Research Paper: Organizational Theory

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Power and Politics: Organizational Culture

Public Service/Administration

The theoretical foundation of social services is indeed a nuanced one. The foundation of social services was molded together as a result of combining forces like motivation productivity, diversity, team-building, collaboration and coordination, decision-making, communication processes, and other factors. Each of these items has their own unique histories, dynamics and specific roles within the realm of social services. Exploring each aspect helps to further shed light on the processes individually and collectively and helps one to comprehend the field of social services in a more nuanced and deep manner.

Motivation

"Public service motivation (PSM) is a prominent concept within current Public Administration, as it refers to the drive for public interested and altruistic behavior. Although substantial empirical research on its nature and its impact is available, little is known on the origins of PSM" (Vandenabeele, 2007, p.546). Motivation largely means how interested one is in engaging in service in the public sector and how interested one is in seeing improvements made for needier members of society. While this is true, more and more research is being done on the unique role of motivation and what organizations can do to make people more motivated. For example, one expert who studied the role of public service motivation found that it was directly related to the level one personal experience and socializing, and perhaps even one's socioeconomic class and experience (Moynihan & Pandey, 2007, p.42). Moynihan and Pandey argued that PSM was completely dependent on the way in which "individuals are socialized through sociohistorical institutions -- primarily parental relations, religion, observational learning and modeling during the course of their lives, education, and professional training" (2007). Ultimately, Perry summarizes that an individual's level of education is positively connected to PSM (2007). This is a reasonable finding to encounter, even if one has not read the literature on this particular aspect. The more educated one is the more in tune one is with the rest of the world and the more one is aware of the problems and needs of the world in all its multi-faceted ways. Thus, likewise, it was found that involvement in a professional organization was another factor which contributed to one's level of PSM (Moynihan & Pandey, 2007, p.43).

When it comes to examining the differences between motivation between the public and private sectors the work of researchers Rashid and Rashid truly summarize these nuances well. For instance, they both describe how motivation is an intricate and multifaceted dynamic and which occurs in the workplace as a long struggle for both employers and members of staff (2012). The research study which Rashid and Rashid engaged in helped to determine the difference between motivations as it exists in the public vs. The private sector. "Public sector employees were more motivated by work contents and experience more balance between work and family life, whereas, private sector employees are more motivated by financial rewards, career development opportunities, and supportive environment, as shown in the literature cited and proved by our results" (Rashid & Rashid, 2012, p.28). Findings like these provide concrete ways in which to bolster the level of motivation for team members in a variety of ways.

Findings like these also provoke questions like: how to increase motivation for public service for those with lower levels of education? How to increase motivation for public service for those not in professional organizations? How to create motivating rewards for employees in both sectors that are sustainable over time? How to foster a motivation for public service that comes from a more genuine place?

Productivity

"Productivity is generally de-ned as a measure of the amount of output generated per unit of input" (Linna et al., 2010). Productivity is an absolutely crucial aspect of the public sector, and the public sector absolutely cannot thrive without it. Linna and colleagues cite the work of Thornhill in describing why productivity is so important in the public sector. "First, the public sector is a major employer. Second, the public sector is a major provider of services in the economy, particularly business services (affecting cost of inputs) and social services (affecting labour quality). Third, the public sector is a consumer of tax resources. Changes in public sector productivity may have signi-can't implications for the economy" (2010, p.317). This clearly demonstrates how productivity in the public sector is something which cannot be compromised: it is absolutely essential. However, despite how crucial it is, there is still a tremendous gap in productivity in the public vs. The private sector. According to the director of the Office and Management Budget, Peter Orzag explained, "Public sector productivity growth matched the private sector until about 1987. But something changed in the late 1980s. From 1987 until 1995, private sector productivity rose by an average 4 of 1.5% a year. Meanwhile, the public sector's productivity rose by only 0.4% per year -- or about one-third as much -- over roughly the same period" (tm.gov, 2010). This demonstrates that there is a tremendous gap in productivity among these two arenas and there is a need for direct and concerted action. Given these findings, I would want to explore questions like, "what can be done to improve productivity in the public sector? Why is there such a profound gap in productivity between these two arenas? Furthermore, there's research to suggest that public sector employees are overpaid on average, which also doesn't quite explain the huge gap in productivity.

Diversity

"The term diversity is often used to refer to the importance of accepting, respecting and valuing differences in the workplace. Each of us is unique and diversity in practice means that we each play a role in being aware of our individual differences…it's our willingness to look at these differences in a safe and positive manner that encourages respect in the workplace and creates healthy environments for us to do our work" (psc.gov, 2009). In the last 15 years, diversity has received a great deal of attention in the workplace and more and more employers are realizing the crucial and fundamental role that diversity plays in keeping a balanced and effective work environment. While it's common knowledge that diversity is absolutely crucial to the success of organizations big and small, diversity still continues to function differently in the public vs. The private sector. For instance, the research study entitled "Diversity in Public and Private Organizations" by Groeneveld and Verbeek looked at how diversity manifests in different ways in these various entities. "Results show that public sector organizations report more diversity policies and different types of diversity policies than do private sector organizations. In terms of effectiveness, only policies designed to improve the management of a diverse workforce seem to affect the representation of ethnic minorities in organizations in the short-term. No sectoral differences in the effectiveness of various policy types were found" (2011, p.364). This demonstrates that private sector organizations have a ways to go when it comes to making their firms more diverse and thus more relevant. Thus, questions that I would want to pursue further would be things like: Why does the public sector more strongly honor diversity? How can we get the private sector to more thoroughly embrace practices of diversity? What are the inclusive benefits of a more diverse workforce?

Group Development is a crucial aspect of work inside the public sector. Ultimately, all tasks are completed by groups, and all challenges are met and overcome by groups. Group development is made up of five distinct stages. These stages are: forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning (Drexel.edu, 2013). In the forming stage personal relations are characterized by dependence. Group members rely on safe, patterned behavior and look to the group leader for guidance and direction… the next stage, called Storming, is characterized by competition and conflict in the personal relations dimension an organization in the task-functions dimension" (Drexel.edu, 2013). In this stage it's okay if tensions and conflicts arise. The norming stage is characterized by cohesion (Drexel.edu, 2013). "The Performing stage is not reached by all groups. If group members are able to evolve to stage four, their capacity, range, and depth of personal relations expand to true interdependence" (Drexel.edu, 2013). And finally, the adjourning stage involves the cessation of task behaviors.

Group development largely takes place more acutely in the private sector. This is a result of the fact that organizations which exist within the private sector simply don't have the cushion that public organizations do. All organizations within the public sector don't have the same impetus to work hard at group development for greater cohesion and profitability, because they have a safety net of the vast reserves of the federal government to protect them for all times.

Team Building

Team-building has long been a crucial aspect to virtually any organization that has enjoyed success over time. For example, "Team building should have nothing to do with ego, tenure or titles, but rather it should be all about competency, collaboration and productivity. Leaders must clearly communicate to team… [END OF PREVIEW]

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