I need some help with my sociology class homework. Can you guys give me a hand please?
1.) In the "Source of Power in Organizations" chapter from Power in Organizations, Pfeffer's theory was that those subunits (eg. Finance, Sales,etc.) that were best able to solve the organization's critical external dependencies would be the ones to get power.
(a) Pfeffer was skeptical about "social constructionist" approaches to the question who got power, which he equated with "soft skills" - individual charisma, personal persuasiveness and speaking ability. Explain why he was skeptical of "soft skills"
(b) Fligstein's implicit criticism of Pfeffer, in turn, reintroduced a social constructionist element to the explanation of what subunits get the power in an organization. Explain Fligstein's critique of Pfeffer. Discuss Fligstein's alternative conception of what a social constructionist argument entails.
2.) The Enron Corporation served as our case study of an organization driven by a shareholder conception of the firm - a cultural understanding that the firm is properly an instrument for generating return for its shareholders.
Now, the capitalist enterprise in conventionally thought of as being about the generation of profit. We have considered the thesis that in a shareholder value-driven firm, by contrast, profits become a means of an end, rather than an end itself. Explain this thesis.
3.) Employment relations, like other aspects of organizations, are shaped by social institutions. in the Post WWII economic boom in the U.S., employment relations were shaped by i.) the notion of career spent advancing within a single firm, ii.)job security, iii.) notion of fairness and equality in wage determination. Explain how the experience of working in Enron represented the disappearance of these employment institutions on each of these dimensions.
4.) The credit crisis, as we saw, was rooted in thousand of subprime home loans - loans made to people with poor credit records, which had adjustable vs. fixed interest rates, and which consequently stood a very high likelihood of default.
These subprime loans formed a foundation of financial like CDOs, which were sold to large global investors. Explain the role of credit-rating agencies played in misrepresenting the RISK inherent in these products. Also explain the nature of their relationship with both sellers and buyers of CDOs.
5.)There is peculiarity in the story of FEMA that emerges in the post-DHS period. Since its founding during the Carter administration in late 1970s, FEMA had flip-flopped back and forth between emphasizing a disaster response function under Democratic presidencies (Carter, Clinton) and a national security function under Republican presidencies (Reagan, Bush I). Then in the immediate post 9/11 era, under the Republican presidency and in the wake of the greatest national security threat in decades, FEMA is decisively relegated - and marginalized - to disaster response.
Construct an explanation for this peculiarity; revolve around a discussion of the policy environment of the Department of the Homeland Security, into which FEMA was re-located Why do you think he was able to make a viable bid to extent the scope of FEMA's national security responsibilities? How would the establishment of the DHS alter the policy environment for national security?