CaseStudy: Organizational Realities and Opportunities
CaseStudy: Organizational Realities and Opportunities
Organizationsare established to serve the interests of different stakeholders. Thevision and plans to guide the organization in the process ofsatisfying these stakeholders should be provided by the topleadership (NACLAA, 2017). The Town of Dingle, which is situated inAlberta, Canada, has a diverse population whose interests should beaddressed by the council. From the data provided in the case study,the diversity of the population is indicated by the increase in thegroup of post-retirement residents, young families, and medium sizedlandholders. The rapid increase in the population can be viewed as anindication of the town’s growth in the future. However, itsdiversity presents numerous challenges to the council that isexpected to satisfy the needs of all residents and stakeholders. Thispaper will provide the analysis of the key issues affecting the Townof Dingle and recommend measures that can be taken to resolve them.
TheAnalysis of Key Issues and Challenges Facing the Town Of Dingle
Fromthe case study, it is evident that the CAO and her deputy havedifferent views about the future of the town. While the CAO, MaryBrown is optimistic, her deputy is very pessimistic. The keychallenges that the deputy raises can be put into seven categories.These issues are the major factors that are likely to limit thecapacity of the town’s administration to achieve its goals andaddress the needs of the diverse population. These factors arediscussed in this section.
Thedeputy CAO states that there is a poor relationship between councilmembers and Department heads. This is an indication of the lack ofproper working relationships at the topmost levels of the town’smanagement. The top leaders are expected to provide direction and avision for the organization (NACLAA, 2017). The poor relationship atthis level of leadership will reduce the capacity of Dingle Town toachieve its long-term goals and vision.
Theexistence of the three factions of the council that disagree onwhether costs should be increased or cut is an indication ofconflicts within the organization. The deputy CAO states that thereis one group believing that costs and management should be cut.Another group believes that more members of staff are needed, whichwill increase the cost of operation. The third group is comprised ofindividuals who are undecided and they swing from the opinion held bythe first and the second teams from time to time. These groups havedifferent opinions, which can be a major source of conflicts thatwill hinder efficiency and the capacity of the town’sadministration to pursue its objective of satisfying the needs of adiverse population.
TheLack of Top Management’s Support
Thefact that the top management is expected to provide guidance andvision for the organization implies that members of staff look up tothe administrators and members of the council for support andmotivation. In the absence of this support, the members of staff feelconfused and lack the motivation that they need in order to deliverquality services to customers (NACLAA, 2017). In the case of DingleTown, deputy CAO stated that the administrative staff has expressedconcerns about the failure on the part of the Council to encouragethe implementation support. The lack of support and motivation fromthe top leadership will limit the capacity of the Council toimplement its long-term as well as short-term strategies. Moreover,it will be impossible to implement the decisions made by the councilsince the administrative members of staff who are expected to putthem into action are not motivated and lack the necessary support.
Goalsetting is among the key factors that motivate members of staff sincethey work hard in order to meet the expectations of the topmanagement. However, unrealistic goals reduce the moral of theemployees, especially when they develop a perception that theobjectives set by the top management cannot be achieved (Borins,Kernaghan & Marson, 2000). From the case study, the members ofstaff in the Town of Dingle have developed a strong sense of the gapthat exists between their performance and expectations of theCouncil. The gap between the actual performance and the expectationof the members of the council can be attributed to different factors,including the lack of staff motivation and the establishment of goalsthat are beyond the capacity of the employees.
UnclearDecision Making Process
Decisionmaking is part of the day-to-day processes of an organization. Thequality of decisions determines the effectiveness with which an organis run by its management. However, this efficiency is dependent onthe process that the management uses to make decisions. In the caseof Dingle Town, the members of staff have complained that the councilhas failed to establish clear decision making processes. Thesecomplaints are documented in the council’s minutes. The lack ofsatisfaction with the decision making process is an indication of thefailure on the part of the council to involve the members of staffwhen making choices on matters that affect their work and life(NACLAA, 2017).
TheLack of Relevant Skills
Themembers of staff complained that the council failed to establishclear decision making processes. However, the deputy CAO replied tothis complaint by stating that the members of staff lack criticalskills (including problem solving and creativity in budgeting as wellas reporting processes), which has reduced the quality ofcontribution that they can make to the decision making exercise. Thedeficiency of these skills resulted in the development of aperception that the council will not get any value by engagingemployees in decision making.
PoorSupervision of Junior Staff
Supervisionof junior staff plays a critical role in guiding them during theirday-to-day activities (NACLAA, 2017). Employees working for thecouncil of the Town of Dingle, especially those in the last threelayers, feel that they are not supervised adequately, which hasreduced their motivation. This is common among the newly recruitedemployees. The high turnover is an indication of lack of adequateguidance from the supervisors, which leads to frustration among thenewly recruited members of staff.
Respectfor Human Rights and the Rule of Law
Thedeputy CAO stated that some complaints have been made against theorganization where it has been accused of violating human rights.This can damage the image of the city and limit its capacity toattract more residents and business people as per the aspirations ofthe CAO.
Althoughthe CAO is very optimistic about the future of the Town of Dingle,this paper recommends seven measures that should be taken by thecouncil in order to address the challenges mentioned by the deputyCAO. First, the council in the Town of Dingle should exercise powerby sharing it with the operational managers and junior staff. Thisapproach will resolve the challenge of the lack of implementationsupport and plans. It is the responsibility of the top management toprovide guidance, support, resources, and authority to implementprojects and plans. According to Moss-Kanter (1979) the mostappropriate way of utilizing power is to share it out. Therefore, thecouncil needs to empower the junior managers and staff in order toensure that all plans are implemented successfully.
Secondly,the council should improve the relationship between supervisors andthe junior staff, which should be accomplished by clarifying theirrespective roles and powers. According to Moss-Kanter (1979) behaviorof the supervisor is a key determinant of the employees’relationship with the job and the organization at large. Therefore,regulating the amount of power and relationship between the twoparties will help employees develop a positive perspective towardstheir job, which will improve job satisfaction and reduce the rate ofturnover.
Third,the council should adopt the stakeholder engagement model and use itto enhance its decision making processes. The model holds thatquality decisions are made when the contribution of all stakeholderswho have some interest in the organization are taken into account(NACLAA, 2017). In other words, all people (including the juniormembers of staff working under the council) should be consulted whenmaking critical decisions. Apart from the staff engagement, thecouncil should train its members of staff in order to equip them withthe skills that will make them useful in the process of decisionmaking. Staff training is one of the key strategies thatorganizations use to empower their employees and give them thecapacity to carry out the job-related tasks (Ruona & Gibson,2004). This recommendation will resolve two of the challengesmentioned by the deputy CAO. These challenges include the lack ofrelevant skills among the junior staff and exclusion of employees indecision making processes.
Fourth,the council should resolve the issue of the strong sense of the gapbetween the expectations of the management and the actual staffperformance by establishing a collaborative environment. This willallow the two parties to consult each other and set achievabletargets. According to NACLAA (2017) organizational goals are achievedwhen democracy and professionalism are observed. This requiresmanagers to apply their power in a productive way by inviting allstakeholders to take part in the process of setting targets.
Fifth,the council should include respect for others on the list of its corevalues and ensure that it is observed by all stakeholders in guidingtheir relationships. This will resolve issues that pertaining tocomplaints that have been raised against the organization followingthe violation of human rights. According to NACLAA (2017) theapplication of political tactics in the pursuit of organizationalgoals is legitimate as long as ethical values and respect areobserved. Therefore, respecting other people and avoiding the abuseof power to exploit the powerless stakeholders will protect the imageof the organization by minimizing the number of complaints that areraised against the organization.
Sixth,the council should improve the interpersonal relationship skills ofits members and other stakeholders who interact with theorganization. From the case study, poor relationship exists betweendepartment heads and members of the council. This is an indication ofthe struggle for power, which has limited the capacity of theorganization to pursue its long-term strategies. It should beaddressed by considering power as being interpersonal, which meansthat the council should use it to influence behavior of subordinatesin a positive way (NACLAA, 2017). Training on interpersonal skillscan also empower members of the council by helping them to use theirpower to benefit the organization.
Seventh,members of the council should use the cultural change model to put inplace communication patterns and methods of dealing with conflicts.Conflict in an organization is an indication of the existence ofpeople with different views. In the case of the Town of Dingle,members of the council disagreed on the issue of whether costs shouldbe controlled or not. This is a positive conflict that can beresolved by creating a platform for each group to communicate thereasons for supporting a particular idea (NACLAA, 2017). This shouldbe coupled with the establishment of strategies (such as voting) thatshould be used to resolve disagreements and arrive at the conclusionsthat enhance the wellbeing of the organization.
Anorganization should establish a platform on which power is used toprovide guidance to subordinates and improve interpersonalrelationships among the stakeholders. Caution should be taken inorder to reduce the risk of abuse of power. The empowerment ofmembers of staff, which can be achieved through training, can go along way in motivating them and helping them to carry out theirjob-related tasks. Moreover, strategies that allow members of the topmanagement teams to share power with other stakeholders minimize therisk of conflicts in the organization. The existence of anenvironment that allows conflicting parties to communicate theirviews effectively leads to the identification of viable solutionsthat benefit the organization. Additionally, the engagement ofmembers of staff in the decision making processes empowers them bygiving them a chance to contribute their ideas. However, junior staffshould be equipped with relevant skills through training.
Borins,S., Kernaghan, K., & Marson, B. (2000). Chapter9: Learning and innovating continuously. In Kenneth Kernaghan, BrianMarson, & Sandford Borins (Eds.), the New Public Organization(pp. 207–228).Toronto, ON: Institute of Public Administration of Canada.
Moss-Kanter,R. (1979, July-August). Power failure in management circuits. HarvardBusiness Review,57(4), 65–75.
NACLAA(2017). Module6: Organizational realities and opportunities: Power, change, andlearning.NACLAA Program.
Ruona,W.E.A., & Gibson, S. K. (2004). The making of twenty-firstcentury HR: An analysis of the convergence of HRM, HRD, and OD. HumanResource Management,43 (1), 49-66. Retrieved fromhttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.login.ezproxy.library.ualberta.ca/doi/10.1002/hrm.20002/full