The paper “ Management Approaches for Organizational Performance in the Public Sector” is a meaningful variant of the literature review on management. Organizational performance is one of the critical elements, which the management both in the private and public sectors attend to with a lot of concern. It is the performance aspect that determines the sustainability of the organization. While most people, especially in the private sector, look at performance on the basis of profitability, the issue of performance goes beyond what the organization is able to realize in terms of profits.
The element of performance in the organization starts from the policies developed in key units such as administration, personnel, marketing, and corporate communication among others. In this regard, evaluation of the organizational performance would consider various aspects such as how the firm deals with external stakeholders, responsiveness to emerging social issues, handling of personnel issues, and adherence to existing laws and industry regulations. For the purposes of developing a balanced view of the organization, the reflective marker seeks to evaluate the above-stated elements and how each contributes to the desired performance, with particular emphasis on public sector management. Reflection on Public Sector Management Bureaucracy as a Traditional ModelAulich, Halligan, and Nutley (2001) identify bureaucracy as the traditional approach of delivering services in public sector organizations.
Employees in the public sector therefore work in a bureau, which allows one to transact public business in accordance with the requirement of the public administration model. The administrative theory presented by Max Weber observes that bureaucracy works well in the public sector, which uses a complex governance structure, hence facilitates the efficient delivery of services. In this regard, the performance of organizations in the public sector depends on how well managers in a particular entity are able to observe the set bureaucracy.
The evaluation, therefore, considers the rate at which the organization adheres to a set of rules and observations of the protocol in the course of the decision-making process. It is through strict compliance to rules and protocol that the public sector is able to realize the highest level of efficiency in various fronts. In light of the Weberian theory of administration, bureaucracy seems to a suitable model for managing public organizations.
However, there has been a huge difference in performance between the public and private sectors. There is a discrepancy between Weber’ s views on efficiency created by the bureaucracy and what people experience in reality. In fact, bureaucratic administration has been under criticism as the major cause of inefficiency and incompetence in public service delivery. Various weaknesses are associated with bureaucracy as a model of management, which includes inflexibility and unresponsiveness to change among others. The manager does not have the authority to adjust the model to suit a particular situation, but he is under the obligation to comply with set rules.
In my view, such a model hinders personal initiative and creativity within the organization. Consequently, employees in the public sector no longer value end results but the adherence to the bureaucratic procedure while delivering public services. Being the traditional administration model in public sector organizations, bureaucracy promotes various aspects. These aspects include division of labor where the manager distributes tasks among available employees to eliminate complexity. In addition, the manager applies specialization where employees concentrate on tasks that match their individual proficiency and training.
In this regard, bureaucracy seems to promote efficiency since employees handle assignments that they are able to perform excellently (Hardy & Palmer, 2000). The bureaucracy also dictates the employment decisions such as hiring new workers, where merit is the key rule when managers consider the suitability of the prospective employees. This element ensures that the organization gets suitable employees, with the right qualifications and capabilities to deliver the intended services hence facilitating high efficiency. The model also separates various offices with occupants, whereby the manager cannot use the position for personal gain.
For instance, the model clarifies the existing difference between offices and officeholders. Looking at the elements of bureaucracy above, it is important to scrutinize each of them with reference to the current applicability of this theory and organizational performance in the public sector. Does the division of labor exist in today’ s organizations? Does specialization guarantee the optimum performance of individuals working for public organizations? It seems Aulich et al (2001) are confident with specialization as the key factor behind the realization of organizational goals.
Such observation however conflicts with the reality since dismal performance is the core aspect that dominates in the public sector. The Weberian theory ignores the element of motivation, which contributes to employees’ satisfaction, as the major driver of performance in the organization. Most firms in the public sector record poor performance because managers cannot make a decision on employees’ motivation. The role of the manager is to ensure strict adherence to rules and not to device ways of motivating employees. In other words, managers no longer question employees on the issue of the outcome but the compliance to the set requirements, procedures, and stringent rules. Feminist View of Organizational PerformanceCalas and Smircich (1999) point out gender-based discrimination in organizations as the critical factor behind dismal performance in organizations.
These authors look at organizational performance from the feminist perspective, which gives a particular emphasis on consideration of women in employment. While Aulich et al (2001) consider merit as the key factor in public sector employment, the literature does not consider gender-based fairness as part of the merit.
In practice, the application of bureaucracy in the public sector has been in existence for decades but gender insensitivity has been prevalent in employment. In view of this aspect, it seems gender balance and fairness are not among elements that bureaucracy considers when defining merit as the basis of employment (Bruckmuller, Ryan, Rink, & Haslam, 2014). Male dominance in managerial positions and inequality of employment opportunities reflect the dismal performance portrayed by organizations for a long period. In other words, adherence to issues of gender equality in employment is one of the parameters one should use in the course of evaluating organizational performance. In light of the feminist approach to organizational studies, it seems organizations have not been keen on considering gender equality when hiring employees.
Gender equality has been one of the emerging issues in organizational management, which bureaucracy fails to address due to the requirement of adherence to traditional practices. The application of bureaucracy in today’ s management may hinder the performance of the organization in terms of gender balance in employment (Macneil, Macneil, Liu, & Liu, 2017).
The performance evaluation considers how the organization has been handling issues of gender in its appointments. From this perspective, the public sector lags behind hence the reason for the dismal performance. The inclusion of women in the management contributes to the positive reputation of the organization, an element that leads to actual performance in terms of attracting partners as well as revenue generation ((Bruckmuller, et al. , 2014). Failure to acknowledge this aspect is the recipe for incompetence in service delivery, which demonstrates the poor performance of firms in the public sector. Strategic Management as a Response to Organizational PerformanceIn response to discrepancies between organizational performance in the public sector and the public expectation, Levy, Alvesson, and Willmott (2003) introduces the concept of strategic management as a solution to the dismal output among public entities.
These scholars present this concept as a remedy that contributes to improved effectiveness and profitability among public institutions. Although profit is not the priority of public sector organizations, lack of it contributes to the collapse of firms and leads to deterioration of service delivery. One of the areas highlighted by these scholars is managing human resources, which is the core function of any organization.
Calas and Smircich (1999) view that presenting an equal opportunity to both male and female employees is one way of acquiring exercising fairness in managing human resources. The view insinuates the acquisition of competitive advantage in this era where gender equality is becoming increasingly popular throughout the world. In a nutshell, being sensitive to the gender issue in employment and appointment to senior positions is an integral part of strategic management these days. ConclusionOrganizational performance in the public sector is one of the areas that require evaluation of management approaches.
Adherence to strict rules and procedures sometimes does not give the desired outcome, especially if those rules are incompatible with emerging issues. Bureaucracy inhibits managers’ ability to exercise creativity, hence contributing to the dismal performance of organizations. Despite the advantages presented by Weber’ s administrative theory, the model is not suitable in a constantly changing environment. Gender-based fairness in employment as advocated by the feminist approaches to the organizational studies is one of those changes that conflict with the traditional model of corporate governance in the public sector.
The adoption of a strategic management approach seems to be the ideal solution to pertinent nonperformance among public organizations. The approach advocates the consideration of emerging issues in management to achieve efficiency and competitive advantage. This aspect plays a vital role in improving organizational performance in the public sector.
Aulich, C., Halligan, J., & Nutley, S. (2001). Australian handbook of public sector management. Allen & Unwin, CN: Australia.
Bruckmuller, S., Ryan, M. K., Rink, F., & Haslam, S. A. (2014). Beyond the glass ceiling: The glass cliff and its lessons for organizational policy. Social Issues and Policy Review, 8(1), 202-232.
Calas, M.B. & Smircich, L. (1999). From ‘the woman’s point of view: Feminist approaches to organizational studies. Sage Publications, London.
Hardy, C. & Palmer, I. (2000). Thinking about management: Implications of organizational debates for practice. Sage, London.
Levy, D.L., Alvesson, M., & Willmott, H. (2003). Studying management critically: Critical Approaches to strategic management. Sage Publications, London.
Macneil, J., Macneil, J., Liu, Z., & Liu, Z. (2017). The role of organizational learning in soft regulation of workplace gender equality. Employee Relations, 39(3), 317-334.