Public Administration Essay
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Subject: Analysis of Critical Organizational Culture Problems at Muni and Recommendations on a Strategic Approach for Changing the Culture
The main reason Muni has acquired such a bad reputation is that it has a bad organizational culture. In this culture, employees do not seem to care about missing runs and frequent breakdowns of the fleet. On the other hand, management wants to do something to change but does not have an idea what should be done and how. The most serious problems being faced in terms of the organizational culture of Muni’s Equipment Maintenance (EM) division include conflict among employees, low morale, and lack of employee training.
These problems can be addressed using the following short-term strategies: changing the organizational culture to reflect Muni’s vision and mission, setting up a code of conduct for all employees, developing a system of tracking the frequency of breakdowns and measures taken to address them, and establishing a system of employee development through rewards aimed at incentivizing them and punishments aimed at avoiding negligent behavior. Once the short-term strategies have been accomplished, further improvements on Muni’s operations should be pursued by implementing the following long-term strategies: mobilizing more financial resources, formalizing the existing training program, and introducing a system of monitoring all systems, processes, and specifications at the EM division.
There is too much hostility among mechanics as well as between mechanics and supervisors at the EM division. For example, mechanics refuse to heed most of the instructions provided to them by supervisors. The state of neglect on the shop floor is particularly appalling, and this is primarily because of hostility and breakdown of communication among mechanics as well as between supervisors and mechanics. These problems are typical of an organizational culture in which employees hide behind an ineffective bureaucratic system, leading to the crippling of operations.
The problem of low morale is also evident at the EM division. This is demonstrated by the unwillingness by employees to take the initiative to clean up oil spills on the shop floor after many days of use, leading to a state of workplace disorganization. This problem is also common among supervisors, who lack the motivation to be tough on employees, most of whom are their former peers, lest they lose their statuses as supervisors in future and face untold hostility during their return to peer status. Another possible reason for the low morale is the outdated tools the mechanics are using to carry out repairs. Together with job insecurity, these conditions greatly contribute to low morale and subsequent loss of productivity.
There are very few qualified personnel at Muni’s EM division, and this is mainly because of an exodus of veteran mechanics during the 1970s and subsequent promotion of mechanics to supervisor status without first going through the requisite training. Due to the lack of managerial experience and training, the supervisors do not know how to do their job well. Problem-solving skills are lacking in this division and people are hardly communicating while doing their work. It is as if most of the employees do not know the objective their organization should achieve at the end of each day. Without on-the-job training, the EM division will remain crippled.
A process of changing organizational culture at Muni needs should be commenced with immediate effect. Employees should be informed and reminded at regular intervals about the mission of the organization and the need for them to remain committed to their work in the pursuit of this mission. Managers and supervisors should be at the forefront of delivering this message lower-cadre employees. These efforts should be geared towards improving employee morale.
The next step in the short-term strategy should entail the setting up of performance standards and a code of conduct for all employees. In addition to understanding the mission of the organization, employees also need to know the precise performance standards they should maintain and the acceptability of each behavioral attribute they display at the workplace. These efforts are highly likely to reduce the frequency of unacceptable behaviors such as violence, alcoholism, and victimization.
The EM division should introduce a system of tracking all operations, including specifications provided, deliveries made, breakdowns reported on specific parts, measures taken to address the breakdowns, and the effectiveness of those measures. Such a system makes it easy for managers to monitor each repair work that carried out on a bus as well as each delivery made by an engineer, with the objective being to enhance performance and improve accountability. Moreover, information such as mechanics’ feedback, engineers’ suggestions, and supervisors’ observations should be relied on during the drawing up of long-term strategies.
Establish a system of employee development through rewards aimed at incentivizing them and punishments aimed at avoiding negligent behavior.
In line with the task of enhance performance and improve accountability EM division should introduce a system of employee development. This system should use a two-pronged approach: rewards and punishments. This approach is justified by the principle of positive reinforcement, whereby rewards are motivating employees after a job well done while punishments for job poorly done discourage the affected employees from being lackadaisical in future.
The first long-term strategy should be to increase budgetary allocation to the EM division, and this calls for the mobilization of more resources from the relevant commissions, departments, and authorities. Reform is a capital-intensive process, and long-term success in terms of organizational reform and reorientation of the existing bureaucratic system may not be achieved without corresponding long-term funding commitments.
The aim of formalizing the existing training program is to improve efficiency by ensuring that every employee fully understands what is required of his job and to know who to consult in case of difficulties. With formalization, employees will also understand the goals that their work is designed to accomplish. This strategy will also eliminate confusion regarding the role of mechanical and managerial skills for mechanics, supervisors, and managers, such that workers at each level will know which skills to prioritize.
Lastly, the EM division should introduce a system through which all systems, processes, and specifications are monitored and evaluated. This will enable the managers and workers alike to determine whether current efforts are yielding the intended outcomes. This system should be the primary basis for determining whether the current implementation process should be adjusted to reflect new realities or unforeseen changes in the operating environment.
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