Conflict: Government and Policy Team

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Case Study3 : The Poisoned Chalice:
By Matthew Mcdonald, University of New South Wales
Joseph had been a team leader for two years and felt he was ready to take the next step in his public service career. He had begun his career as a graduate trainee in the Department of Agriculture after completing a double degree in commerce and environmental science. After his traineeship he was offered permanency as a policy officer, eventually rising to the post of team leader. As a team leader Joseph felt he had gained the trust and respect of his four staff member and had learnt the basic skills of being a manager. Joseph applied for various management positions within his own department without success. Undeterred, he applied for a position in another government department responsible for environment and heritage and was successful. The role involved taking over the position of manager of a “Taskforce” that had been set up five months previously. The taskforce was made up of 10 team members responsible for developing and implementing a set of government policies and programs designed to assist primary producers to manage better the environmental threats to their land. Joseph couldn’t have been happier with his new promotion and he looked forward to applying what he had learned as a team leader to the challenges of his new post. The taskforce itself was divided into two teams. The first team- “the policy team” was responsible for developing policies in consultation with the minister’s office that would underpin the programs to be eventually rolled put all over the country. This team was made up of highly experienced member. The second team- “the implementation team” was responsible for implementing the policies developed by the policy team. The job of the implementation team was to deal with the logistic of implementing the programs and working with the numerous stakeholders involved. For Joseph, everything started put well in his new position. He gradually got to know...
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