HR Practices in Public Administration Case Study

Pages: 9 (2655 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Leadership

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This approach to implementation is an important one and may serve to remove some of the ambiguity which remains present in existing research. In the article by Storey (2004), the author finds "that most of the literature and discussion about this issue is couched in terms of some fairly simple polarities: managers vs. leaders, transactional vs. transformational leaders, task-focused vs. people-focused and so on. Moreover, recent analysis in education has begun to question the predominant focus on the head teacher as the leader but, so far, there has been little empirical work carried out on the meanings and implications of distributed leadership. (Storey, 2004; p. 249) In spite of this, Storey will go on to endorse distributed leadership, offering a conceptual framework for its evaluation which is less artificially limited than those which she criticizes.

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What becomes apparent through this discussion is that the success of any approach that threatens to decentralize the leadership structure in such a public administrative context will be dependent on the professional, personal and cultural qualities in an organization's personnel. By increasing the stake available to a wide array of organizational members, an organization heightens the emphasis which is placed on the skills sets and qualifications present throughout a wide base population. This truly places the onus on Human Resources in terms of recruiting and retaining personnel fit for the emergent leadership structure as well as transforming company features around adaptable personnel. In this way, we find, distributed leadership does actually alleviate the dependency of organizational success on the talents and skills of just a few influential individuals. This is a perspective which is underscored by other findings, such as that provided by the Administration and Finance Department at West Chester University (2006), which contended that dstributed leadership "means seeing all members of the faculty and staff as experts in their own right -- as uniquely important sources of knowledge, experience, and wisdom." (AFD, 1)

Case Study on HR Practices in Public Administration: Assignment

This is indicative of the focus on ensuring that those personnel in whom new leadership responsibilities are vested are up to the challenge. In terms of integration of knowledge and the achievement of compromise, research tends to endorse the idea that more sources of qualified input will have the impact of improving labor division and knowledge economy in simultaneity. To this end, Wallace (2002) indicates that "key findings and judgements of effectiveness are synthesised as a speculative contingency model of team effectiveness focusing on balancing contradictory beliefs in a management hierarchy and in equal contribution within the team." (Wallace, 2002; p. 163)

Throughout our research process, in fact, this becomes a recurrent finding and likely a conclusive piece of evidence if any can be said to have been yielded. The impact which personnel quality and commitment will have on education carries over to the impact which these characteristics will have on the effectiveness of a distributed leadership approach. With this in mind, somewhat of interesting departure is Woods' (2004) discussion on the comparative and complimentary benefits of democracy in school HR practices relative to the distributed approach. Though the argument provided is somewhat pedantic, relying heavily on esoteric discussion of works by Marx and Weber, it nonetheless does provide one effective counterpoint to immediate assumptions of the positive gain in distributed leadership.

By framing HR democracy as a separate and more intrinsically valuable frame than simple leadership distribution, Woods inserts one of the more effective critiques against the value of empiricism at all in measuring the relationship between approach and learning outcomes. Absent the guiding virtue of democracy, the argument contends, the actual value of improvement of a school's learning outcomes may still be suspect. As the author distinguishes democracy from sheer distribution, we understand it to proceed from something more than just remission from hierarchical framing. Woods attributes to HR democracy the inherent perspective -- not necessarily implied by distributed leadership -- that there is learning outcome opportunity in the idea that "advancing truth is worthwhile, social and possible. Ethical rationality, linked in with the other democratic rationalities, requires, inter alia, creative spaces in a dynamic organizational structure that allows for movement between tighter and looser structural frameworks; a recombination of creative human capacities which overcomes the tension between instrumentally-rational and affective capacities; and open boundaries of participation." (Woods, 2004; p. 3) The creative human capacities discussed here by Woods must simply be corralled into the execution of a serviceable strategy for distribution and hierarchical de-emphasis.

Implementation will be accomplished through a number of major initiatives. Particularly, there will be a primary interest in the increased focus on promoting cultural plurality. The wider base of leadership should naturally facilitate the ability for a selection of culturally sensitive learning content and the fostering of culturally sensitive teaching techniques, including promotion of the engagement of individual cultural interests through traditional learning. This may be also achieved through the diversification of reading and historical content, another important transformational step enabled by a greater diversification of leadership sources.

And to a large extent, this underscores the primary argument of the current discussion. That is, as Public Elementary faces up to the challenges specific to its context and the challenges that are present for any public school, it will be appropriate to establish an HR strategy that centers around improved distribution of leadership at every level. By helping to create a context in which educators at all tiers have the ability to innovate, create and contribute to curricular direction, Public Elementary stands a great chance of significantly improving its output. This means that morale and performance are likely to improve amongst instructors and that, consequently, educational opportunities are likely to become more widely varied and individualized for the school's students.

Ultimately, it will fall upon Human Resources to help initiate existing and newly recruited personnel to the new opportunities and the new responsibilities which are part of this strategy for change. If done effectively, research suggests the possibility of significant improvements in the quality of life for instructors and the quality of education for students.

Works Cited:

Administration and Finance Division (AFD). (2006). Distributed Leadership. West Chester University.

Flash, P.; Froehlich, S; Hegeson, S; Jensen, J.T. & Biotti, J.S. (2006). Identifying Key Attributes of An Effective Transformational Change Model at the University of Minnesota. President's Emerging Leader Team.

Gronn, P. (2002). Distributed Leadership as a Unit of Analysis. The Leadership Quarterly, 13(4), 423-451.

Harris, A. (2004). Distributed Leadership and School Improvement: Leading or Misleading. Educational Management Administration and Leadership, 32(1), 11-24.

Lumby, J. (2003). Distributed Leadership in Colleges. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 31(3), 283-293.

MacBeath, J. (2005). Leadership as Distributed: A Matter of Practice. School Leadership & Management, 25(4), 349-366.

Storey, A. (2004). The Problem of Distributed Leadership in Schools. School Leadership and Management, 24(2), 249-265.

Wallace, M.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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