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External/Internal Factors of the Red Cross

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The American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization led by volunteers and guided by its Congressional Charter and Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross Movement. The Red Cross provides relief to victims of disaster and helps communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. The Red Cross is a business whose effects are felt around the world. When disaster strikes the Red Cross is many times the first to react with the basic requirements for survival and the rebuilding of a community. This can only be accomplished by the use of proper planning, organization, leadership, and control.

The Red Cross is a worldwide company and must follow the four basic functions of management; in order for the business to run smooth it needs to plan. For instance, currently the Red Cross is attending to a natural disaster in Haiti after two large earthquakes. Red Cross has to make sure the people in Haiti have access to food, water, medical assistance, and clothing. Every Red Cross, worldwide is working hard to meet that goal. This takes a huge amount of planning from management to ensure the relief flows quickly and correctly. Every year the Red Cross does all it can do to help with disasters victims. The Red Cross management team also must be organized to make sure they have enough employees for the job, and people and resources are placed appropriately.

With the economy at a low it can be difficult for the Red Cross to gain the donations and voluntary help needed to make a difference around the world. This is a prime example of steps management can take by leading and advertising phone numbers, websites, and flyers so people will volunteer and make donations. Management has to take control of the business to make sure that every goal is met.

One way to meet these goals in today’s business society is to expand beyond the common marketplace. Being a manager in just the local area is not enough for some companies. The Internet is one of the most important sources Red Cross managers can use to make sure goals are met worldwide. Globalization has changed the workforce in this new day and time. A manager has to work from all over the globe. This global management requires planning, organizing, leading, and controlling both internal and external factors.

Technology and innovation helps managers with the four functions of management. Technology helps organizations in planning by communicating information throughout the entire footprint. Innovation aids organizations in reaching goals like lower costs and increasing revenues. Technology also helps managers to lead by communicating information in real time. Innovation and technology help in controlling risk, record keeping, and accounting.

The American Red Cross employs technology on the Internet at www.redcross.org; users can make donations, find how to volunteer and locations to donate blood. The American Red Cross also established a “Safe and Well List’ at www.disastersafe.redcross.org. Users can register their status after a disaster or check the status of loved ones who have been in a disaster. The American Red Cross has also established an emergency call center and prepositioned communications equipment to respond quickly to disasters.

The American Red Cross most recently used technology and innovation for fund raising after the Haiti earthquake. Donors can contribute as little as $10 by texting “HAITI” on mobile devices to a five digit number. Bill did this on his own iPhone within the first few days. This technique is innovative because it is convenient, and affordable for many living in tough economic times. Donors contributed three million dollars in the first 31 hours of the campaign.

Internal and External Factors affect the functions of American Red Cross in all four aspects of organizational management. Any of the four aspects could have a positive or negative effect on Management. Adapting to these factors is paramount to the continued operation suitable to the Mission Statement of the American Red Cross. External Factors includes laws, regulations, technology, economy, and demographics. All these influences cause adjustments in the actions the American Red Cross takes to be successful. Planning aid for victims of disaster has changed dramatically with the innovation of recent technology. The American Red Cross can assist with a more specific and reliable prognosis with the recent availability of medicine and medical tools. For example, the recent development of portable and film-less X-Ray machines, are available to give more precise care.

On the other hand, organization has become a little tougher with the ever-changing laws and regulations, especially within a foreign country. Deploying a team of medics or specialist into a hostile area could be easy enough but to leave the country could be a completely different story, or dealing with and adhering to local laws could cause some trouble for humanitarians. Leading has become harder when considering the external factor of the recent economy; it is harder to inspire people who do not have enough resources to sustain their own family, to stay with the American Red Cross and continue to volunteer time and efforts.

Time is a challenging task that shows how another External Factor can take its toll on the Organization and the employee. Whereas the function of controlling is affected by outside factors, internal factor have not necessarily been easy. The transition was made easier with recent technologies, and the understanding of certain demographics. Addressing problems and treating them as necessary is done easier. One proof of this could be the Aids epidemic in Africa, armed with technology to spread instruction to the correct demographics to prevent the spread of this disease. Monitoring how the organization is combating the disease in a certain demographic is one way to measure its success. Monitoring, gives the Red Cross more information enabling them to devise new ways to control the outbreak. We have visited external factors, changed a way to measure success, and to measure internal factors.

Internal Factors that affect Management are factors in the culture of the organization. A strong culture is good, as it encourages the right kind of behavior. A strong culture is one of tightly knitted team that understands the mission statement and intent of the organization. A weak culture has confusion and misguiding information. Of the two cultures a strong one is better, but it still needs to be led in the right direction. These internal factors could hurt an organization’s intention even in the American Red Cross, who has a very simple mission statement, “…will provide relief to victims of disaster and help people prevent prepare for and respond to emergencies.” A weak culture can have adverse effects on the management and its four functions. The fostering of the culture is a necessity otherwise it will hinder the Organization. An example that would pertain to this is if the group leader is subjective and gives aid without an explanation. This behavior, would subsequently repeat with the subordinates directing the Organization in the wrong direction. This is one way Internal Factors can play a role on the leading function of management.

The American Red Cross functions with a strategy of total diversity. This strategy makes it so all people, programs and services find themselves in a challenging situation but have the opportunity to use their diverse imaginations, initiatives and energy to make the Red Cross even better. With diversity comes open minds that bring acceptance and compassion to an organization. Not all Americans look the same, act the same, or have the same beliefs, therefore a culturally diverse staff and volunteers makes the American Red Cross more understanding toward those diverse people in need. The American Red Cross is an outstanding example a successfully diverse organization.

The American Red Cross is a large corporation and requires all staff and volunteers to comply with federal, state and local laws and regulations as well as personal ethical standards; the company has put in place. The Red Cross is an organization reaching out to people in need and will not tolerate any stealing, accepting bribes, breaking confidentiality or many other criminal, ethical, or moral crimes. The Office of the General Counsel and the Office of Investigations, Compliance and Ethics will follow through with investigations of fraud, waste, abuse, and Red Cross policy violations, illegal, or unethical conduct.

The Red Cross also requires the verification of the code of ethics and conduct with this information and much more. It is a requirement for employees of Red Cross and volunteers to read and sign this code of conduct acknowledging that unethical behavior will not be toleratedIn conclusion, this team has looked at the Red Cross from the outside, in which people donate time, services, and money; to the inside of the business, where communities depend on the management, organization, leadership, and control of a diverse, multi-national company that functions well with the help of outstanding leadership. The American Red Cross is an outstanding organization and has a given us an excellent example of a good business plan.


American Red Cross, Initials. (2008, January). American Red Cross code of business ethics and conduct. Retrieved from http://www.redcross.org/www-files/Documents/…/file_cont5875_lang0_2860.pdfBateman, T. S., & Snell, S. A. (2009). The External Environment and Organizational Culture. McGraw-Hill,Goodwin Jerry, Hayward Debbera. (2003). Corporate diversity. Retrieved from http://mowercounty.redcross.org/Diversity/Homepage1-diversityl.htmhttp://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/technology/2010/01/haiti_text_90999_american_red.htmlhttp://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2006/aug06/08-29katrina.mspx

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