Government Organization Reform: Managing the Public Sector

Organizational experts perceive that one of the aspects being considered in government organization reform specifically requires public service, as well as the reassessment and reintegration of functions that redefines the governmental authority or system of governance. The common practice of government organization reform in developing countries takes into account the administrative program, aiming to establish efficiency, effectiveness, responsiveness and adaptability in managing diverse change.

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), being a government-owned and controlled corporation, has restructured its organization and streamlined the operation to spur competitiveness, innovating key policy issues in human resources deployment, organizational management and compensation schemes. In this paper, government organization reform in managing the public sector will be examined, relating the experiential theories in the organizational life of DEWA.

Two themes, such as motivation and rewards and organizational structure, will be highlighted throughout the discussions. Motivation and rewards As a brief background, the topical discussion on government organization in managing the public sector correlates the organizational experience of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA). Accordingly, DEWA has formulated a comprehensive evaluation plan that aims to examine the organizational structure, appraisal of workforce efficiency, promotion and compensation schemes, and standardization of salaries and wages.

In DEWA’s ‘Managing the New Compensation System’ having been implemented in 2005, it aimed to enable the basis in restructuring its organization, as cited specifically to obtain the necessary organizational information and data, preceding to implement and administer the “new compensation structure of the future” (DEWA 2005: 5-6). DEWA management could have positively reacted and acted on the general finding of being a non-competitive government organization in terms of salary-grading of personnel, deployment of workforce in their key competencies or skills and less motivational values.

Based on the general finding that draws the “organizational weaknesses”, an imminent dilemma that demotivate the personnel could be mitigated through the conduct of strategic organizational assessment that would be the basis for managing the new compensation system. It may be reflected that finding such organizational weaknesses could be the positive side of a sensible organizational management reform that deals on perceiving the “internal environment” of an organization.

To cite, this synthesis could be reflective of the experiential theory that perceiving the outcome is due to motivation, abilities and character rather than destiny (Nadler & Lawler 1977; in Hackman et al. 1977). The ethical parameters of Nadler and Lawler in Hackman et al. (1977) on the factors of motivation as an “internal value” of an organization could be interpreted as adherent to prevent, control and eliminate the divergence within an organization by displacing dissatisfaction among the workforce, in which can be exemplified by DEWA’s organizational reform through managing a new compensation system.

DEWA’s program on the aspect of motivation and rewards can be analyzed to have earmarked significant organizational reform and geared towards establishing internal and external competitiveness, referring to the overall objective of rendering optimal public service. As cited, DEWA has appropriated a four-year budget allocation in the amount of AED 77. 1 million to enact the compensation system (DEWA 2005: 12). Managing the new compensation system has purposely earmarked by DEWA’s Board of Directors on the following program implementation, such as cited in the bulleted list below (DEWA 2005: 10-12 & 50):

• The personnel will be compensated according to rank or position and the equivalent graded-salary being pre-determined by “formal job evaluation”; • Standardization of “job-evaluation-grade-based” will be applied for UAE nationals and immigrant personnel; • Realignment of compensation on “job-evaluation-grade-based” will be implemented according to tenure of employment within four years, such as one year for top management personnel, two years for senior personnel, three years for middle management personnel and four years for regular personnel; • Implement the “total cost approach” to compensate and replace the existing scheme.

In sum, the aspect of motivation and rewards relates the ethical organizational theory of Lawler and Porter in Hackman et al. (1977) in redefining the organizational reform in DEWA. It may be further analyzed that DEWA has positively managed the internal problems that would emanate effective and efficient result in managing the public sector as a whole, wherein representing government organization reform to result tangible community service. Organizational structure It is important to emphasize that managing the new compensation system would mean reconfiguration of DEWA’s organizational structure.

It may be analyzed that the reconfiguration or organizational restructuring has streamlined the flow of implementation of the Human Resources program in managing the new compensation scheme. As cited, the Human Resources Department (HRD) was tasked and spearheaded the implementation of the new compensation scheme, and was also the organizational unit that diagnosed and identified the “key issues and structural implication”, of which restructuring the organization deals with intensive procedural change (DEWA 2005: 9-10).

Through the assistance of Ernst and Young consulting firm, DEWA’s organizational restructuring involves deployment of key personnel ranging from the top to bottom management level positions, redefining the “communication and interaction line” that would enable the dynamic flow of management, such as cited in the illustration below: Source: DEWA (2005: 9) It may be asked why organizational restructuring is significant in implementing reform or change in the management of an organization.

The ethical theories of Schein and Greiner (1977) could be a derivative in analyzing DEWA’s organizational restructuring. As implied by the ethical theories, it cited the following parameters (Schein & Greiner 1977): • Distribution of work is needed to determine the division of skills and capabilities in the deployment of personnel based on areas of assignment; • Promote “unity of direction” in the implementation of work; • Promote centralize and decentralize operational work, authorization, coordination and standardized management.

The underlying ethical parameters of Schein and Greiner (1977) can be analyzed as correlating the applicability to DEWA’s organizational restructuring, in which would generally enhance the “capability building” within the organization. It may be noted that the “chain of management” or central operation is being decentralized upon the establishment of “teamwork” to achieve the optimal result of communication and interaction as an internal practice to develop “organizational belongingness and unity of efforts”.

The way DEWA has restructured its organizational operation could be interpreted to pattern the government organization reform in managing the public sector, wherein DEWA is a government agency that is expected to optimize the delivery of services. The organizational restructuring could be perceived as basically complementing the implementation and managing the new compensation scheme that is relevant to deploying the workforce and distributing its capabilities beneficial to promote quality organizational standards.

It may be further said that the ethical theory of Schein and Greiner (1977) adopts the relevance of “managing internal capabilities” in order to stimulate or encourage government organization reform, of which the initiative of DEWA could trigger the effects of encouragement to the government of Dubai. Conclusion The initiative of DEWA in diagnosing and finding the relevant “organizational weaknesses” has drawn the important role of a government agency in spurring organizational development and change.

DEWA’s initiative points out the perseverance of a government organization that is dedicated to significantly assimilate reform to enable total quality management of the public sector by enhancing and acquiring its organizational capabilities. An overall review of DEWA’s guideline and comprehensive plan on ‘Managing the New Compensation System’ actualizes the critical consideration of instigating reform to the rest of the government organization as well.

It may be concluded that DEWA patterns the creation of development framework on how governance could effectively and efficiently implement the basic requirements in public administration and delivery of basic services. List of References Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (2005). ‘Managing the New Compensation System’ Hackman, J. R. , Lawler, E. E. and Porter, L. W. (1977). ‘Motivation: A Diagnostic Approach’. Perspectives on Behavior in Organizations. New York, McGraw Hill. Schein, V. E. and Greiner, L. E. (1977). ‘Can Organization Development be Fine-Tuned to Bureaucracies? ’. Organizational Dynamics, 5 (3), 46-61