Study Guides for Level 4 “Managing Organizational Effectiveness”
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Key Points and Review Activities are listed for each module:
- Power is always exercised in a context. Depending on the cultural context or organizational climate, different perspectives or assumptions about power may be dominant. In American culture, we feel negatively about power when it is used in exploitative or manipulative ways; we have mixed feelings about the competitive use of power, but we generally feel good about the nutrient and integrative use of power. (Section 1)
- Power comes from a variety of sources: positional and personal. Review and be familiar with the resource bases of power.
- Power requires two things for its effective use: motivation and resources. We may have resources, but without motivation, we will not exercise power. We may have motivation, but without resources, we cannot exercise power. Review the power bases and the article explaining two faces of power.
- Managers must carefully consider the effect their use of power has on others and use power in a responsible manner. One technique for examining your use of power and the use of power by others is to consider it on a continuum from power to powerlessness: does your use of power lead to feelings of powerlessness in others? (Section 7)
- Reflect on your motivations in the use of power. Using the ideas in the handouts dealing with techniques for gaining and extending power, which do you consider appropriate and useful to yourself and the organization?
- Activities to increase one's power must meet three criteria. Be aware of these criteria and their application to your ability to gain or extend power in your organization.
- Relate the concepts of power developed in this module to some of our earlier modules in the program: how is power related to motivation? How is power related to leadership? How is power related to conflict?
- According to the ASPA Professional Standards and Ethics Workbook (Section 33), values are the beliefs that mold our assessments of relative worth and importance, while ethics is the application of principles to decide which values are most important in particular situations. In this module, we examined who you are ethically and how you behave in relation to the formalized constraints (e.g., laws, rules, Ethics Commission) within which you practice public management. Review the ASPA Workbook (Section 33) in terms of the definitions of ethics, responsibility, and accountability, and be familiar with the key principles of equality, equity, and loyalty.
- Do we have ethical problems in organizations? Are there things in organizations which actually encourage (or do not inhibit) unethical behavior? The essential point of Section 10, Behavioral Pressures: Ethical Blocks in Organizations, is a paradox: some of the things that help us get our jobs done in organizations may also help us to do the wrong things. For example, task group cohesiveness is very helpful in getting the job done, but it is not very helpful in determining whether or not we are doing the right job. That is, we may be able to agree on something and get it done very effectively. But someone else, in evaluating us, can legitimately question whether that job should have been done in the first place. Strong role models are also helpful, but they may inhibit people in making judgments about what is right or wrong.
The separation of decisions is an efficiency measure, but it, too, sometimes prevents the organization from keeping tabs on things improperly done. Review the seven ethical blocks in organizations carefully and be able to list and define them.
- If you are a little uneasy about an action you are about to take, The Checklist Of Ethical Decisions (Section 19) provides a convenient procedure for evaluating the ethical implications of that action (before taking it). The questions are essentially asking "if everybody knew, would I still be ok?" If you can answer with great assurance that you would still be "ok," then you probably are taking the right (or at least the prudent) action. However, we suggest you apply the complete inventory before taking a proposed course of action. Study this checklist carefully and be able to recognize the questions as appropriate guidelines to use in making ethical decisions. To clarify this for yourself, apply the questions to Roger Berg's action.
- An important application of ethics is whistle blowing. When, if ever, does one "blow the whistle" on illegal or unethical agency practice? Review the major provisions of Florida's whistle blowing statute.
- Read Section 2 (Managing for Success: A Comparison of the Private and Public Sectors) and carefully identify how and where your organization matches up with the standards of excellence outlined in the article.
- Review Section 3 (The Managerial Mind) to be familiar with the types of behavior characteristics of people who work for a good manager.
- Both public and private sector organizations must find ways to integrate the individual and the organization. Be familiar with differences between private and public organizations which influence this process.
- Think of a change you would like to bring about in the workplace. Specify the change agent role(s) it is feasible for you to play (catalyst, solution giver, process helper, resource linker). Identify others who can play the remaining role(s) and devise a strategy to get them to assume the role(s).
- Use Lewin's three phase change model (unfreezing, changing, refreezing) to identify ways to get the client system to unfreeze, to feel a need for, and to be receptive to the change you have in mind.
- Use Lewin's force field analysis to identify driving and restraining factors and to develop an overall change strategy. Based on your analysis, what is the likelihood of the intended change being successfully implemented.
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