Public sector organisation.

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Through this report we analyse the case study of a section of a public sector organisation. Relevant theoretical concepts would be used for performing a critical analysis of the organisational approaches, its structure and its culture. We further analyse the effect such an approach has on their employees' performance in groups as well as on the stakeholders. Personal criticisms and suggestion will be put forward at appropriate places using researched materials.

National Health Service (NHS) is owned by the Department of Health. The NHS board holds a meeting every two months which is headed by the chairman. These meetings define and manage the strategic direction and priorities of NHS, responds to the Users' Council, Clinical Information Advisory Group and escalate requests from the Operations Board (Please refer to Appendix 1 for a detailed description of these groups/boards). These meetings are also responsible for approving yearly financial budgets and development plans. (

The organisational structure and the managerial approaches of this sector speaking from the theoretical point of view resemble closely a very bureaucratic approach. This sector exhibits four main characteristics of a bureaucratic approach, which are specialisation, hierarchy of authority, systems of rules and impersonality (Clark, 1999).

Each group/board is viewed as a part of system where focus of attention is on managerial decision-making and how they process information in while making decisions.

Impact of Motivational Leadership Approach on Employee Performance

Managers should be able to plan, organise, motivate and communicate effectively (Dr. Elizabeth Achinewhu-Nworgu's handouts).

Managers who believe in following a motivational leadership approach must incorporate several basic principles into their management style:

  • They should be committed to providing quality work
  • Satisfaction of staff and the users of services should be their concern
  • They should focus on problem solving to keep improving on their quality
  • Respect for staff and their abilities, they should try and understand each member individually.
  • A willingness to collect and use data to determine the nature and size of problems and to improve processes (Armstrong , 2006)

Now that we've discussed the principles that need to be incorporated in the managerial style, let's have a look at the basic guidelines for a manager to follow in order to effectively motivate the workforce:

  • Positive reinforcement
  • Effective discipline and punishment
  • Treating people fairly
  • Satisfying employees needs
  • Setting work related goals
  • Restructuring jobs
  • Base rewards on job performance (Weisner et. al, 2000)

It was identified in the NHS's section, where I work, the approach used is Bureaucratic.

As discussed in the handouts I've observed that the managers give a lot of significance to the three needs theory(Dr. Elizabeth Achinewhu-Nworgu's handouts) -

  • Need for achievement (nAch)
  • Need for power (nPow)
  • Need for affiliation (nAff)

In our team, the manager is responsible for designating tasks but he gives responsibility and accountability to the staff for the completion of these tasks. The process of creating and designating new tasks is always discussed in team meetings where every member of the team is present and is allowed to contribute. The manager explains to us, the goals we have to achieve, he then hands over the power to the employees to take decisions regarding how they should go about achieving those targets. As a result of such meetings the interpersonal relationships also improve hence satisfying all the three basic criteria.

Evaluating the performance of a work team consisting of six people or more

Working in a team involves coming together for the purpose of working as a closely knit unit. Being part of the "team" means providing assistance and support to one another, thereby striving for a work place that would promote productivity and efficiency, as well as lead to an improvement in the team morale. (Nicholson, 1998)

The various stages in developing a cohesive unit are -

  • Forming: explain what they do in terms of their outputs and the tools they use;
  • Storming: express how satisfied they are with their tools, identify problems and opportunities
  • Norming: deciding scope of team's desired impact.
  • Performing: collect data needed for wise decisions; make wise and mutually satisfying decisions related to future actions. (Armstrong, 2003)

I work in a team of 10 members. Working with this team has given me the opportunity to analyse the manager and our team performance. The team has 7 permanent members of staff, which have been working there for over 5 years. These members have their duties and responsibilities clearly sorted out however they are expected to assist and cover up for others when required. Temporary members complete the other half. This year I've observed that the temporary staffs do not hang around for a long time, it keeps changing, and so I decided to focus my attention on this topic, as to why these people couldn't stick with the team long enough. As Armstrong says the stages of a team formation are very important and if any of these stages fail, it will make the team weak and consequently will lead to its failure. It was observed that the manager did not give any importance to these key-stages. Whenever a new member joined the team they were never properly introduced to the team, which lead to miscommunications at a later stage. The identification of roles and responsibilities is crucial to making a team stronger, this gives the individual a sense of belonging and allows him/her to make decisions and take responsibility. I think that our manager completely overlooked this stage. The new members were not given any kind of job description but quickly instructed on what and how they were going to do every - day.

As we can clearly see, that two very important stages of team development were completely overlooked, hence making the process of forming a team not possible from the beginning thereby taking any kind of motivation away from temporary staff, which eventually made them leave their jobs.

Recommendation as to how the manager responsible for the team can help improve the overall performance and effectiveness

It wasn't quite difficult for me to analyse where things were going wrong in our own team, since some of the basic team formation mechanisms weren't being adhered to.

Let us have a look at the various stages a team goes through in order to complete a project -

  • Preparations
  • Setup
  • Starting
  • During
  • Ending
  • Follow-Up (Clark, 1999)

It was quite clear to me that the first two stages are pivotal in determining the success of any project that the team works on. Unless we are well prepared for a task and have the right setup in place, we can never do a good job at it.

By right preparation I would say that the manager has to work on making sure that he builds a strong team, and since new team members keep showing up every once in a while, the manager has to make sure that he follows all those steps for every new employee in order to create a more cohesive unit. Once we have a good strong team in place the entire situation becomes a lot easier to deal with and this would lead to an overall increase in the effectiveness of the team.

The most dominant type of organisational culture and structure in my department

One of the biggest challenges for a business is how they go about organizing the people who perform its work. As the business becomes successful and grows, there is generally more work, and more people are needed to perform various tasks. By dividing work the work at hand; individuals can slowly become specialists at a specific job. Since there might be a lot of people, often in widespread locations, working toward a common goal, so we must have a plan in place showing how the work will be organized. Such a plan for the systematic arrangement of work is the organization structure. (Weisner et. al, 2000) Organization structure is comprised of functions, relationships, responsibilities, authorities, and communications of individuals within each department. (Nicholson, 1998)

I've observed bureaucratic mechanistic type of structure in our department, in the sense that it is a functionally based design. Our sector exhibits all the signs of this structure looking form the organogram. It is evident that the power and control is centralized vertically and the tasks are divided and specialised to functional duties. The offices have defined rights and responsibilities, which are functional. Junior staffs have to follow instructions passed down by superiors, paper work, procedures, etc.

Now moving on to organizational culture, let's first see what we mean by it.

Gareth Morgan has described organizational culture as: "The set of the set of beliefs, values, and norms, together with symbols like dramatized events and personalities that represents the unique character of an organization, and provides the context for action in it and by it."

Four main types of organizational cultures can be described as -

  • The Clan Culture - A very friendly place to work where people share a lot of themselves. It is like an extended family.
  • The Hierarchy Culture - A much formalized structured place to work. Procedures govern what people do.
  • The Adhocracy Culture - A dynamic entrepreneurial and creative place to work. People stick their necks out and take risks.
  • The Market Culture - A results oriented organization whose major concern is with getting the job done. People are competitive and goal-oriented. (Cameron & Quinn, 1999)

The culture observed at my workplace will definitely be characterized as Hierarchical. This is because when it comes down to tasks requiring specialisation, these are controlled by procedures and rules that are directed and coordinated by a small number of managers, hence creating a hierarchy,

Evaluation of the Effects of Structure and Culture on three Stakeholders in the organization

Effects seen on the staff - The tasks allotted to the staff tend to become monotonous over a period of time, and so boredom sets in. Due to which, people don't quite enjoy what they do, but they still do it just because they don't have any other option. The staff members don't seem to gel well, since the power is entirely in the hands of the higher management due to the existing hierarchy, as discussed in the previous section. This leads to a more individualistic kind of an attitude, rather than promoting team spirit.

Effects on the contractors - Contractors are usually hired to do jobs for which the company doesn't have a regular department. It usually turns out to be more beneficial for our organization to contract these jobs out, rather than recruiting people for them. The down side of this is that these contractors are paid a lot less than what a regular employee gets due to certain rules and policies in place, so this means that the contracted workers will have little or no motivation do work hard at what they are doing. And hence the quality of work takes a hit.

Effects on the people -Due to the hierarchy and job specialisation when the people face problems and complain the frontline contacts usually are not able to do their jobs properly, and at the same time another officer who might be able to attend to the problems is not allowed to do so because if department restrictions and certain other complicated organizational rules. Centralisation of power and control leads to unnecessary problems for the public, problems which could be easily averted if such a hierarchy was not in place.