A. Organizational Issues
There are a lot of social issues involving the Girl Scouts USA. The Girl Scouts USA are being charged with teaching girls values that are incompatible with the Catholic churches. Society is questioning Girl Scouts stand on human sexuality, abortion and birth control. The Girl Scouts USA have also been accused of partnering with Planned Parenthood teaching young girls about birth control and abortions. They have been accused of standing behind Betty Friedan, Margaret Sanger, and Gloria Steinem, who are well-known pro-choice feminists (Donnellan, 2017). The Catholic Churches have voiced their concerns with the Girl Scouts affiliation with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGS), stating that the organization is pro-choice and promoting sexual health and reproductive rights to Girl Scouts (Donnellan, 2017). They have been ostracized for allowing a transgender girl to participate as a Girl Scout (Murdoch, 2014).
I don’t quite understand why the Girl Scouts are being treated so negatively because I personally know that Girl Scouts USA have an official policy of being neutral when it comes to sexuality, contraception, and abortion. But according to the National Catholic Register, those values have been compromised because of the Council’s use of abortion rights activists as role models for the girls (Ayer, 2014). During my Scout days, we were taught to embrace the Girl Scouts’ mission which is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Girl Scout means stepping out of your comfort zone and helping others. It means doing things for people other than yourself and feeling good about it (Murdoch, 2012).
Girl Scouts has been a huge part of my life and my development. Since 1912, girls have explored new fields of knowledge, learned valuable skills, and developed strong core values through Girl Scouts. Today Girl Scouts is, as it always has been, the organization best positioned to help girls develop important leadership skills they need to become successful adults. Being a Girl Scout I was able to build a strong sense of self. I gained the confidence in myself and my abilities and form a positive identity. Also, we were taught to act ethically, honestly, and responsibly, and show concern for others. I learned how not to be afraid to take appropriate risks and to try things even if I failed, and learned from my mistakes. In Girl Scouting, I learned to develop and maintain healthy relationships by communicating my feelings directly and resolving any conflicts that may arise constructively. I learned how to contribute to the world in purposeful and meaningful ways, I learned how to identify problems in the community and create action plans to solve them.
I had so many great experiences as a Girl Scout. I learned new things, earned badges, explored new places, and made a lot of friends. My favorite thing to do when I was a Girl Scout was the “Friendship Circle”. The Friendship Circle represented the unbroken chain of friendship among Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world, the Friendship Circle involved the Girl Scouts standing in a circle, crossing their right arms over their left, and clasping hands with their friends on both sides. Everyone then makes a silent wish as a friendship squeeze is passed from hand to hand around the circle.
B. Root Causes
I enjoyed being a Girl Scout and I learn to be a leader in the organization. Although, I didn’t experience any of the negative things about the Girl Scouts of USA that are they are going through, and from my own research, I believe that the root cause of the problem began with the Catholic Churches. For the past decade, the Catholic Church has judged the Girl Scouts USA suspiciously, claiming the organization is involved with groups such as Planned Parenthood, stating that the Girl Scouts are in conflict with the faith’s views on abortion and the family. These allegations have been staunchly denied by the Girl Scouts organization, but the controversies are largely rooted in misinformation and have prompted dioceses to cut ties with the Scouts (Kennedy, 2017). Because of this the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas is ending its relationship with the Girl Scouts and transitioning its support to a Christian-based scouting group.
In 2010, there was an incident that happened that brought attention to the Girl Scouts USA. This incident talked about the Girl Scouts association with World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGS). It was noted that WAGGS had used a brochure in one of their meetings that was titled “Healthy, Happy, and Hot,” that was supposed to have been produced by International Planned Parenthood. This brochure was said to have been found after a meeting of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women where 10 girl scouts were present (Donnellan, 2017). The article went on to say that the brochure described how to have a sex-life with HIV positive and promotes both birth control and abortion. Of course, the Girl Scouts USA have denied any knowledge of the said brochure (Donnellan, 2017).
The Archdiocese is making this move because of a perceived notion that the Girl Scouts’ programs and materials are reflective of many of the troubling times in this secular culture, and that the Girl Scout organization is no longer a good partner in helping them to form young women with the virtues and values of the Gospel (Kennedy, 2017). But the Girl Scout culture is based on the group’s promise: “On my honor, I will try to serve God and my country.” As a Girl Scout, we were taught that God, faith and spirituality have been ingrained in the backbone and history of the secular organization, whose badge-wearing, cookie-selling members are still going strong across the country. Like I stated earlier I had been a Girl Scout for well over 8 years and we weren’t ever taught anything about Planned Parenthood or anything of a personal nature and I don’t recall hearing anything from the Girl Scout Council about being a member of Planned Parenthood. The Girl Scout Council of USA and other Girl Scout organization have stated that they have not had an association with Planned Parenthood and have not received any funding from the organization (Girl Scout USA, 2017).
The Girl Scouts of America have been accused of submitting brochures advocating Planned Parenthood, which they denied. They have also been accused of being pro-lifers. Just because, as an organization, have an opinion concerning abortion and pro-life, that in itself is no way endorsing that women should go out and seek abortions. These type thinking is putting the Girl Scouts organization at risk of losing members and funding. Even though there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the Girl Scouts of the USA they are basically a good organization for girls to be involved in. Like all organizations, you will find some bad apples, but you just can’t judge the whole crate just by a few. Girl Scouts’ program resources are stepping stones that lead groups into adventures big and small.
Girl Scouting stretches you. I found myself doing things I never imagined. Beyond all the adventure, life lessons and lifelong friendships, and great memories, Girl Scouts is important because girls need a place to be girls, to develop to their full potential, including through building strong leadership skills, without the social pressures that can come from being around boys.
In Girl Scouts, girls have the freedom to be silly, to be strong and speak their minds, and to experiment with decision making and taking responsibility for their choices. Being in Girl Scouts helped me to develop the self-confidence to grow into an effective, courageous, and responsible adult. As a Girl Scouts, I found a sense of empowerment, along with discovering the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. The Leaders helped us to grow courageous and strong through a wide variety of enriching experiences, such as field trips, skill-building sports clinics, community service projects, cultural exchanges, and environmental stewardships.
Girl Scouts helped me to develop my full individual potential; relate to others with increasing understanding, skill, and respect; develop values to guide my actions and provide the foundation for sound decision making; and contribute to the improvement of society through my abilities, leadership skills, and cooperation with others. I can truly say that for me Girl Scouting really made the difference. Girl Scouting offered me the best leadership development experience for girls in the world. Girl Scouts unleashed the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) in me, prepared me for a lifetime of leadership, from taking a night-time hike under the stars from running my own cookie business today to tackling cybersecurity tomorrow.
D. Improvement Outcomes
In order to disassociate themselves from the Girl Scouts USA, I would recommend that the Catholic Churches find other associations that will better suite their teachings. Since the Catholic Churches have been associated with Girl Scouts USA for over 100 years, and if they want to distant themselves, there are several other girl associations that could better fit the needs of the Catholic churches. For example, American Heritage Girls is an organization much like the Girl Scouts, that was started by a woman named Patti Garibay because she felt that the Girl Scouts had gotten away from their Christian beliefs. American Heritage Girls are tooted to embrace Christian values and encourages family involvement, much like the Girl Scouts. Their reported mission is to “build women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country” (AHG.org). These values, so to speak, should be better suited to the Catholic Churches.
Still, another group that the Catholic Churches could look into is the Challenge & Conquest Girls, which is a Catholic Ministry. This organization states that it teaches boys and girls in 5th to 12th grades to grow in knowledge of their Catholic faith, friendship with God, and make a difference and positive impact on their families, friends and the world around them. If that is the case, then this organization is just what the Archdiocese is looking for, because it is 100 percent Catholic and I’m sure to have the same values that they are teaching (Challenge Girl).
Another group that could fit with the Catholic faith is the Little Flowers Girls Club which is also a Catholic-affiliated association for girls 5 years and older. This organization teaches virtues through scripture, saints’ biographies and the Catechism of the Catholic Church that is based on the 1906 Catholic classic “The Catholic Girls’ Guides” (LFGC). This group is all about being virtuous and keeping with the Catholic faith. The Archdiocese shouldn’t have a problem with this organization.
E. Strategic Actions
For the local dioceses that wish to continue being affiliated with the Girl Scouts, could offer guidelines for consideration. They could offer programming materials at the Catholic troop level that would include appropriate review by Church authority. They could also recommend that the troops that are associated with their Church to avoid any programming and initiatives that are not in harmony with Catholic teachings. Since the Catholic churches are mostly concerned with the Girl Scouts association with World Association of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides (WAGGGS), they can request that the troop members not to wear the WAGGGS pin and also not to participate in any fundraisers that the WAGGGS are offering while they are associated with the Church.
Rather than participating in WAGGGS activities, they could setup pray sessions where they could pray for girls around the world. They could also promote alternative activities that would foster awareness of faithful channels of outreach and service that could be provided by their troop leaders.
A. Key Points
After going over the analysis of Engstrom case study, there are certain key points that I believed needed to be analyzed to really understand the issues addressed in the case study. The most important key point in the case was the breakdown of the Scanlon Bonus Plan. A good majority of Engstrom’s problems can be directly related to the failure of the system. There were a lot of issues that arose at Engstrom when signs of the breakdown of the incentive plan. Therefore, evaluating the root causes of why the system failed and how to remedy the breakdown was critical if they didn’t want the same thing happening again with the new plan.
At the beginning, the Scanlon Bonus Plan was a very good plan. The employees liked the plan because they were getting substantial bonuses which they started perceiving that the additional dollars as part of their regular compensation. I think the plan failed, not because it was too complex, but because the employees began to distrust management. When they stopped receiving their large bonus checks, they started accusing management of taking what was rightfully theirs. They failed to realize that the extra pay was a bonus for good work above and beyond what was expected of them. I think that the three components of the plan, submission of suggestions by employees, the structure of the committee to evaluate the suggestions, and sharing in the profits through monthly bonuses, worked together until attitudes and behavior problems came into the picture.
The Scanlon Plan worked very well at Engstrom as long as the employees were getting their bonuses. As long as they were getting their bonuses at the end of the month, production was good and materials were being sent out on time. But when mistrust came into the picture things started to change at Engstrom. The employees no longer cared about getting production out on time, they only did the job they were assigned, nothing more. To get things back on track it was time for management at Engstrom to begin thinking outside of the box. They needed to win back the trust of the employees so that they could move forward with their new incentive plan.
Personally, I really think that an incentive plan is a good idea to reward employees for going beyond that which was expected of them to get the job completed. Rewarding employees for the extra work usually make them want to continue to give the company 100 percent because they feel important enough to have received the bonus in the first place. When employees believe that they are being rewarded for their extra effort, they feel good about themselves and will continue to do a good job for the company.
As I stated earlier in my paper, there were three political “weeds” that had burrowed themselves beneath the surface of the workplace. These weeds were based on human behavior theories of distrust, indifference, and lack of integrity (Llopis, 2011). When employees distrust a company, it is not seen in plain sight, it is hidden away in a corner somewhere just waiting for the right time to make its appearance. If management is not skilled spotting the weed of distrust it can get out of hand quickly. Indifference and lack of integrity are a little easier to spot because when an employee is indifferent it will show in his work. They have the attitude that it really doesn’t matter if I do a good job or not, nothing is going to change regardless. When there is a lack of integrity in business, it is a sign that something is seriously wrong, but it too can be overcome.
It takes time to rebuild trust but, nevertheless, it can be done with employees and employers working together. Understanding where people are coming from is the main ingredient of solidarity. There can’t be any distrust, indifference, or lack of integrity when dealing with people. Engstrom’s management knew things had to change, and the wanted to change to be for the betterment of everyone involved, from employees to management. The theories that were presented in this case and the ones that were applied, formed guidelines for management to follow to restore the integrity, motivation, and security of Engstrom, thus improving the relationship they once had with their employees.