Marijuana Use among Teenagers: Effects and Possible Solutions


Marijuana is a greenish-gray mixture of the dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of Cannabis sativa. Marijuana is used as a drug. Most marijuana users smoke it in hand-rolled cigarettes called joints, while some smokers use pipes, or water pipes called bongs. Marijuana cigars or blunts are also made available by marijuana vendors/peddlers (NIDA 1). According to the NIDA (2012) report, marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drugs in the United States of America (2).

In many countries, marijuana is illegal. However, its use tends to counteract its illegal status with a rising trend of usage among teenagers. According to Nora D. Volkow, the Director of NIDA, by the time they graduate from school, about 46 percent of the teenagers will have tried marijuana. According to her, the use of drugs among teenagers has dropped significantly in the past decade to a prevalence of about 15 percent in 2011. However, this decline has stalled over the past several years. Nora acknowledges that the use of marijuana can produce adverse physical, mental, emotional and behavioral effects and that it can impair short-term memory and judgment, and distort perception. The director also acknowledges that marijuana affects the brain system that are still maturing through young-adulthood and its use by teenagers, in particular, may have detrimental effect on their development (NIDA para. 1- 2).

This paper analyzes five peer-reviewed academic articles, from reputable sources, with the view of finding out the facts about marijuana and how these facts can be utilized in finding an amicable solution to the bhang-smoking problem. These articles are: “Prevalence of Marijuana Use Disorders in the United States – 1991-1992 and 2001-2002,” by Compton, Wilson et al., “Psychosocial Correlates of Marijuana Use and Problem Drinking in a National Sample of Adolescents” by Jesser Richard et al., “Association Between Marijuana Exposure and Pulmonary Function Over 20 Years” by Pletcher, Mark J. et al., “Comparison of Extended Versus Brief Treatments for Marijuana Use,” by Stephens, Robert S. and “Dose-related Neurocognitive Effects of Marijuana Use” by Bolla, KI.

The Scope of Marijuana Use in the U.S.A.

Compton et al.’s “Prevalence of Marijuana Use Disorders in the United States – 1991-1992 and 2001-2002” examines the changes in how often marijuana is used and abused in two national surveys: the 1991-1992 National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey and the 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (2114). According to their research, marijuana dependency among adults in the United States of America stands at four percent. Marijuana use disorders among those who are dependent on it have increased substantially in the intervening year. This is strongly attributed to the potential strengthening and increased potency of the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) or the active ingredient in marijuana (2121).

According to Compton et al., the factors contributing to the addiction potential are operating to produce the increase in prevalence in marijuana abuse or dependency (2121). In essence, as the years have progressed there has been a substantial addictive nature of marijuana; a higher level of THC in the current marijuana product is making the product more likely to cause addiction. With this dependence comes a great number of marijuana use disorders, such as “increased tolerance, compulsive use, impaired control, and continued use despite physical and psychological problems caused or exacerbated by use” (2115). Demographic comparisons of marijuana users are also changing in very fundamental ways; “the rates of marijuana use disorders did not increase among white young adults (ages 18-29 years), but did increase among young adult black men and women and among young adult Hispanic men” (2120).

The youthfulness of this article (as it was published in 2004) makes its relevance more tenable hence its information is crucial in pinpointing the key target areas with respect to dealing with the menace of marijuana abuse in the U.S.

The Effects of Marijuana on Pulmonary Function

“Association between Marijuana Exposure and Pulmonary Function over 20 Years” by Pletcher et al. explores the possibility that marijuana smoke has the same kinds of adverse effects on pulmonary function. Since tobacco smoke has been found to cause lung damage with severe clinical consequences (like lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and more), the researchers attempted to determine whether or not marijuana smoke has the same effect, as it “contains many of the same constituents as tobacco smoke” (173). The researchers performed a longitudinal study on over 5000 men and women in major cities who smoke marijuana, testing their pulmonary function based on their level of exposure to marijuana as compared to tobacco. According to the results, marijuana use was not linearly linked to adverse pulmonary function, meaning there was little to no correlation between smoking marijuana and acquiring lung cancer or diminished pulmonary health.

This study provides a concrete, well-studied and comprehensive examination at one of the primary sticking points for marijuana use. Does it cause harm in the same way that cigarette smoking does? In exploring this notion, the researchers support the prevailing literature on the subject, noting that “analyses of pulmonary function and lung disease have failed to detect clear adverse effects of marijuana use on pulmonary function” (174). By making their study span 20 years, they hope to circumvent the normal problem in these examinations, which is that short-term effects might mask cumulative lung damage that might occur from marijuana smoking. The nonlinear relationship that was found between pulmonary function and marijuana use supports the notion that it does not cause the same type of pulmonary effects that tobacco does. While the researchers did not determine whether or not heavy marijuana use would lead to adverse pulmonary function, “our findings do suggest an accelerated decline in pulmonary function with heavy use and a resulting need for caution and moderation when marijuana use is considered” (181). At the same time, this heavy amount of use was so rare as to be insignificant, as the vast majority of the sample used marijuana on only a low to moderate basis.

The Relationship between Marijuana Use and Psychosocial Factors

In “Psychosocial Correlates of Marijuana Use and Problem Drinking in a National Sample of Adolescents,” Jessor et al. examine the personality, social and behavioral factors that lead adolescents to engage in illicit drug use, particularly problem drinking and marijuana use. A national sample study was used on more than 10,000 high school students to determine what demographics and scenarios are conducive to higher rates of marijuana use. According to the results, adolescents are more likely to try marijuana when they place a greater value on independence than their school work, when they have lower expectations for academic achievement, and a lower prevalence for religious faith (604).

While this is an older study (1980), it also demonstrates the substantial shift in behaviors that are correlated with marijuana use exploring the psychosocial elements of adolescents who engage in these activities can help us understand their motivations for trying it. According to Jessor et al., primary prevention, intervention, or health promotion approaches directed at adolescents need to consider the relation between these behaviors – their possible syndrome character – rather than trying to deal with them as if they were isolated, or unique, or separate kinds of action (612).

Treatment Options and the Hurdle Ahead

In “Comparison of Extended Versus Brief Treatments for Marijuana Use” Stephens, Roffman and Curtin evaluate the effectiveness of marijuana treatment strategies for those who wish to lower their dependency on marijuana use. In their study, long term cognitive-behavioral group treatments and other types of therapy were used on both a brief and an extended basis for those attempting to recover from marijuana addiction. The short term and long term methods of treatment (the group therapy and a two-session motivational interview) were found to have comparable levels of treatment for marijuana use, while the third option (a four month delayed treatment control program) had substantially less effectiveness. Either way, these types of programs were shown to have significant positive effects on symptoms of marijuana dependence, and lessened withdrawals at an increasing rate during each follow-up (898).

Roffman and Curtin discuss the proper way to treat those who are addicted to marijuana. According to these two “researchers have identified impairments in the attentional and executive functioning of heavy marijuana users that do not show up in more global estimates of intelligence…chronic, heavy marijuana users report impairments of memory, concentration, motivation, self-esteem, interpersonal relationships, health, employment, or finances related to their marijuana use” (899). To that end, interventions must be made that could effectively help individuals who wish to lessen their dependency on marijuana accomplish those goals; the researchers argue that both long and short term interventions seem to be properly effective. However, delayed control treatments are seen to not be as effective, because “assignment to the DTC condition also may have been perceived as permission to continue using marijuana” and as such their commitment to lessening dependency was less than those in the other treatment types (905). Up to this juncture, is marijuana’s usage effect on the individual marijuana smoker really curable? What is the real extent of marijuana as manifested even after one quits smoking?

A research in “Dose-related Neurocognitive Effects of Marijuana Use” by Bolla et al. (a 2002 publication) examines the science behind what goes on in your brain when you use marijuana. Neurocognitive tests were administered to heavy marijuana abusers who were asked to go without the drug for 28 days, to measure what actually happens in their nervous systems depending on how heavy their marijuana use was. After being abstinent for nearly a month, the participants were evaluated in terms of their neurocognitive abilities and mental acuity. According to the results, heavy marijuana use can be closely correlated to significant deficits in neurocognitive performance, as even after 28 days of abstinence, users were left wanting in terms of their mental acuity. These deficits included slower reaction times, slower executive cognitive functioning, and more, indicating that heavy marijuana use does have a significantly negative effect on the brain even after quitting. Bolla et al. are still unsure as to whether these effects would increase or decrease given continued abstinence.

According to Bolla et al., the actual effects of marijuana on the human mind are outlined. “The neurocognitive functions most negatively affected were memory, executive function, and manual dexterity” which are all closely related to the prefrontal cortex, cerebellum and hippocampus, are all parts of the brain that are adversely affected through heavy marijuana use (1341). Bolla et al.also demonstrate that for marijuana smokers even after quitting, the effects of marijuana on the brain do not evaporate overnight. This however does not negate the significance of quitting marijuana smoking. According to Bolla et al., scientists have found that a marijuana smoker consuming 10 joints a day for 10 years would probably show greater neurocognitive effects than marijuana user smoking one joint per day for 10 years (1340).


The marijuana smoking phenomenon in the country is worrying, especially among teenagers, and calls for attention from relevant authorities. According to Crompton et al., as a result of two studies: the 1991-1992 and the 2001-2002 studies, the increase in marijuana addiction lies in the potential change in potency of the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) or the active ingredient in marijuana. Compton et al. also find that the trend of marijuana use among African American and Hispanic teenagers was on rise while that among white populations it was not.

Pletcher et al.bring our attention to the effects of marijuana on the pulmonary functions. According to the authors, in spite of the research having not demonstrated the effects of marijuana on pulmonary functions, their studies actually do by decelerating pulmonary functioning. This knowledge sheds more light on the detrimental effects of marijuana on the smokers, perhaps to alert them so that they can quit.

The research by Jessor et al. states that marijuana use among teenagers is linked to psychosocial phenomenon. In this regard teenagers, who are mostly idle, hopeless, ambitionless, and less religious find themselves consuming marijuana. In addition, the research shows that marijuana is used by deviant teenagers to aid them.

Two approaches of marijuana treatment are hereby suggested by extended and brief treatment. Both are found to be effective. The two approaches involve withdrawimg from smoking and other therapies that would help the addicted reduce their reliability on the drug. However, studies by Bolla et al on the available knowledge show that the effects of heavy marijuana do not evaporate overnight.

The good news is that the study was done for 28 days. More research is needed to find out if neuropsychological effects of marijuana are reversible and how so can this can help those who want to quit smoking are assured of reversibility of their addiction.

Nonetheless much attention by anti-narcotic agencies, parents, guardians and NGOs should be put on encouraging abstinence from the use of marijuana. This could be done by coming up with programs that keep the teenagers busy. Guiding and counseling should also be employed to fight this menace.

Works Cited

Bolla, K.I., Brown, K., Eldreth, D., Tate, K. and J. L. Cadet.”Dose-related Neurocognitive Effects of Marijuana Use.” Neurology, 59 (2002)1337-1343. Print.

Compton, Wilson M., Grant, Bridget F., Colliver, James D., Glantz, Meyer D., and Frederick S. Stinson.”Prevalence of Marijuana Use Disorders in the United States – 1991-1992 and 2001-2002.” Journal of American Medical Association, 291.17(2004): 2114-2121, Print.

Jessor, Richard, Chase, James A., and John E. Donovan.”Psychosocial Correlates of Marijuana Use and Problem Drinking in a National Sample of Adolescents.” ALPH, 70. 6(1980): 604-613. 1980. Print.

National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA). Marijuana Abuse, 2002. Accessed October 20, 2012 <;

Pletcher, Mark J., Vittinghoff, Eric, Kalhan, Ravi, Richman, Joshua et al. “Association Between Marijuana Exposure and Pulmonary Function Over 20 Years.” Journal of American Medical Association, 307.2(2012): 173-181. Print.

Stephens, Robert S., Roffman, Roger A., and Lisa Curtin.”Comparison of Extended Versus Brief Treatments for Marijuana Use.” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68(2000): 898-908. Print.

Environmental Microbiology: Memo

To: Student

From: Tutor/Course Lecturer

Date: 19th October 2012 Bacterial

Subject: Examining the Changes That Occur On Matter During Bacterial Breakdown.

The experiment was carried out to establish the action of microorganisms on breakdown of matter. In the first study, two samples of organic matter were used. The first sample was carried out in an open setup to observe the action of the microorganisms on the decaying matter in the presence of oxygen. The second sample was carried out in an enclosed chamber to observe the action of microorganism in the absence of oxygen. The aim of this study was to establish the changes which take place due to action of aerobic bacteria and anaerobic bacteria on decaying matter. In the second trial, the study was carried out to establish the action of microorganisms on the oil molecules. Two trials were carried out to find out one in water and the other one in the soil. These two trials were meant to elaborate how oil molecules breakdown in the sol or water as a result of action of microorganisms.

From the first test, the students learnt that the action of microorganisms was necessary to break down organic compounds into less poisonous substances which would otherwise damage the environment. Also, because different organic matters are found in different air conditions, the action of both aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms are important to ensure that all biodegradable substances are broken down regardless of where they occur. The trial carried out in a closed chamber was the directing test with a fixed environment. It was important to have a trial in fixed conditions whose outcome could be compared with those of others carried out in varied conditions. Biodegradation refers to permanent transformation of the matter by action of microorganisms which affect its mass, feel, color and other aspects of the matter. The decomposition takes place gradually whereby the color and texture keep on changing. The mass also continues to reduce as heat is generated. However, first, the effect is rapid and later continues to reduce and almost stabilizes as mot of the contents is consumed. The structures of the oil molecules are broken down by Hydrocarbonoclastic Bacteria which makes it soluble in the water or soil and is less poisonous. After its action on oil molecules, the bacteria either get demised or gets back to its original state. The oil molecules which had not been broken down by microorganism form a coagulant of poisonous substance which is sticky and dull in color. The amount of microorganisms present in the oil sample will determine the amount of oil molecules that will be broken down. The enhanced cloudy in the trial containing oil molecules is due to the broken down oil molecules and the fact that they were not completely consumed by microorganisms. Additionally, due to the reaction between microorganisms and the oil, other substances were formed such as asphaltene which were insoluble in the water hence remained suspended and eventually increased turbidity.

The breakdown of oil by microorganisms begins by losing n-paraffin and acyclic isoprenoids compounds present in the oil. The action of the microorganism in breaking down the oil molecules into different substances is facilitated by the presence of the catalysts such as “yeast, pseudomonas and penicillium.” The biodegradation of oil is very essential in reducing adverse effects of the oil spills in the environment. The toxicity is reduced which makes it less dangerous to the aquatic life due to oil spill in the ocean and other water bodies of through ground seepage.


How to make and advice column

These are the steps we took in putting up the talk together, which we feel can be useful to the other members as well.


First, we identified the topic of discussion. Our talk focuses on the benefits of marijuana. It simply outlines the medical, economic, and environmental benefits of marijuana. Since time is the limiting factor, try to cramp some of the details and make the fit within the given time. On average public talks takes around 100 to 200 words per minute. Therefore, get the approximate count of words you are going to use per minute by taking the total number of words on the script and divide by 120.


Second, ensure that the whole story can be presented in less than five minutes by determining the points you make in every 15 seconds. Since each slide is allocated 15 seconds, make sure you cover as much details as possible. At this stage, you may need editing software like Amadeus to record your script as if you were giving a talk. Insert markers after every 15 seconds to separate between the slides and ensure that all the information covers exactly 15 seconds.


Third, build your slide deck, the first segment of your script should be the title slide (15 sec) followed by the second, third, fourth up to the last slide each 15 seconds. The title slide may not be interesting because it only contains the name and title of the presentation. The creativity and fu part of the presentation will start from slide to of the script. During the presentation, slides will only act as a back up to reinforce the 15-second presentation.

Points to note:

-The choice of font size is essential because it will determine the readability of the slides. So avoid using decorative fonts. Use large fonts that are visible.

-Pictures are more communicative than words, so insert them where appropriate

-Make sure that the most important elements of the slide appear at the middle of the slide


Marijuana benefits includes medical, economical, environmental, and ecological.


For years, studies on marijuana have only concentrated on negative effects, but history proves otherwise. As early as, 4,000 BC – was used as a medicine for Rheumatism – loss of yin (female energy). In the first century, it was used in china to treat malaria, absent mindedness, and constipation in India. Greeks used it to treat earaches and as a pleasurable desert. In 2004, Israeli soldiers used marijuana to for pain relief and in combating stress after war. Marijuana is a useful source of drugs: Examples, Dronabinol, Nabilone, and Cannabidiol, used in treating various forms of cancer. The active ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can treat the following conditions:

  • Alzheimer’s disease, insomnia, ulcers, arthritis, migraines

  • Spontaneous seizures of epilepsy

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • Marijuana reduces anxiety, depression, hepatitis and morning sicknesses

  • Helps in treatment of glaucoma, brain cancer, breast cancer, and melanoma

  • Reduces pain in cancer patients

  • Prevents vomiting, nausea, and muscle pains

  • Prevents respiratory diseases

  • Treats chest pains and heart diseases

  • Marijuana can be used as pain relievers and sedatives

  • Marijuana can solve the problem of weight loss by increasing appetite

  • Used as an anti-inflammatory agent, immune regulating abilities, and anti-bacterial properties


The government spends millions of dollars in Hemp-hemp related crimes. One of the hemp products that can be very useful is hemp cigarette. This is a viable source of tax revenue for the government. Therefore, legalizing it will save resources spent on its crack down. This will also divert resources to combat other crimes.

  • A potential raw material for paper industry, which can save a million trees

  • Takes only four months to reach maturity

  • Requires a small space compared to paper tress

  • Hemp is a good source of fiber

  • Producers 100 times fiber than cotton

  • Its fibers are much stronger and durable


The hemp tree is a source of various products, which are beneficial to the environmental. Some of these products include cheese, soap, paper, clothing, cosmetics, and hemp oil, which can be used by man in various areas. Other benefits include:

  • A source building materials

  • Hemp is a natural weed repellant

  • Hemp-derived materials are cheaper

  • Requires less attention while in the fields

  • Source of nutritious high-protein oil

  • Protein extraction is less expensive

  • Hemp oil is a source of varnish, paint, lubricating oil, ink, and plastic substitutes

  • Hemp oil has anti-bacterial properties

  • It will create new job opportunities

  • Hemp products are non-toxic

  • Hemp is biodegradable and renewable

  • A viable source of clean fuel/energy

  • Requires less fertilizers hence less pollution due to run-off


Marijuana products are environmental friendly and even the tree itself provides so many benefits to the ecological cycle. Here is a list of some of these benefits.

  • Marijuana can make use of land used for trash disposal

  • It will lead to better protection of public land

  • Farmers will plant it in lands suited for agriculture, hence fewer forest lands would be disrupted and This will save millions of trees cleared from forests

  • It will reduce the use of petrochemicals

  • If legalized, it will get rid off guerilla farming

  • Converts sun’s energy to biomass more efficiently than other plants

  • Biomass from hemp releases less pollutants

  • It is a weed, hence not affected by pesticides

  • Holds soil particles together more strongly

  • The fuel is carbon neutral hence contributes less to global warming

  • Can replace chemical intensive crops such as cotton and imported fuel

Drug Information Paper


There are several drugs which can be used for treatment of bipolar. This paper seeks to identify the best treatment for bipolar disorder in an adolescent patient. The four drugs under examination include: The effectiveness of using abilify 20mg at bedtime to treat mood disorders, the use of Tenex 1mg four times a day for impulsivity treatment, use of Trazadone 100mg at bedtime for treatment of sleep disorders, and the use of neurontin 600mg in the morning and bedtime for mood stabilization. In the end, the most efficacious treatment is recommended to the pediatrician for treatment of the bipolar disorder in the adolescent.

Abilify 20mg po daily at bedtime for mood stability

The use of Abilify 20mg po daily at bedtime for mood stability is appropriate in the of management bipolar disorder. Abilify has been identified as one of the safe drugs used in the management of psychological disorders (American Psychiatric Association, 2006). The main mode of action of abilify is through exertion of partial agonist activity at the dopaminergic and serotonergic receptors. Keck et al. (2003) carried out a randomized study to determine the effectiveness of abilify in patients presenting with acute bipolar disorder. After four days of administration, the maniac symptoms had significantly improved in patients who were being treated with abilify.

Tenex 1mg po four times a day for impulsivity

It is also appropriate to treat impulsivity using Tenex 1mg po four times a day. Guafenacin is an -2 agonist that has been employed by physicians for quite some time now in the management of disruptive behavior in adolescents. Numerous studies have been carried out to determine the efficacy of this drug in the management of hyperactivity in persons presenting with bipolar disorder. Childress and Berry (2012) carried out two placebo controlled studies in young people aged between 6 and 17 years to determine the effectiveness of Tenex if administered four times a day to manage impulsivity. In the two studies, patients were randomized to a fixed dose of guafenacin. The lowest dose of the drug, 1 mg, was used in the study which comprised of 324 participants. The participants were later on evaluated for psychotic disorders to determine whether their condition had improved. These studies revealed that impulsivity and hyperactivity were significantly reduced in participants who were being administered with guafenacin.

Trazadone 100mg po at bedtime for sleep/depression

Administration of Trazadone 100 mg po at bedtime is also beneficial in the management of depression associated with maniac disorders. However, Trazadone 100mg is extremely high for management of insomnia. Insomnia is usually treated with trazodone dosage of about 25 – 50 mg at bedtime (Pagel & Pandi-Perumal, 2007). Treatment of depression requires 150 mg of trazodone daily and, therefore, the use of 100 mg po at bedtime is within the normal range. Bain (2006) carried out a critical evaluation of clinical studies carried out in the past to determine whether trazodone can actually result in effective management of sleep disorders and depression in people with bipolar disorder. Bain (2006) concluded that trazodone can result in significant improvement of the psychological condition if administered daily.

Neurontin 600mg po in the morning and 600mg po at bedtime for mood stabilization

Neurontin, referred to as gabapentin, is one of the most effective anticonvulsants that are administered in the management of bipolar disorders as mood stabilizers (Medline plus, 2012). Studies have revealed that gabapentin is safe and efficacious when used in the management of mood disorders. Even though there are few studies with regard to the use of gabapentin in the management of maniac disorders, case reports reveal that this drug can significantly eliminate mania symptoms in patients. It is appropriate to administer 600 mg po of neurontin in the morning and at bedtime since this has been proven effective in stabilization of mood. Patients who have been treated using this drug agree to feeling more relaxed the next day if the drug was administered at bedtime. Caution should however be taken before administering this drug to patients presenting with kidney disorders (Miller, 2009).


One way of stabilizing mood disorders is administering abilify 20mg at bed time. Administering guafenacin (1mg four times a day) has the potential to lower impulsivity and hyperactivity. Trazadone is also effective in treating sleep disorders like insomnia, as well as depression; thus administering 100mg of trazadone at bedtime is appropriate for sleep/depression. Finally, mood disorders can be stabilized by administering neurontin 600mg in the morning and at bedtime, but caution should be taken with patients who have renal disorders. In this particular case study, we would recommend that the pediatrician administer guafenacin to the adolescent patient since it has been shown to be effective in managing disruptive behavior in adolescents, and the patient in this case is an adolescent.


American Psychiatric Association. (2006). American Psychiatric Association Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders: Compendium 2006. New York, NY: American Psychiatric Pub.

Secondary source available at

Bain, K. (2006). Management of chronic insomnia in elderly persons. The American Journal of Geriatric Pharmacology, 10(4): 169- 190.

Primary source Available at

Childress, A. C. & Berry, S. A. (2012). Pharmacotherapy of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in adolescents. Pharmacotherapy of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, 72(3): 309-325.

Primary source available at

Keck, P. E. et al. (2003). A placebo-controlled, double-blind study of the efficacy and safety of aripiprazole in patients with acute bipolar mania. American Journal of Psychiatry, 160(9):1651–1658.

Primary source available at

Medline plus, (2012). Gabapentin. Retrieved on September 28, 2012 from

Miller, L. D. (2009). Changing the autistic brain. Minneapolis, MN: Hillcrest Publishing Group.

Secondary source available at

Pagel, J. F. & Pandi-Perumal S. R. (2007). Primary care sleep medicine: A practical guide. New York, NY: Springer.

Tertiary source available at

Traditional organization and organizational structure

The traditional organization structure was established in early 20th century and it became popular among business practitioners (Lim et al, 2010). The multi-layered bureaucracy was seen to be more efficient and effective in managing large organizations. There were transportation constraints and the ability to collect, present and spread information was limited. Most workers at that time did not have adequate education levels and the required skills. These factors led to development of a strong management system with centralized powers. All decision s were made by managers and the subordinates were expected to take directions from their seniors without asking any question. Globalization has led to improved communication and transportation services across the world (Jacobides, 2007). Employees are well trained and have diversified skills. Increased competition and changes in the external environment has led to changes in the organizational structures. This essay provides a comparison between traditional organization and organizational structure in modern business economy today.

The traditional organization was generally casual in nature and it was goal oriented (Butler, 1986). Under this system, the organizational objectives and incentives were clearly defined and easily controlled because everything within the business practice was predictable. The traditional organization model establishes managerial control over subordinates and managers provide subordinates with instructions. The organization is run by hierarchy, control, rules and authority. This system was similar to an effective machine that has clearly differentiated functions working in timely and reliable manner to accurately accomplish set goals. On the other hand, the modern organization emphasizes on strategic management (Lim et al, 2010). This model takes into consideration development of a decentralized organization.

The organization undergoes drastic changes due to creativity, motivation, political and power influence. There is increased flow of information in the current organization which moves in both directions. Communication between the organization`s management and employees can take place towards any direction. The modern organization has different variables as opposed to clearly defined objectives under the traditional system. This makes the organization simpler and less structured. The modern organization has few layers which limits the complexity of hierarchy among the staff. The chain of command in the modern organization is not clear making it difficult for managers to regulate and control their subordinates.

The goals and objectives in the modern organization are not as casual as they were under traditional organization. The goals have become more diversified and they are influenced by many factors including, strategic planning, creativity, individual responsibility and teamwork (Lim et al, 2010). The organizational structure is clearly defined and the flow chart together with responsible authorities and job descriptions of all employees are developed in advance. This enables the employees and managers to establish e good working and communication relationship. This structure clearly indicates duties, responsibilities, guidelines and hierarchical structure which enable every employee to know his or her position in the organization. The management and subordinates are able to understand their company and know the place they hold in the organization. This limits problems that might arise as a result of unclear structural proceedings.

Traditional organizations are generally stable. They are closed systems that cannot interact and get influenced by environmental factors. On the other hand, the modern organization structure is an open system which dynamically interacts with the external environment (Jacobides, 2007). The modern organizations take in resources from their environment and transform them into outputs to be distributed back into the environment. The processes and structure in traditional organizations were stable for longer periods. The situation has changed under modern organizations where structures undergo continuous changes. Organizations continuously improve on their competitive advantage which puts them in a state of permanent flux. Employees in modern organizations are required to frequently update their skills and knowledge in order to cope with changing trends in the business world. The employees` job description keeps on changing and the work groups are not permanent as they were under the traditional organization. Employees work in teams that consist of members taken from different sections depending on the requirements of a specific project.

Modern organizations undergo a lot of changes which includes reorganization of divisions, reengineering of business processes, replacement of permanent employees with part-timers or freelancers and outsourcing of non-critical activities (Jacobides, 2007). Managers cannot have pre-determined notions about any issues due to the dynamic nature of business environment and the constant need for change. Instead they have to be flexible and quickly adapt to changes in the environment. The work under traditional organization is individual oriented while in modern organizations the work is team oriented. Managers under traditional structures do all organization work and employees are just required to do what managers tell them to do. However in modern organizations, managers and subordinates have no differences. There is team work between all employees in the organization despites their hierarchical level. The organization works as a group of people who have a common objective and motive reflecting the success image. This increases the efficiency and effectiveness in achieving organizational objectives.

The modern organization has introduced the concept of temporary jobs as opposed to permanent jobs in the traditional system (Lim et al, 2010). Most companies are now offering temporary employment to their employees depending on various internal and external factors. The modern organizations involve workers decision-making as opposed to the traditional system where employees were only expected to take commands from their seniors. Managers encourage employee participation in order to remain competitive under the fast changing economic conditions. Involvement of employees in making organizational decisions helps the company to effectively respond to dynamic product and market demands (Jacobides, 2007). This pools the ideas of individual employees which can help the company to achieve desired results. Modern organizations aim at involving the maximum number of people in decision-making. This leads to ownership and commitment to the company decisions which improves employee retention. Employees are more satisfied when given the opportunity to participate in decision making.

There are four main levels that are followed by organizations in decision making process namely; tell, sell, consult and join (Butler, 1986). In telling leadership, the leader makes decisions without consulting employees and communicates the decision to subordinates. The leader gives complete direction to his or her subordinates. This strategy is important for issues like government legislation, safety concerns and other decisions which do not require employee input. The sell strategy involves making decisions by the company and then attempting to get employee commitment to the decision. This is used in situations where employees do not have a lot of influence over decisions but their commitment is required. The consult strategy involves inviting all employees to give their views about a particular issue but the final decision is made by the leader. Finally, the leaders and employees make decision in consensus under the join strategy. Both managers and subordinates have equal voice on decisions that are made.

The employee involvement system encourages consultation of stakeholders at every level of the organization. Stakeholders are involved in analyzing the problem, developing strategies and implementing solutions. All employees participate in the decision-making process by being involved in setting goals and developing work schedules. Participative management also involves increasing employee responsibilities, establishing self-managed teams and soliciting feedback (Lim et al, 2010). This system of management involves treating suggestions and views of the employees with respect and consideration. Decision making has been pushed down the organizational structure under the modern system. The responsibility of making decisions has been shifted from the executives to the employees.

The traditional organizations were governed by strict rules and regulations. Employees were expected to follow predetermined rules that were formed by the management without consulting them. However, modern organizations give more importance to customer satisfaction which forms the main factor for development of organizations. The organizations have become customer oriented as opposed to rule oriented (Lim et al, 2010). The main organizational aim is to offer exceptional customer services which results in higher customer retention. Customer loyalty greatly contributes to sustainable growth and profitability of the company. There is an increase in competition and any company must provide superior services for it to succeed. Companies are expected to meet current customer needs and prepare for future needs. A company that does not value customer service cannot survive in the modern business environment. The trend is towards improving customer service, increasing customization and providing exceptional customer experience. Research shows that organizational structure hinders customer orientation. Organizational structure affects important factors such as communication patterns, customer ownership, coordination, trust, integration, motivation and power.

Customer expectations have continuously increased and there is no longer brand loyalty. In the current world, customers continuously seek products and services that satisfy their needs better (Jacobides, 2007). Organizations aim at creating and retaining customers. A business that successfully creates and retains customers is able to make profit and continuously grow. However, a company that fails to attract and retain customers will experience heavy losses which may lead to its collapse. Most company today claim to be customer-focused, customer-driven and customer oriented enterprises. They conduct market surveys as well as focus groups to gain understanding about the customer. Modern organizations also invest in awareness programs and developing direct relationship with customers to increase customer satisfaction.

Globalization has led to increased interaction and development of multinational companies. This has led to diversity among the workforce in modern organizations. Companies that have diversified workforce are better placed in understanding the demographics of their customers (Lim et al, 2010). This gives the companies a competitive advantage that helps them to excel as compared to companies that hire from limited backgrounds. Organizations that have a diversified workforce are able to easily address issues related to employee satisfaction and retention. The company with a diversified workforce should take advantage of the broad range experience that exists within the employees to benefit the organization. Issues of diversity changes with time and their implementation are in most cases limited to the human resources department. Diversity enables many companies to reach new markets and is used as a marketing tool which helps to attract new customers.

Diversity can be deep-level or superficial. Superficial diversity involves differences in race, nationality and gender while deep-level diversity is differences in cultural values and knowledge (Jacobides, 2007). Prolonged interaction between diversified employees in a workplace lessens the impact of superficial diversity while increasing the significance of deep-level diversity. Individual employees learn how to work as a group and share information which impacts on their behavior. Diversity in information and knowledge has a positive impact on group performance while differences in values or cultural views may cause a negative impact. Most people in groups tend to share things that they have in common as opposed to their differences. It is important for group members to know unique things that each person has. Debates should be conducted to allow all members of the group to challenge views of their colleagues. Accepting uniqueness and diversity of every employee generates feelings of respect and trust which may lead to increased productivity. Effective handling of diversity also leads to higher employee morale and reduces conflicts.

The traditional organization structure was hierarchical in nature. Every entity under this structure is a subordinate to the other entity. This structure usually comprises of single group of power at the top of the organization and subsequent levels of less powers beneath them (Butler, 1986). Members of such organizations only communicate with their immediate subordinates and superiors. There is no communication overhead under this structure due to limited information flow. This can however be a limitation to the company because there is no free flow of information. Modern organizations have adopted a team-based lateral structure which reduces executive decision-making powers and gives more responsibilities to employees. These organizations have fewer regulations and management levels, allowing the employees to work as a team. This structure has led to improved communication, effective decision-making and employee empowerment.


Butler Jr., J.K. (1986). A global view of informal organization. Academy of Management Journal, 51, 3, 39-43.

Jacobides., M. G. (2007). The inherent limits of organizational structure and the unfulfilled role of hierarchy: Lessons from a near-war. Organization Science, 18, 3, 455-477.

Lim, M., G. Griffiths, and S. Sambrook. (2010). Organizational structure for the twenty-first century. Presented at the annual meeting of The Institute for Operations Research and The Management Sciences, Austin.


In organizations there are so many activities which have to be dealt with, costs minimized and profit maximized (optimal production). Initially, transportation; constraints, education levels that is modest among labor force and technical ability which is limited in collection, transmission of information and displaying ability as constraints resulted to the need of having centralized system of management that was strong. Management team had to come up with thoughts which were directed to workers to implement them. This system of organization is what is referred to as traditional organizational structure. This type of organizational structure was thus goal and causal oriented (Rajaeepour, Azizollah, Mahmoud & Solmaz, 2012).

Within the organization, there were/are hierarchies, control, rules and authorities which were used by management team to run the organization. With modern organizations, the growth of organization that is decentralized with strategic management is what is being emphasized. This paper will present the differences between the traditional and modern structure in an organization while trying to explain the advantages and set backs of traditional organizational structure (Lepoutre & Valente, 2012).

There are so many differences between the two structures of the organizations. When dynamic stability is considered, traditional organization emerges to more stable natural. However, there are a lot of disadvantages that accompanies it. The system is much closed and cannot be influenced by the environment besides not interacting with it. This is why the modern structure of organization is preferred. This is because; it interacts with environment in which it is operated. It absorbs inputs or resources from the surrounding then process them or transform them into products which are distributed to the environment. It can therefore be said that, traditional structure of organization is closed while that of modern is open to the surrounding.

There is a difference in flexibility between the two structures. Initially, it was impossible to change the structure. Although traditional structure was stable, it required a long time period for it to be changed. It is thus important to use traditional structure of organization if the stability required is for long term. This is an advantage for the traditional structure in an organization. However, organizations and companies experience frequent changes which make them to require a kind of structure which is flexible. This is because of the strategy by every organization to continue improving in order to remain competitive in the market. This is why it is strongly advisable not to use traditional structure in organization that requires being competitive in order to fit and remain the market (McFarlane, 2011).

A good example is the case with companies like Caterpillar, ABN Amro and Chrysler. They use production equipment which is computerized. They thus train workers on the use of the computers in production. The processes change every now and then. The description and structur5e of the job does not remain the same as it was the time of employees’ recruitment. Thus it is unadvisable to use the traditional structure of organization in such companies (Lepoutre & Valente, 2012).

The flexibility is further illustrated at the situation whereby, initially workers could remain in the same work level or group until they retire, retrenched or resign. This was because of the inflexible nature of traditional organizational structure. In current times, organizations have do not prefer permanency in jobs and groups of work. Teams are formed every now and then by taking of members from as per the need of the project. Therefore, changes in assignment of the job given to an employee are every now and then, hence they have to adjust accordingly to fit in the every new structure that comes into use. This is somehow impossible with traditional structure (Rajaeepour, Azizollah, Mahmoud & Solmaz, 2012).

In any modern organization, there are many changes which occur every now and then in their structures. There may be reorganization of divisions, processes of businesses get reengineered from time to time, critical activities do not get outsourced and lastly, there is frequent replacement of permanent employees with part time and freelance workers. All these are dynamisms which convince managers of organizations to use structure that is flexible so that they can easily adapt to transformation as well as help other people a part from the ordinary workers of the organization (McFarlane, 2011).

There is a difference between the two structures when the issue of cooperativeness at work place is considered. The traditional structure of the organization is somehow individual oriented. A manager will have to do organization and decision making while the worker has to do what has been told by the manager. Modern organizational structure almost everything is done in teams. It may sometimes be difficult to differentiate the role of the employee from that of the manager. The team work helps so much in achieving of efficiency and effectiveness in the objectives of the organization (Lepoutre & Valente, 2012).

The issue of teamwork has a lot of disadvantages for case of traditional structure in an organization. In any business, group work ensures that the task is at hand and executed with assistance of united effort. The impacts of the combined effort is experienced when the organization which implement it work like one individual. This enhances operation quality. Group work also contributes to equality in sharing of profit besides work division. In addition, organization owners develop an enhanced system which formulate responsibilities and authorities that are appropriate. The traditional structure can also not build the spirit of teamwork due to individualism (Rajaeepour, Azizollah, Mahmoud & Solmaz, 2012).

With team work, fair and equal task distribution in an organization is enhanced. This ensures execution of task at hand by all the working units and persons, with efficiency that is possible and best to achieve. Work division ensures punctuality in completion of work on time without extending time of completion. All this cannot be achieved if traditional structure of organization is used the demerit that is postulated by the individualism at the places of work (McFarlane, 2011).

The focus on risk avoidance is another incident which has to be studied with keen interest. Executing the job with highest efficiency and contributes to decrease in risks. This is best achieved if team work is used in performing the task. Moreover, failure as a burden is not individualized for the case of teamwork thus not borne by a single person. Minimization of risks is among some of the critical strategies formulated by the organizations. This means that, management team cannot use traditional structure in case it wants to reduce risks in the organization (Lepoutre & Valente, 2012).

There is specialization in teamwork. Unlike the traditional structure, modern structure categorizes employees into groups which are assigned different tasks. As efficiency and maximization of output is enhanced in each team, the spirit of efficiency and maximization is also enhanced at individual levels. Thus, the worker can optimize quality work which he performs besides maximizing efficiency. The end results are outputs which are of high quality evaluated both at individual level and as team work (Rajaeepour, Azizollah, Mahmoud & Solmaz, 2012).

Modern structure of organization postulates a big difference when dealing with customers. Unlike traditional structure that is rule oriented the current structure in any organization appears to be customer oriented. Modern businesses and firm emphasize satisfaction of customers and adhere to it as the means to their development and prosperity. This is a strategy which can never be achieved in the corporate world which is competitive if the rule orientation is used as a strategy. The higher retention of customers is determined by the services offered by the firm to its customers. This is a setback that traditional structure portray in the state of being ruled oriented (McFarlane, 2011).

There is homogeneity of work force in traditional structure of organization, a situation that contrasts the modern structure which uses the labor force that is diversified. Organizations that use diverse labor force enjoy some benefits which are not experienced in the traditional structure of the organization. With diversified force of work, employees’ retention and satisfaction is addressed besides the incidences of inclusion. This is where the workers also enjoy the advantages which are accrued from the diversification of the work force (Rajaeepour, Azizollah, Mahmoud & Solmaz, 2012).

Moreover, customers demography served by the work force is easily understood thus giving the organization an opportunity to understand the customers better. These equip the firms better so that they have proficient competition in the market. Issues of diversity change from time to time. Companies in United Kingdom consider diversity to be a tool for good cases of economies gives them a chance of reaching to new markets. So diversity is a tool which used in attracting new customers (Lepoutre & Valente, 2012).

As stated earlier, traditional structure of organization use hierarchy in administration, it therefore has hierarchy kind of relationship. This is in contrary to the lateral relationship which is used in modern method. In traditional structures, workers are ranked into various levels, highest being at the top and other levels lower than it. Each stage of the chain has employee who has others workers, under him/her, that are then on a lower level. Thus each employee’s role is defined. The hierarchy appears to be tall with spans of control that are narrow, widening as one moves down it. This structure is centralized with most critical decision being made by the CEOs (Rajaeepour, Azizollah, Mahmoud & Solmaz, 2012).

The short comings associated with this hierarchy structure are many. Some of them are that: the bureaucracy in the organization can be adjusted at a very slower rate than that at which the market is changing. This places the organization in a position in which it cannot meet the customers’ expectation in the market of operation by the organization. There may also be poor or miscommunication across the sections especially if they are on the same level. Moreover, there can be decisions which are beneficial to the departments that made them but not others or the entire business. This mostly occurs for the case of rivalry that is inter-departmental.

The hierarchy is used in the Catholic Churches. The top most level is occupied by the popes. Under him there is Cardinals who is followed by the Archbishops as the hierarchy moves down. However, with lateral structures, organizations are embracing it as a new concept which is more beneficial to the firms. The power of decision making is not only assigned to the executives, but employers are also responsible in doing it. With this system of structure, firms need fewer levels of management and regulations (McFarlane, 2011).

The employees are thus to cooperate while working with intention of prosperity of the business. The merits associated with the lateral structure are: there is improved communication. Companies which use it have overhead management that is minimized. In addition, teamwork is encouraged since the spirit of contribution to the solution is enhanced. Lastly, the delays in output production are eliminated when the lateral structure is used (Lepoutre & Valente, 2012).

In conclusion, there are a lot differences between the traditional organizational structure and the modern structures used in the organization. The two appears to be critical and thus used by various organizations. However, traditional structures have a lot of limitations accompanied with it. This makes the managers to evaluate the essence of each structure before they put it into use. While focusing to the market competition, most organizations prefer modern structure to the traditional one.

It is therefore advisable to use modern structure in organization because of its flexibility to changes, diversity to teamwork and production, customer oriented for market competition and efficiency and effectiveness in communication. These qualities are not present in traditional structure which is considered inflexible, rule oriented, bureaucratic and time demanding especially for the cases where changes are needed urgently.


Lepoutre, J. N., & Valente, M. (2012). Fools Breaking Out: The Role of Symbolic and Material Immunity in Explaining Institutional Nonconformity. Academy Of Management Journal, 55(2), 285-313.

McFarlane, D. A. (2011). Are There Differences in the Organizational Structure and Pedagogical Approach of Virtual and Brick-and-Mortar Schools. Journal Of Multidisciplinary Research (1947-2900), 3(2), 83-98

Rajaeepour, S., Azizollah, A., Mahmoud, Z., & Solmaz, S. (2012). Relationship between Organizational Structure and Organizational Alienation. Interdisciplinary Journal Of Contemporary Research In Business, 3(12), 188-196

What Makes Humans Human

Human beings are not only unique but different from other forms of life. The evolutionary process that has shaped life has immensely transformed how people relate with the world around them. It is the ways in which people relate with the world that makes them inimitable from other living things. Notably, the increased technological sophistication, globalization, socio-economic convergence, political relations and other features makes human to be different from other forms of life.

What really makes human beings different from other forms of life? Studies have shown that, even though humans have a lot in common with other animal species, the biological, genetic, mental and sociological status of humans makes a significant difference. Unlike other animal species, humans have been able to advance in religion, literature, art, technology and are in a position to make more complex decisions. The following section seeks to respond to the question on what makes humans human by analyzing a number of themes. These themes include why there is a human family in the global context, technological developments and the human condition.

While there are billions of living organisms on earth, none has strategically developed a family or a form of “citizenship” as human beings. While all animals have a sense of belonging, the case of humans presents a unique picture of a family. Studies have shown that, the creation of one human family has not only been fostered by the search for common values in life, but also by the need to make man different from other animals (Rushworth,pp.3-4).

Unlike other living things, I believe humans have the ability to move to a new dimensional concept of citizenship. The self consciousness and intelligence possessed by humans is enough to utilize human diversity as a primary tool for creation of one human family that spread across the planet. This is something that is unachievable in the kingdom of other living organisms. I believe the reason is very simple: humans have access to information that can help them to conceive of morality, change situations and circumstances and reach an agreement on certain matters (Rushworth, pp.9-13). Therefore, human beings can actually unite and form an innovative dimensional concept of citizenship where every individual is part of the whole system. Even though it’s a utopian concept, the case of United Nations, European Union and other international organizations elucidates the possibility of a new consciousness that can transform how people relate to one another (Boulding, p.59).

Secondly, the occurrence of conflicts defines human relations across different societies. Historically, conflicts have been witnessed at the local, state and international levels. In many cases, ethnic conflicts have grown to be the source of greater economic, political, social and cultural disruptions to people across the societies. However, unlike other animals, human beings have devised different ways to reduce, manage and solve conflicts at all levels. The ability of humans to think and plan in time has made it possible for them to consciously handle situations that are otherwise problematic. I believe that, peace is a function of the intelligence and self-consciousness of humans. In other words, the world can never have peace if humans do not learn to make it a safe and secure place. It is true that, humans through technological advancements have contributed to the emergence of new threats such as biological warfare, terrorism, Weapons of mass destruction (WMD), global warming among others. There is no doubt that, these threats are real. The evolution of humans from primitive and fractious tribalism to the highly evolved modern individual signifies the power of change possessed by humans (Boulding, p.61).

Therefore, while humans are a risk to humanity itself, there are ways in which they can actually save the world from such threats. As mentioned earlier, the formation of a new type of citizenship where there is one human family can help to bridge the social, economic, political, cultural and technological gaps that have contributed to inequality, unequal distribution of resources and isolation. I believe human security, improved social welfare, peace, social, political and economic developments depends on the ability of humans to focus on the 99 percent similarity and use the 1 percent difference to make the world a better place for all living things. The society should move to a level were acts of violence such as war, genocides, murders and even any form of discrimination are strictly treated as wrong and one that deserve collective efforts by all humans to collectively find peaceful, amicable and working solutions (Boulding, p.63).

Another reasons why humans are humans is based on technological developments and sophistications. Few decades ago, technological machines such as computers were unimaginable. Generational changes from baby boomers to the millennials have witnessed greater technological changes that have seen transformations in the social, economic, political, and cultural spheres of people. It is apparent that, technological machines such as computers have contributed to the imminent changes in the lives of young people and the old alike. On one hand, technology has been employed to make life better for human beings. This is based on how technologies are used to increase efficiency, reliability, effectiveness in the production and distribution process thus making life much easier for people. On the other hand, technology is perceived to have outshined humans (Kotkin, para.6.). I don’t know whether this is true, it is subject to debate. It is said that, in the advent of technological advancements such as the internet, people are losing control of themselves and act in ways that appear to be incomprehensible. This means that, unlike the baby boomers who worked hard to make it in life, the millennials as the “screwed generation” keep hiding behind a computer screen. The Turing test is among some of the notable experiments carried out to measure the ability of computers to outshine human intelligence (Christian, para. 8)

Therefore, while humans still remain unique, powerful because their highly level of self-consciousness and intelligence, technological changes present a challenge on how humans will respond to issues in the future. For instance, although people have the ability to make computers, such machines have revolutionalised how people perform certain activities. In this case, the changes brought about by technology may intrinsically challenge the human mind (Christian, para.4).

The human condition is another theme that explains why humans are human. The psychological, biological and highly social nature of humans within the social context of our lives makes us unique. Humans feel the pinch of war, hunger, among other excruciating situations. They also have the ability to experience emotions such as peace, joy and conversely despair, pain and depression. I tend to imagine that, while the unique human condition has been shaped by biological and genetic compositions of our species, culture takes center stage in defining these relationships (Warner, para, 3). My culture defines who I am, so do yours. Culture is what makes Africans, Caucasians, Arabs, French, Chinese or even Americans to be unique in their own ways. Therefore, the ways in which people use culture in their lives determines how they relate to other humans and the environment at large. Culture influences our adaptability, our relationships, our thinking and our development.

Work cited

Boulding, Elise. Cultures of peace: the hidden side of history. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse Univ.

Press, 2000.

Christian, Brian. Mind vs. Machine. Retrieved on 4th October 2012 from,2011

Kotkin, Joel.Are Millennials the Screwed Generation? Retrieved on 4th October 2012 from

generation.html, 2012.

Rushworth, Gary. What makes a human a human? Pelham, NY: Benchmark Education, 2011.

Warner, Judith. The Why-Worry Generation. Retrieved on 4th October 2012 from;