Metropolitan Welfare Project

The welfare system was in desperate straits and after a total revamp of the welfare’s department and offices, the Clearly Street office began to crumble under the new structure. What had been a somber and quiet place of business, before the re-structure, was now riddled with problems and in need of effective solutions. Summary of the facts The Metropolitan Welfare system was in a state of imminent collapse.

The system cost 3 million to operate yearly and cost increased by 18% annually. The regional offices were suffering from inadequate facilities. The department was over staff by 25% and there was no chain of command. Fraud and over payment took place in the organization as well as some clients were violent and verbally abusive. The mayor’s office hired a management consulting firm headed by a young Harvard graduate to make suggestions and control organizational problems. The interview process took two months after which the consulting firm presented a reorganization plan to solve the most pressing departmental problems.

The Clearly Street Office The Clearly Street Office was quiet under the old system but problems refaced after the organizational structure was changed. Under the new plan, the office case load increased from 2,700 to 25 with each workers case load increased by 35 clients. Previously, there had been no formal staff director but Robert S. Baxter assumed most of the communicating and reporting responsibilities and the staff looked up to him and frequently sought his advice. They however, viewed him as too inflexible in matters regarding form usage and too callous with the clients.

Mr.. Baxter was fifty- four and married and held a major in political science. Since Bester’s charges from the Army in 1 946, twenty of Bester’s twenty-eight years of service in the Welfare system had been spent at the Clearly Street Office. A new program was inaugurated whereby office staff had to sit an examination. R. Baxter, John L. Johnson and Catherine J. Hammock elected to take the exam. Two weeks after the exam John L Johnson was successful and he was appointed as Staff Director. J. Johnson was thirty-four and unmarried.

He had a Master’s degree In social work and was a counselor in the student affairs office. He was employed for four years at the Welfare Department. Catherine J Hammock, age twenty-eight was single, a graduate with undergraduate degree in anthropology and a master’s degree in social work. She had been with the Department three years and was the only supporter of Mr.. Johnny’s idea of starting a professional study group. As director, Johnson divided his office case workers into two groups. C. Hammock coordinated one group and R.

Baxter the other, however; three weeks later Tom J. Fatima who worked with Ms Catherine left the office to work with the Public school board. After two unsuccessful attempts to find a replacement John Johnson then engaged to transfer fifty cases to a nearby office while two hundred and ten cases were divided between the two teams and him. Baxter and Johnson disagree and apposed each other several occasions about issues related to, Johnny’s leadership style, increase workload, lunch breaks, relocating the security guard.

There were complaints from clients to the department and Johnson sent out memos indicating the need to improve the level of service being offered to the clients. Further conflict evolved in the organization, and during the next three weeks complaints increased, informal groups were armed and case workers refused to follow Johnny’s memo. (Pages 304 &305). Core Problem The core problem was a change in Organizational structure. Organizational structure can shape attitudes and behavior. Organizational structure defines how “job tasks are formally divided, grouped and coordinated” (Robbins & Judge 489).

In changing the organizational structure, Ménage’s need to undertake a process of organizational design which seeks to address six key elements: chain of command, work specialization, span of control, centralization and decentralization and formalization (Robbins and Judge 488). An organization’s structure is a means to help management achieve its objectives. Since these objectives are derived from the organization’s overall strategy, it’s only logical that strategy and structure should be closely linked.

More specifically, structure should follow strategy. If management makes a significant change in its organization’s strategy, the structure will need to be modified to accommodate and support this change. Causes of the Problem The Metropolitan Welfare Department case has an evident number of satellite problems stemming from the core problem. Initial predicaments ere clear on a macro level of the department with no Chain Of Command or Span of Control. Therefore, there was no format to whom individuals would report to, or any hierarchy of responsibilities.

This resulted in a number of problems such as, adding too many new clients, over staff, also costs were increasing, fraud, overpayment’s and violence. These challenging problems had to be put under control. Firstly, organizational change was implemented through the mayor’s office for a Harvard graduate to put these problems under control. This Harvard graduate used his skills and made changes in genealogy, changes in the environment and changes in the structure of the welfare department. Organizational change management and the planning processes seek to address the implications that a change in one input can have on the corresponding output.

The evaluation and process evaluation that comprise part of the change management approach seeks to measure and anticipate the effect strategic decisions will have on company resources and labor. This permits careful monitoring and benchmarking to adjust the process as required to more closely aligning organizational objectives with desired outcomes. This was not seen in the Metropolitan Welfare Department where the new system was implemented without giving thought to how the change would affect employees and their output.

Consequently, on a micro level, one office under the welfare department, the Clearly Street Office was affected by this change. This office initially had its own collection of traditions, policies and beliefs to get work done within the office. Its organizational culture was shaped and influenced by Robert Baxter. Bester’s length of service and great knowledge in the overall field of work made him valuable in the eyes of his colleagues. Changes in the composition of the employees took effect after Robert Baxter, John Johnson and Catherine Hammock did an exam to test their knowledge rather than skill for the position of staff director.

John Johnson, a thirty-four year old with a degree in Social Work got the position after his four years of experience in the welfare department. He then appointed Baxter and Hammock as two group coordinators. A formal organizational structure was now assigned to the Clearly Street Office. About three weeks after this change, there was voluntary turnover. Tom J. Fatima left to work with the Public Board. This turnover resulted in an increase in work load. Resistance to change began in the organization when an informal group formed. Resistance is an inevitable response to any major change.

Individuals naturally rush to defend the status quo if they feel their security or status is threatened. Folder & Garlicky (1999) claim that “organizational change can generate skepticism and resistance in employees, making it sometimes difficult or impossible to implement organizational improvements” (p. 25). (Albert F. Boldness, Deed. D, 2002) As stated by Vivid Sextillion most people don’t like change because they onto like being changed. When change comes into view, fear and resistance to change follow – often despite its obvious benefits.

People fight against change because they: fear to lose something they value don’t understand the change and its implications don’t think that the change makes sense find it difficult to cope with either the level or pace of the change (Vivid Sextillion According to Cotter and Schlesinger (1 979), there are four reasons that certain people are resistant to change: Parochial self-interest (some people are concerned with the implication of the change for themselves and how it ay affect their own interests, rather than considering the effects for the success of the business) Misunderstanding (communication problems; inadequate information) Low tolerance to change (certain people are very keen on security and stability in their work) Different assessments of the situation (some employees may disagree on the reasons for the change and on the advantages and disadvantages of the change process) Informal groups can be good or bad in an organization. They may form to express concern about needs for security, knowledge acquisition, and informal attempts to shape organizational policies. This group was concerned about their safety within the office. According to Mascots Hierarchy of Needs, he suggests that human needs are arranged in a series of levels of hierarchy of importance.

Once a need is satisfied, it no longer acts as a strong motivator. This safety need was being questioned by the workers and according to Moscow this lower need must be met. However, Johnson tried to persuade the workers that measures were put in place for violent clients but Mr.. Baxter could not be persuaded. Johnny’s leadership style throughout the case seemed autocratic or directive. This type of leader solves problems or makes sessions alone using information available at the time. Evidence of this leadership style was portrayed when Johnson coordinated the groups himself and how he managed the increase in cases after voluntary turnover by Tom Fatima.

He did not consult with his subordinates about these matters and handled them completely by himself. Baxter expressed his dissatisfaction with this situation. As a result, Bassets negative attitude towards Johnny’s leadership style progresses. Our assumption is that Bester’s attitude arose because of this autocratic leadership style and feeling a lack of job involvement. Johnson consults with Hammock mostly rather than collectively with Baxter who was the other group co-ordination. This may cause Baxter to feel ego-defensive and have a negative attitude change within the office. Organizational conflict presented itself with deviant behavior from case workers.

Seven case workers were out for lunch at once and came back late causing lines in the office to be longer than usual. Johnson was not pleased about the situation. Role conflict between Baxter and Johnson occurred with Baxter telling Johnson, “Well, we’ll just see who the real director is! ” Role ambiguity is evident in this case where Baxter has a lack of clarity about his new position. He was assigned a position but he took on no responsibilities required for the characteristics of the new position. Baxter could also be feeling a sense of role undersold, where he has now moved from being somewhat in charge of the office to now being under Johnny’s directive leadership.

Role undersold is the effect that the role is not demanding enough and the person has the capacity to undertake a more varied role. Clearly, Bester’s comment suggests his position and responsibilities in the office are beneath him. Overall, Johnny’s communication skills are not effective in the office. After three weeks the complaints from clients increased. Johnny’s way of conveying these critical messages to the staff were ineffective. He placed them on a bulletin board without the client’s signature. Workers were not adhering to this message. Johnson also did not communicate changes properly with his staff members or discuss the new structure, responsibilities and work standards.

In conclusion, the Metropolitan Welfare Department needed change but how this change was implemented caused problems to arise in the Clearly Street office. The appointed staff director, Johnson did not manage this change properly. Organizational change must be managed in order for fully motivated and productive staff. Over an approximate nine week period, these problems were not effectively managed by Johnson. The increase workload, deviant workplace behaviors, negative attitudes, role conflict and dissatisfied clients require Johnson to make some serious decisions. Possible Solutions Management Training for Mr.. John Johnson Diva n takes Management Training will allow Mr..

Johnson to identify the key management roles -? (interpersonal, informational and decisional) and to improve his unman skills (the ability to understand and motivate other people both individually and in groups (Robbins 9). It will introduce him to the benefits of delegation and allow him to give team leaders greater autonomy. It will increase Mr.. Johnny’s self-efficacy – A person’s expectation that he or she can successfully execute the behaviors required to produce an outcome. (Robbins & Judge 217) – Self-efficacy theory/social cognitive theory/social learning theory Disadvantages Management training can be costly and this will impact on the department’s budget. Mr..

Johnson may have to be away from the department during this period ND this will impact the case load of the other workers. Create Learning Organization (continuously learn, adapt and change) Advantages Flattens structure, empowers employees, frequent collaboration and cooperation, sharing of knowledge, little need for bosses to direct and control, instead, the manager can serve as a facilitator, supporter and advocate. Disadvantages Employees in supervisory roles may not be keen on having an equal playing field due to resistance to change. Transfer Mr.. Robert Baxter. Advantages Will give Mr.. Johnson the opportunity to regain control of the department without resistance from Mr.. Baxter who currently leads the informal group. Loss of most experienced employee. Knowledge base) Employ the services of Training Specialists to conduct sessions to assist in creating team players Advantages Fosters teamwork. Helps employees improve their problem-solving, communication, negotiation, conflict management, and coaching skills. Training Cost will impact on the departments budget. Overtime, corruption may occur. Offer Mr.. Robert Baxter the additional Responsibility of auditing claim forms to ensure accuracy. Will give Mr.. Baxter a greater role and demonstrate that his thoroughness is valued. Should minimize errors and fraud Resistance to change. Mr.. Baxter could be offended that additional work is being dumped on him.

Other case workers may be offended that their work is to be audited by Baxter. Utilize (Survey Feedback) an Organizational development (DO) technique to assist in bringing about change. Encourages open communication, will improve employee well-being, improve organizational effectiveness, encourages acceptance of change and involves participation by all organizational members. Disadvantages Survey can be time consuming. To be most effective, survey requires that respondents answer questions honestly. Institute a performance appraisal system The system should provide guidance pertaining to employee roles and how the roles identified are related to the overall goals of the organization.

The performance appraisal system must be accompanied by a reward system that rewards effective and efficient work practices. The reward system should recognize both individual and group performance. Care must be given to the timing of rewards to ensure they reinforce good work practices. Advantages Communicates the standards expected and rewards success. Demonstrates that management values its top performers. Time Consuming. Employees may focus on individual goals rather than group goals. Recommended Solutions and Implementation Survey Feedback – The use of questionnaires to identify discrepancies among member perceptions. Discussion follows and remedies are suggested.

All organizational members will be asked to participate in the feedback survey, but the focus will be placed on the organizational ‘family/’ -? (the manager Of any given unit and the employees who report directly to him or her). Questionnaires are completed based on respondents’ attitudes on a wide range of issues including: decision-making practices; communication effectiveness; coordination among units; and satisfaction with the organization, job, peers, and immediate supervisor. Data from the questionnaires are compiled with data pertaining to an employee’s specific family and to the entire organization and then distributed to employees (Robbins & Judge 600). The data is used as a starting point for identifying problems and clarifying issues that create problems.

Attention is given to encouraging discussion and ensuring it focuses on issues and ideas and not attacking individuals. Institute a performance appraisal and reward system 360 – Degree Evaluations lolls feedback from all of the employee’s customers. These include internal customers and external customers. Internal customers include: Top management, Manager, Subordinates, Co-workers/team members. External include: Clients By averaging feedback from the employees full circle of daily contacts, it allows the organization to obtain a more reliable, unbiased and accurate performance evaluation. Employees can be rewarded via certificates, prizes and small gifts. Individual and group efforts should be rewarded.

Type – Interpersonal skills – to improve listening, communicating and team alluding skills in order to effectively interact with fellow co-workers. Formal off-the job training that involves (live classroom lectures, public seminars, group activities that use role-plays and case studies). Mr.. Robert Baxter and Ms. Catherine Hammock will continue to oversee their sections whilst Mr.. Johnson is on training. Offer Mr.. Robert Baxter the additional responsibility of auditing claim forms to ensure accuracy. Discuss the idea with Mr.. Baxter. Reduce his case load to accommodate change. If he accepts, include new duties in his job description. Justification of Solutions and Implementation

Implementing Survey Feedback would have the following effects: Promote respect for people within the organization Foster trust and support from employees creating a more stable environment Reduce conflict as problems would be discussed openly Encourage active participation whereby employees would get the chance to be more involved in the decisions being made in the office at Clearly Street, which would in turn begin to iron out the ambiguity created by the restructure. We propose that by implementing performance evaluations that this may also iron out discrepancies within the workplace and lead to increased titivation. Conducting performance evaluations periodically would clarify the employees’ job description and provide feedback to employees about goals met and future expectations.

It also provides rewards that have positive valance and would further decipher whom responsibility should be giving to. According to ‘Victor Broom’s Expectancy Theory, an employee will be motivated to exert a high level of effort when he or she believes that effort will lead to a good performance appraisal; that a good appraisal will lead to organizational rewards; and that the rewards will satisfy the employee’s arsenal goals (Robbins & Judge 226). Mr.. Johnson was without a doubt the best candidate to fill the position of Director at the Clearly Street office based on his academic qualifications. However, his leadership qualities are questionable. Mr..

Johnson was plucked from a position of subordinate to one of management without receiving any formal training. As a result, his leadership at the Clearly Street was inadequate as he made decisions without consulting his workers and team-leaders, he did not motivate his workers and in turn he was confronted by insubordination. We propose that Johnson would receive training so to ensure that he becomes the best leader he can be. With training this will help nurture his human skills and guide him as to how to evaluate and handle situations in the workplace as well as becoming a more democratic leader. Also this will improve his interpersonal communication skills with his employees and help him improve on his directing, delegating and organizing. Mr..

Baxter possessed 28 years of experience that was supplemental to the organization. We propose that by delegating more responsibility to Baxter and utilizing his talent and experience that he would in turn respond in a more positive way. We believe this can be done using Miscellany’s theory of needs to achieve Motivation. By giving Mr.. Baxter more responsibility it would satisfy his hierarchy of needs. His need for achievement, need for power and need for affiliation. Along with the additional responsibilities, we believe that Baxter job can be “expanded by increasing the degree to which he controls the planning, execution and evaluation of his group’s work” (Robbins and Judge 246).

This process is referred to as Job enrichment. They also point out that “an enriched job organizes task to allow the worker to do a complete activity, increases the employee’s freedom and independence, increases responsibility and provides feedback so individuals can assess and correct their own performance”.