biased culture and climate in dental schools. Conclusion It is evident that these two articles are discussing critical issues in dentistry all of which focus on the role of views of dental school deans.

David et al (2009) focus on the role of dental school deans in shaping the organizational structure of dental schools. Of particular focus is that dental deans are supposed to influence the organizational structure of dental schools more so in leadership. As such, David et al (2009) see the need to have dental school deans adopt changes in organizational leadership in order to tackle challenges in the faculty. This article is a secondary type of research which is based on review of literature and discussion on the reviewed literature. This is however different form Dannels et al (2009) article which is a primary research.

Whereas both articles touch on challenges in dental schools, David and colleagues (2009) have tackled this question from an organizational structure dimension whereas Dannels and colleagues (2009) have taken a look into organizational culture. Although both articles are challenging the role deans in shaping the dental school’s culture and organization, the two articles differ in that David et al (2009) criticize the organizational structure in dental schools whereas Dannels et al (2009) seek the views of deans on culture. It is also clear that both articles lay emphasis on dental schools rather than dental practice itself.

The focus on dental schools in both papers indicate that dental schools have a great role in shaping dental practice yet these are faced with very critical organizational structure and culture challenges. In the few areas of dental practice that have been mentioned in the two articles, it is evident that dental practice is more developed culturally and structurally. While David et al (2009) mention that private dental practitioners have better working conditions and wages, Dannels et al (2009) mention that the cooperate America in dental practice have instituted better gender and family-friendly policies.

References Dannels, S. A. , McLaughlin, J. M. , Gleason, K. A. , Dolan, T. A. and McDade, S. A. et al. (2009). Dental school deans’ perceptions of the organizational culture and impact of the ELAM program on the culture and advancement of women faculty. Journal of Dental Education, 76(6): 676-688. David, G. D. , Durham, T. M. , Lange, B. M. and Aksu, M. N. (2009). Strategic management and organizational behavior in dental education: reflections on key issues in an environment of change. Journal of Dental Education, 73(6): 689-695.

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