Chapter 13 - Improving the organization and management of extension M. W. Waldron, J. Vsanthakumar, and S. Arulraj
Mark W. Waldron is a Professor of Rural Extension Studies, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada; J. Vsanthakumar is a Professor of Agricultural Extension, Annamalai University, India; and S. Arulraj is a Senior Scientist, Agricultural Extension, Sugarcane Breeding Institute, India. The authors acknowledge the assistance of Michael Rzeznik, Ph.D. student in Rural Studies, University of Guelph, in preparing this chapter. [pic]
Managing people effectively in extension programmes is a skill that requires constant planning and development. An extension programme manager can be defined as the person who is vested with formal authority over an organization or one of its sub units. He or she has status that leads to various interpersonal relations, and from this comes access to information. Information, in turn, enables the manager to devise strategies, make decisions, and implement action (Mintzberg, 1988). Management is concerned with the optimum attainment of organizational goals and objectives with and through other people. Extension management organizations are characterized by many strategies, wide spans of control, democracy, and autonomy. Their management practices cannot be reduced to one standard set of operating guidelines that will work for all organizations continually. However, all managers of professional organizations face the same challenge: to manage one's time, objectives, and resources in order to accomplish tasks and implement ideas (Waldron, 1994). Managers of extension programmes are painfully aware of the need for revision and development of the new skill sets held by today's high performers. If change is not handled correctly, it can be more devastating then ever before. High performers reflect, discover, assess, and act. They know that a new focus on connecting the heads, hearts, and hands of people in their organization is necessary. Astute managers know what needs to be done but struggle with how to do it. Quite often they prefer to consider themselves as teachers or communicators rather than managers. This results in under-utilization of the increasing amount of literature on management theory and practice. The root of the problem is implementation. They must learn how to motivate others and build an efficient team. More formally defined, management is the process by which people, technology, job tasks, and other resources are combined and coordinated so as to effectively achieve organizational objectives. A process or function is a group of related activities contributing to a larger action. Management functions are based on a common philosophy and approach. They centre around the following: 1. Developing and clarifying mission, policies, and objectives of the agency or organization 2. Establishing formal and informal organizational structures as a means of delegating authority and sharing responsibilities 3. Setting priorities and reviewing and revising objectives in terms of changing demands 4. Maintaining effective communications within the working group, with other groups, and with the larger community 5. Selecting, motivating, training, and appraising staff
6. Securing funds and managing budgets; evaluating accomplishments and 7. Being accountable to staff, the larger enterprise, and to the community at large (Waldron, 1994b). The management functions listed above can be categorized by using the acronym POSDCORB (Bonoma & Slevin, 1978, from Gulick & Urwick, 1959): • Planning: outlining philosophy, policy, objectives, and resultant things to be accomplished, and the techniques for accomplishment • Organizing: establishing structures and systems through which activities are arranged, defined, and coordinated in terms of...
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