Productivity in Public Administration

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PRODUCTIVITY IN
PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

The issue of productivity management sometimes referred to as performance management is an area of great concern to public mangers. There are several strategies that can be used in public management but the selection and use of the most suitable one depends on the situation and the manager involved. Managers in the public sector are usually confronted with complex problems that require strategy thinking in order to find the most suitable way forward (Milakovich, & Gordon, 2007). These complex issues present a big challenge to the government in trying to find the most appropriate method to use. It is important to choose the strategy that considers long-term goals in its approach to the problem. The two most commonly used methods in the private and public management are the total quality management (TQM) and continuous quality improvement (CQI), although there are other processes of doing so. Managers can use customer relationship management (CRM) approach but its shortcomings are that its application is limited to particular situations. This paper looks at the suitability of total quality management and continuous quality improvement in public management and more specifically how they were used to solve the complex issue of Hurricane Katrina. The shortcomings of these two methods are also explored to determine their suitability in the work context. Total quality management is a process of management that has over the years been used to solve very complex problems in the public and private sector with great levels of success. It can achieve greater levels of success if combined with continuous quality improvement to ensure sustainability and reliability in the provision of government service. The application of this method ensures good and reliable results in managing the public sector The government through public administration officials most of the times find it difficult to manage a complex situation such as the one that was presented by hurricane Katrina due to limitation in strategy. It is quite a challenge identifying and responding to complex problems and the issue becomes more difficult because the public managers are charged with other sectors in which they have to maintain performance at the same time. Strategic thinking comes into effect in such situations. The issue of Hurricane Katrina presented a very complex problem for the government. This problem was very difficult to address successfully without adopting the right strategy. It took time for public managers to find a strategy to respond to the disaster and great mistakes were made along the way, an issue that put to question the capability of public managers to handle emergency cases that are bound to occur resulting from unpredictable natural causes. Practical implications arose for leadership, the capacity for building sustainable policy, building coordination capacity as well as ways of improving the implementation of capacity. The concerned managers ought to have been quick in new thinking of the capacities that were required to set strategic direction. This was due to serious lack of coordination in tackling the complex problem which had overwhelmed the managers. The government attracted a lot of criticism from the public over the way in which case of hurricane Katrina was handled. The problem mainly touched on lack of preparation and inadequate efforts that were put in managing the disaster as well as its aftermath. Public managers were caught unawares without a strategy for flood protection. These are some of the situations that demand strategic thinking for managers to put in place the right method for solving the problem (Head, 2010). By using the strategy of total quality management, the people who were worst hit by the disaster in the low areas along the coast would have been the centre of attention. This is consistent with the process of total quality management which...
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