Administrative Reforms and High Performance: The Human Dimension

For the last fifteen years, senior executives and industry leaders have been introducing administrative reforms that focus on decentralization and deregulation of the organizations. Similarly, these reforms promote the use of market oriented rather than regulatory approaches to the management because earlier approaches are more likely to produce desired results for the entrepreneurs. However, it is very important to analyze the implications of these reforms as far as the performance of the organizations is concerned.
Following is a brief summary of the webinar, “Administrative Reforms and High Performance: The Human Dimension” by Edward Kellough, PhD Department of Public Administration and Policy School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia. In this seminar, Edward Kellough states the goals of these reforms as well as their implications.

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Administrative Reforms in Public Sector:
Over the years, the public sector has experienced a lot of changes including the introduction of various administrative reforms. The purpose of these reforms in public sector is to give greater authority and autonomy over human resources. According to these reforms:

  • Employee’s protection and civil service rules have been reduced.
  • Authority has been shifted away from central personal offices and transformed to line agencies.
  • Pay-for-performance systems have been implemented.

Potential Problems with this Approach:
This managerial approach has no doubt offered many benefits to organizations and it employees but there are also many potential problems associated with it.

  • Fewer rules and regulations produce greater managerial flexibility and discretion that can be abused.
  • No one might have the authority to prevent abuse because of reduction of centralized oversight.
  • Pay-for-performance systems and similar strategies have a dismal record.

An Alternative Approach:
As the managerial approach discussed above have some problems that can really affect the performance of the organization, it is important to discuss an alternate approach to ensure good management. This approach incorporates five time-tested principles of good governance and management which are given below.

Practice Job Enrichment:
You have to made job interesting and rewarding for the employees as much as possible. They should be designed to give meaningful responsibility to the employees and reasonable amount of authority as well.

Promote Organizational Justice:
Employers should treat all their employees fairly in order to make them work harder and be more productive.

Pay for Job Value:
The principles of internal and external equity should guide the pay. The pay should be fair enough according to the job value inside and outside the organization.

Use Systematic Performance Appraisal and Coaching:
Employers must monitor the performance of each individual separately and take measures if necessary to help him improve his performance. You can analyze performance by determining various performance assessing criteria and standards of excellence as well as avoiding common errors and bias.

Provide Meaningful Training Opportunities to Employees.
It is also important for employers to analyze training needs in addition with identifying areas where the employees need to have enhanced skill levels. Organization can provide on-the-job training to the employees and can provide demonstration of specific skills and can also conduct job rotation programs, enabling their employees to enhance their production capacity. In fact, training is vital to an employee’s productivity, job satisfaction and most importantly, career development.

These principles differ fundamentally from the main themes of the currently popular managerial reforms. However, by applying these principles in your organization, you can definitely improve its performance while still enjoying greater managerial authority.

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