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Rational Planning and Organizational Imperatives: Prospects for Area Planning in Aging

Annals of the American Academy of Political & Social Science

Author: Hudson, R. B.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 1974


The federal grant strategy exemplified in the Older Americans Comprehensive Services Amendments of 1973 represents a marked departure from earlier strategies of the Older Americans Act. While the national goal of the legislation is more clearly specified & funding has significantly increased, the introduction of new substate planning bodies--Area Agencies on Aging--is seen as the most important of the changes. The new national strategy is geared toward the development of these new agencies & its success will depend on their discharging the functions assigned to them. Because the new legislative strategy is based on a rational goal model & conceptualizes the area agencies accordingly, it neglects certain requisites of organizational life. Using, instead, a social system perspective of the area agencies & their environment, these agencies will necessarily concern themselves with matters other than those mandated in the legislation. These other concerns will affect both the national objectives which the area agencies choose to emphasize & the intensity of their effort. Specifically, the area agencies may view the mandate to draw-in & mobilize resources at the area level as not in their organizational interests. Their engaging in this role in a tentative fashion will result in either incremental or goal displaced activities while their embarking in this role wholeheartedly may prove dangerous to them organizationally & may result in substantial modifications in the national strategy & their role in it.

Further Details

Pages: 41-54
Volume: 415
Accession Number: 8.5.03
Keywords: North America, older, legislation compliance
Reads: 170