In the field of public administration and non-profit ventures, the most variable element is the management team headed by the manager. Its operations are geared towards improving the social welfare with limited resources, which means that these ventures do not have a large pool of resources at their disposal (Flynn, 2007). If their perpetuity is to be guaranteed, then an efficient administrator becomes not only a requirement but also one of the highly prioritized variables. In appreciation of this fact, I conducted an interview with a public administrator Mike Mason, Polk County Veterans Service Officer. Mason has a vast experience in the field of management, ranging from being a platoon sergeant in Vietnam, a combat medic in the army, and VSO for four years. As a manager in Polk County, Mason’s primary responsibility is to ensure that the veterans obtain any benefits entitled. An inference made from the interview was the fact that this organization provides claim representation free of charge. Due to his experience in the army, Mason mentioned that he applied for this job because he believed in organization’s agenda, namely changing people’s lives for better.
Interview Point Outs
The interview with Mike Mason took place on July 17, 2015. My intention was to identify various managerial and leadership styles that help him manage the organization better. Mason gave me a conspicuous pointer that at the heart of good management lays a clear direction and purpose guided by the organization’s mission. He also mentioned that his organization’s mission was ‘enhancing lives in the Polk County’. The interviewee said that being a good public manager entails balancing the demands of the company and the public. He has five employees under his supervision (see Appendix A) with an annual budget of $350,000. Mason pointed out that having a small budget and significant expectations in terms of service delivery to the veterans means that one has to ensure that efficiency is always prominent in any undertaking. First, I considered this budget huge; however, after he presented to me their engagements excluding the salary demand, their budget seemed too small. Mason stressed the fact that when people work in the public sector, they have to ensure that they always remember that they are in a venture where most of the time no profits are made. One has to wait for funds from the Exchequer’s allocation which entails much bureaucracy. According to the interviewee, once a person realizes this aspect, the success becomes easily attainable. At the core of the success in the sector lay the ties created by the management and the junior employees. Mason detailed the importance of creating a healthy rapport between the administration and the workers’ fronts. This healthy exchange is vital in making sure that all staff members are working as one unit to attain the optimal goal.
Relevance of Formal Internal Structures in the Organization
According to Mason, internal structures are crucial for the coherence within the agency. Furthermore, they are also essential in enhancing accountability, hence aiding in ensuring efficiency. In addition, the internal structures present in the organization help to distribute duties among the employees. The interviewee also mentioned that it is indeed a well thought-out structure that assists the organization in realizing more efficient communications. To Mason, structuring is a vital part of any agency that requires a thorough and detailed attention. According to the manager, if there is no guiding structure in an organization, then bestowing and following up responsibility in employees including the administrator cannot be realized. It was his initiative to make internal structures an integral part of an efficiency-driven company.
Utilization of Formal and Informal Teams in the Organization
Moreover, Mason argued that an organization that is effective in attaining its mandate is splendid at team building. There are small groupings in the large agency that assist in meeting specific internal purposes that sum up to meet the organization’s goal. The interviewee also stated that the right way to utilize the formal teams entails a keen analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the employees by a manager.
The formulation of comprehensive and inclusive teams presupposes identifying employees of different capabilities, a factor that makes these teams effective. On the other hand, Mason informed me that many companies use informal teams to create tight bonds among the workers as individuals and not necessarily as colleagues. He pointed out that it is important to make sure that the informal teams provide an avenue where people who are not in the same formal team get a chance to work together. In his organization, this approach is the trend. To the interviewee, informal groups aim at providing an opportunity for employees to exhale from the daily shocks on a formal engagement.
Mason was the one who suggested using teams to create the advantageous environment in an organization. The members of the teams choose their leadership style and their leaders themselves without managerial impact. It makes the teams more efficient as the members feel they have a forefront influence on their internal management. The formal teams work in collaboration with one another since each and every crew has a complimentary component relevant to another team. It is the main reason Mason differentiated formal teams in terms of capabilities. Working together, they provide an avenue where the agency’s demands and expectations are met.
Impact of Informal Employee Groups on the Organization
Informal employee groups in the organization help to upgrade the social welfare within the environs of the company (Belbin, 2010). Mason affirmed that the most prominent informal team in the agency is the self-help group (Purple Heart), where workers make a monthly contribution and one member receives the total amount. The rationale of the group is to assist the employees in enhancing a better financial position. The interviewee mentioned that he makes every effort to ensure the efficiency of this group because he believes that a stable employee is more productive one. Moreover, informal groups aid in improving the staff members’ welfare, hence ultimately upgrading their morale, making them more productive.
Herzberg’s Hygiene/Motivational Theory Application in Management
Mason agrees with the Motivational Theory’s findings that the organization needs to make sure that employees are satisfied. He added that having delighted employees equals having an extra asset in the company. The interviewee concluded by mentioning that as a manager, he needs to be keen on identifying when to respect the autonomy of his employees and when to show his authority. This balance is critical in developing a more satisfying environment in the organization. In his response on whether he foresees changes in the factors, which make an employee satisfied, he laughed and gave a negative answer. However, after a moment, he mentioned that the level of technology integrated into the agency might have some effect in days to come.
The Use of Principles of Motivation Espoused by McGregor in Theory X, and Theory Y
Other theories that might be used in the managements are McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y. In Theory X, coercion is the center of interest while, in Theory Y, motivation and satisfaction are the driving force (Eyer, n.d.). Mason was conspicuously against the argument of Theory X and argued that when one uses force against employees, their productivity is significantly lower. His way of management leans towards the Y argument. The interviewee subscribes to the principle that having satisfied and motivated staff members is the only way to expect the maximum output from them. Furthermore, he pointed out that it is the main reason he is eager to enhance balance while forming teams having various responsibilities in the organization. It is his believe that when one uses coercion, employees are highly demotivated, thus decreasing their productivity. On the other hand, if one makes their working environment suitable, workers are highly satisfied, motivated, and willing to do their best to achieve the organization’s goals.
Most Effective Management Technique and Self-Made Changes
Mason outlined that the most useful technique as a manager is being consistent. He said that this trait not only makes it possible for one as a manager to meet the organization’s goals but also makes it easier for employees to accomplish their duties. Staff members are fully aware of what is expected from them, making it easier to realign themselves to meet these definite roles. In addition, Mason mentioned that he has had to put much effort to change his communication technique. Being in the army, everyone used to be thorough and attentive on matters of communication. However, while obtaining a position of a manager, he is forced to ensure that he does a keen follow-up to help keep everyone on the right track.
Managerial Style Utilized by the Manager
When I asked Mason to define what theory he follows, X or Y, he responded that his approach definitely supports the latter theory. He added that he is a team player and believes that one can make a lasting impact on a crew when this influence is comprehensive. Besides, the interviewee said that the beginning of the failure for managers is when they view themselves superior and not as a component of their team. Furthermore, Mason gave me a piece of advice when I asked him whether he thinks that the managerial changes will meet future demands. He said that change is something that one should never oppose. Being dynamic is a critical trait if one wants to attain any meaningful success as a manager. He concluded by adding that due to the inevitability of changes, the management has no other choice but to conform to handle future demands better.
Inference Made From the Interview
The most prominent trait about management is that it is not an easy task. It entails striking a balance between the variables and the goals of the organization. A point to note is the fact that a successful attainment of organizational goals depends on how well the manager balances the relevant variables within the company. This expectation demands that a manager should be very attentive to changes in various variables at his disposal. In particular, in the non-profit making and public entities, managerial demands are higher due to the heavy expectations and the budget constriction. It demands creativity on how to mix the resources available to meet the organizational goals. Another ideology I have learned is the belief that effective managerial engagement is employees-centered (Osabiya, 2015). Mason pointed out that if managers want to influence staff member in a positive way, they have to act like they are a part of their team. When employees feel that their administrator is one of them and not the boss, they become even more motivated to serve the purposes of the company.
It is also clear that for managers to be effective in their line duty, they have to involve internal aiding organizational structures, through which managers can delegate responsibilities and do the follow-up. A good example is how Mason forms the formal teams, which he uses to perform various tasks in his organization. Thus, it is obvious that these ‘aids’ and teamwork spirit are vital in any organization’s undertakings. The manager’s primary objective is to ensure that employees feel his superior influence only if it is demanded by the prevailing situation. The interview with Mason made me realize that being a manager in the public sector demands understanding and a constant improvement in the art of management.
My experience with the interviewee and his managerial pointers made me understand the seriousness involved in managerial duties. I used to perceive management as the front where being brief was the common thing. However, with the information I received from Mason, it became clear that management engagement entails being the direction provider. It demands one not to wait for answers from the employees but to provide a platform for the workers upon which they can improve the results (Flynn, 2007).
When it comes to the public agency, the manager attempts to make best out of limited resources. It calls for the manager to make sure that staff members remain motivated to ensure maximized output enhancing efficiency. The manager has to guarantee that the employees have the relevant autonomy when the situation demands it, hence upholding the workers’ satisfaction via improved working environment. Teamwork is a crucial factor; therefore, there is a need to ensure that there is the formation of various formal teams comprising diversified talents. If the manager wants to succeed in the public sector, one has to formulate different strategies that will help the company enhance efficiency. Realizing the balance needed and the optimal ways of gathering relevant variables at play is vital. According to Mason, owing to this approach a manager can look after the welfare of both the employees and the organizational goals.
The Structure of the Organization