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Political Competence and Corporate Citizenship

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Senior executives from a variety of organizations are often called to testify about health policy issues. It is in the organization's best interest if these executives are both politically competent and good corporate citizens.

1. In general terms, what knowledge, skills, and individual behaviors must an executive have to be politically competent and to be good corporate citizens?

2. Think about a particular healthcare organization's corporate citizenship. How would you describe it (e.g., "good," "average," or "poor")? What did the organization do (or not do) to achieve this level of corporate citizenship?

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Solution Summary

This solution discusses the knowledge, skills, and individual behaviors that an executive must have to be politically competent and to be good corporate citizens. By example, it also analyzes the level (e.g., "good," "average," or "poor") of corporate citizenship displayed by a health organization, and what it did (or not do) to achieve this level of corporate citizenship.

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Interesting questions! One approach to helping with questions like this is to look at the health and business literature from various sources, which you can then draw on for your final response. This is keeping within BrainMass policy for OTAs not to complete assingments or parts of assignments for students. It does give you ample information to successfully write your final copy, however. This is the approach this response takes. One example is looked at in question #2 and then analyzed using two criteria presented in the literature ("good" rating).

Let's take a closer look:

1. In general terms, what knowledge, skills, and individual behaviors must an executive have to be politically competent and to be good corporate citizens?

Political competence is the skills, perspectives, and values needed for effective political involvement within a given field of work or organization. Political competence is a necessary component necessary to be a good cooperate citizenship. Both are related to ethics. Whereas good corporate citizenship is about an organization acting ethically toward society as a whole, political competence is one of the necessary skill required to apply good cooperate citizenship. According to Dauenhauer (1996) political competence in citizens consists of four main components:

(1) The political competence person recognizes that politics, although inseparable from economics and morality, is not reducible to them. It has its own objective, norms and means. It must utilize both technico-scientific expertise and be advised by moral standards (e.g., in a respectful, not co-optive manner (e.g., political competent person is informed by other proposals, such as economics). Sensible political action can only aspire to provide structure and material and cultural resources, for people and/or organizations for people to work together in a peaceful and fair manner.
(2) The acceptance of the fact that all politics, like all actions, is both risky and transgressive - it always impinges on some people in some unexpected way. In politics, one can only work with probabilities.
(3) Recognizes the fragility of arena of politics, and all domains belonging to politics. S/he recognizes that no politics is free from the tendencies of tyranny, totalitarianism or anarchy. Thus, the political competent person recognizes the need to be vigilant against ignorant, thoughtless or criminal people, who threaten to undercut sound political practice and thus urge political representatives to reduce the frequency and intensity of state coercion.
(4) Like all human action, politics include bodily and thoughtly dimensions. The political competent person is not expected to set aside her or his blood ties, religious values, or cultural customs (bodily), but for political action to call for a setting aside of the bodily for the thoughtliness, is not to demean the bodily dimension. The political competent person can then set aside personal values and customs when necessary, in the betterment of society as a whole (Dauenhauer, 1996).

To add to this, according to Longest (2002), political competence is necessary for good corporate citizenship and includes the following:

1. Analyzing Public Policy Environments (e.g., " Public Interest" is a characteristic of "good corporate citizenship" and a quality of this organization)
2. Developing research designs and procedures for environmental analysis (i.e., scanning the Environment to Identify Strategic Public Policy Issues, strategic decision making of who/what should be scanned and monitoring strategic public policy issues, forecasting changes in strategic public policy issues-through Trend Extrapolation Scenario Development, etc. are skills necessary to be politically competent).
3. Assessing the Strategic Importance of Public Policy Issues (e.g. knowledge of public policy issues and implementing programs reflecting public trends)
4. Diffusing the Results of Environmental Analysis into Organizations, Systems, and Interest Groups (e..g, understanding and applying information, such as developing programs to meet the needs of the community).
5. Influencing Public Policy Environments i.e., by displaying organization behaviors consistent with "good corporate citizenship" often reflective of the organization's mission statement and executed through the implementation of policies as promised to the public in an open transparent manner, etc.) (Longest, 2002).

From another source:

From the nursing literature, Warner (2003) found, for example, that political competence is requisite within nursing to (e.g. to be a good corporate citizen): (a) intervene in the broad socioeconomic and environmental determinants of health, (b) intervene effectively in a culturally diverse society, (c) partner in development of a humane health care system, and (d) bring nursing's values to policy discussions. Specifically, this ...

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