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Obama’s Healthcare Reform and Organizational Decision-Making

Introduction

Nothing is as challenging as organizational decision making. But at the same time, it is something that an organization cannot escape from. It must be done for the organization to exist. Decisions in organizations are made frequently. As the organization is affected by its environment, it is compelled to adjust in a way that makes it survive in the new circumstances. Different organizations make decisions in differently. There are organizations that give all decision making powers to the managers while others make the decision making process a collective activity. Also, there managers who make decisions based on their own observations of the organization, and those who consult widely with members of the organization before making decisions. There are also those organizations that base their decision making on a wide consensus and those that seek absolute or unanimous agreement in order for decision to be made.

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Main body

Talking of organizational decision making, Obama’s push for a comprehensive healthcare legislation has been a source of intriguing insights into the nature of organizational decision making. On the 25th of February 2010, President Obama led a group of Republican and Democratic legislators in a bi-partisan summit on healthcare legislation. The long-running lack of common ground between Republican lawmakers and their Democratic counterparts was the reason for the summit. The president was out to try and bring contentious issues to the table and try to establish chances of striking a deal. He also sought to establish areas of the bill that had bi-partisan support.

Bi-partisanship is a highly valued but yet elusive element in the Washington politics. The president seemed to be fully aware of this. He is on record as having said that he knew that Republicans may be having no reason for supporting the bill and even attending the summit; atleast from a political stand point; but he wanted to have the summit anyway (CNN.com). At this point, a number of questions beg for responses. For example, if the president knew that politically, Republicans may have lacked reason for attending the summit, why did he go ahead with it? Why did he even think of organizing the summit in the first place? Why was it broadcast live?

The search for consensus by the president took long, and this indicates how significant it is in organizational decision making. Obama made phone calls to a number of legislators from both parties and moved from state to state trying to convince the American people on the need to reform the healthcare system. He particularly campaigned for the bill that his party had crafted. He did not hesitate to tell the people that Republican ideas had been included in the bill. The summit was the hallmark of a long-running search for consensus by Obama on healthcare legislation. This shows us that in organizational decision making, it is very important that the people in leadership positions try to create as much consensus as possible on ideas that are to be determined by decision making. It is obvious that a wide consensus leads to wide support, and the consequent successful legislation

In addition to the above, the Obama healthcare summit points out the need for clear leadership in organizational decision making. The summit may not have achieved much, and this cannot be blamed on Obama or his party. It is a function of the nature of American politics. It is not uncommon to have a good idea from either party facing stiff opposition from the side that did not come up with the idea. Democrats have opposed beneficial Republican ideas before just like Republicans have also vigorously opposed viable Democratic ideas several times. But from the healthcare summit, we were able to listen to the ideas and know which party stands for what and who is leading the debate. Through the debate, the president came out as someone in control. He showed the rest of the country that he was ready to own up whether the bill was good as democrats claimed or as bad as the republicans alleged. This makes clear the insight that in organizational decision making, the leaders in the organization must take responsibility and guide the debate on policy issues. This does not include shutting out the voices of others whose ideas they do not like but listening and giving a chance to all parties to state their positions. It is always better to have given someone a chance to speak and failed to speak sense than to have someone claim to have been denied a chance to air his or her opinion.

Another important insight that we learn from the healthcare summit is that seeking for unanimity or wide consensus can delay decisions. Sometimes all that is needed to move forward with action is a simple majority. The Republicans wanted the whole process to be taken back to zero. This meant that all the resources that had gone into the process of getting what was on the table would go to waste. On the other hand, the Democrats were rigid. They wanted Republicans to look at what was on the table and suggest areas of disagreement and then try to look for a way to reach an agreement. It is not my duty to state who was right and who was wrong in this but it is clear that waiting for the two groups to be unanimous in their healthcare reform plan would have been a wait in futility. By the end of the summit, nothing much had been accomplished. The president, as mentioned elsewhere in this essay expected this to happen. It is therefore clear that spending time searching for a wide consensus over issues in organizations can delay decision making. Moving forward with the democratic majority and passing healthcare through congress proved to work for the President given that his search for consensus was not bearing fruit.

Besides the above, the healthcare summit emphasized the significance of communication in organizational decision making. The summit was aired live on C-SPAN to enable the American people have a chance of listening and weighing the positions taken by their lawmakers. From that point, they had the opportunity to know who truly spoke for them and who was fighting for self interest. Similarly, the decision making process in organizations has to be made open to the members of the organization through effective communication. The reason for this is to have those that are not directly involved in the decision making process knowing what is going on and what to expect. It is also a sign of transparency when the decision making process is not shrouded in secrecy.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, the Obama healthcare summit has many insights as far as organizational decision making is concerned. The significance for the search for consensus stands out as an important issue. The other insight is the need for clear leadership in the decision making process. This has to come from the leaders of the organization. Also, we learn that the endless search for a wide consensus or unanimity can delay decision making. Sometimes a simple majority is all that is required to hasten the process. We are also able to see the role of clear communication in organizational decision making. It is through clear communication that the rest of the members of the organization can know how far the decision making process has gone and what to expect. C-SPAN was there to do it for the case of the healthcare summit.

Works cited

Cnn Politcs.Highlights from Obama’s Healthcare Summit.CNN.com. 2010.Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, January 22). Obama’s Healthcare Reform and Organizational Decision-Making. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/obamas-healthcare-reform-and-organizational-decision-making/

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StudyCorgi. (2022, January 22). Obama’s Healthcare Reform and Organizational Decision-Making. https://studycorgi.com/obamas-healthcare-reform-and-organizational-decision-making/

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StudyCorgi. "Obama’s Healthcare Reform and Organizational Decision-Making." January 22, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/obamas-healthcare-reform-and-organizational-decision-making/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Obama’s Healthcare Reform and Organizational Decision-Making." January 22, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/obamas-healthcare-reform-and-organizational-decision-making/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Obama’s Healthcare Reform and Organizational Decision-Making'. 22 January.

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