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Management of Organisational Behaviour - Assignment Example

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Glent County Supplies Department is entrusted with the responsibility of meeting the purchasing needs of schools, social services, building, works and architects departments and other institutions that provide essential services in the Glent County. The supplies department, as we see it, is presently ill…
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Management of Organisational Behaviour
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MANAGEMENT OF ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR: GLENT COUNTY SUPPLIES DEPARTMENT Glent County Supplies Department is entrusted with the responsibility of meeting the purchasing needs of schools, social services, building, works and architects departments and other institutions that provide essential services in the Glent County. The supplies department, as we see it, is presently ill. Its illness is simply that of an over-arching bureaucracy. The symptoms of this illness are manifested in its poorly structured work processes and a staff membership that can generally be described as de-motivated, individualistic and even apathetic. It organizational culture tolerates absenteeism and spawns sucking, social loafing and inertia. The resultant effects of these problems are that output of the supplies department is less than optimal and the service it renders to its customer is poor.
As most of you are aware, the institutions this department services provide essential needs and services to the populace of Glent County. The inability therefore of our department to adequately meet their supply needs can adversely affect their effectiveness in discharging essential services to the county. When symptoms of an illness are noted, they often point to an underlying cause. If this cause can be identified and remedied, the symptoms would vanish and health restored. A stitch in time, we are told saves nigh. There is no point in allowing the illness to fester on, when remedial action can be taken. In the same akin, the problems of Glent county supplies department cannot remain unattended to. It must be addressed in a comprehensive manner. An all -out organizational re-engineering and renewal is needed.
In the few months that we have been at Glent county supplies department, these are some of our observations. There are too many rules that govern behavior at this department. The organizational chain of command is unduly long. Decision- making is over centralized. The outcome is that a simple task takes a long period of time to get done. The standard operating procedures are often rigidly followed to the letter, sometimes to the detriment of productive working itself. There seems to overly control of staff by management. People are not given enough space to do their work. Relationship with the staff is often task oriented, without human touch. While this approach gets some amount of work out of staff, it is also breeding a staff membership that is largely unhappy. Consequently, a good number of staff is afraid to take responsibility.
The job descriptions of staff are well defined but a cursory look at that reveals that they are poor in content. Some allowances such as for meals are also merger. There also appear to be the problem of overstaffing at the department. There is less work than there are people to perform. The outcome of these problems has led to a de-motivated staff. Staff members prefer to gossip and socialize during official working hours instead getting productive work done. This development has given rise to sucking, loafing and even apathy. Staff members are only concerned about their individually assigned task and do not care about and support that of colleagues, even if that assistance would help the collective good of the organization.
The aforementioned problems attest to an organization reeling under the burden of bureaucracy. The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia defines a bureaucratic institution as one that is 'characterized by hierarchical authority relations, defined spheres of competence subject to impersonal rules, recruitment by competence". According to Weber (1960) cited by the Columbia Encyclopedia, if the tasks of staff members are well organized functionally, rules written to regulate behavior and they are well- resourced to do their work, it should lead to a technically superior organization. It should be easier for staff members in a specific functional department or unit to nurture their skill sets to the cutting edge. While this approach is useful, it also has the tendency to breed individualism and unhealthy inter-departmental rivalry and even antagonism. This development can work against the greater purpose of the organization itself. We have found traces of this phenomenon at the supplies department. If workers over concentrate on their own work and are unwilling to support colleagues where this is necessary, it is unlikely that the interests of customers would be best served. Weber (1960) cited by the Columbia Encyclopedia identified four commonest problems that can plague a bureaucratic set-up. These are:
i. There is over specialization of work, with no recourse to how this affects the overall performance of the organization.
ii. Procedures for carrying out work are rigidly applied. This sometimes slows decision-making.
iii. Staff members become infected with the group-think disease. The outcome is that certain actions are not given much critical thought.
iv. More and more rules and procedures are instituted.
The effects of bureaucracy on an organization are that it promotes inertia and inefficiency. As mentioned earlier on, staff members of Glent county supplies department are often unwilling to take up responsibility beyond what is prescribed in their job description. Even those within this ambit, workers seek leeway to circumvent them.
This state of affairs demands urgent corrective measures to be taken. In this article, a seven-point recommendation is given for your consideration. These are as follows:
i. Work processes and procedures at the Supplies department should be re-engineered. Cumbersome procedures that stalk effectiveness of work should be scrapped. Team working should be given premium at the expense of individualism. Effective collaboration among staff should be encouraged and workers should be trained to support one another. A customer-oriented institution should be built, so that the collective work of all staff would be geared towards satisfying the customer.
ii. The unduly long hierarchical structure of the organization should be flattened. This would help decentralized decision-making in the set up. Performance metrics should be instituted and the giving of benefits and incentives tied to achievement of results. This measure would shake apathy out of the staff.
iii. The administrative procedures should be streamlined. Purchasing systems should be introduced to reduce paperwork. All paperwork should be offloaded unto the computer and internet. This approach would make information readily available to all staff and reduce the red tape.
iv. The appalling attitude of workers to work should be changed. The job description of staff should be improved in content. By simply asking each worker how his or her can be made more fulfilling, innovative ways can be found to give them more satisfying job contents. The large staff numbers should be cut to introduce efficiency. The affected staff should be re-trained to fit other units of the department.
v. The problem of group thinking should be solved through a critical review of the organization's human resource policy. This policy should encourage the employment of people outside of the organization into managerial positions. This approach would help introduce fresh and critical thought into the institution.
vi. Special rewards and incentives should be introduced to motivate staff. For example, the meal allowance should be increased.
vii. Elements of the organizational culture that do not promote productive working should be discarded. A culture that tolerates absenteeism should be replaced with one that shuns social loafing, gossiping and sucking and encourages productive hard work.
These recommendations, if successfully implemented, should lead to a more satisfied, motivated and happy staff at the supplies department. It would also boost staff productivity and enable us serve our esteemed customers better. In the end, we should have a more vibrant and effective organization.
1. The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia (2003). Bureaucracy, Columbia University Press, Sixth Edition, Read More
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