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Case analysis of Barsetshire County Council (BCC)

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The case analysis of Barsetshire County Council (BCC) implies the need for the organizational and managerial change that it felt necessary and the aftermath of implementing the changes. As a public service organization the BCC felt that power should be devolved to the middle management and the change of organizational structure is necessary to meet the uprising demand of services by the locality and to effectively run the activities through out various departments. According to Weber's analysis of bureaucracy, it is an omnipresent form of administration in modern society, where power and decision making authorities are held by the higher level of the organization. Development in the early twentieth century in scientific management associated with names such as Taylor, Urwick and Fayol, gave great support for bureaucratic systems of organization for their efficiency, stability and the elimination of waste. The larger the organization, the greater the degree of bureaucratization (Dawson). BCC, one of the larger county councils, formed as a bureaucratic structured public service organization, having a large number of employees over 28,000. The new CE of the BCC realized that power should be devolved to the middle management. He felt that the change in organization and management was necessary to ensure effective strategy implementation. ...read more.


Employees have their right to make decisions and to take initiative, which is the vital part of a devolved management. The organizations are now a days turning to Horizontal organizations. The vertical approach such as traditional functional structure does not work nay more, as tend is toward breaking down barriers between departments, and many companies are moving toward horizontal structure based on work processes rather than departmental functions (Hurwitz, 1996) Organizational culture refers to system of shared meaning held by members that distinguishes a organization from others (Becker, 1982). It can act as a barrier to change as well. But the actions of top management have a major impact on the organizational culture (Hambrick and mason, 1984). In a flat dynamic organization, employees have their own say in decision making, initiate change and realize their accountability in their jobs, which are rare in bureaucratic hierarchical organization. In BCC, the top management identified that a new culture replacing the old one was necessary to initiate new devolved management. Now it is needed to evaluate whether the BCC was successful in implementing the changes. In a devolved management decision making power of the middle managers is more emphasized. ...read more.


Thus this will lead to frustration and job dissatisfaction among middle mangers. In a public service organization like BCC, consumer orientation is vital. So, upper level management and the middle level management's dedication will be concentrated on achieving customer's contention by providing required service. Even there is hoax about empowering mangers. Many empowerment initiatives fail to deliver their expected advantages and that employees can end up less committed than before (Cunningham and Hyman, 1999). Also empowerment may turn to disillusionment- because managers tend to assume that more interesting work is sufficient rewarding, they find themselves working much harder for the same remuneration (Cunningham et al, 1996). The introduction of Organizational development is then necessary for effective organizational change, which is a collection of planned- change interventions built on humanistic- democratic values that seek to improve organizational effectiveness and employee well-being (Porras and Robertson, 1992). Now a days more and more organization are turning to devolved management, the top level managers believe , this would make the subordinates more goal oriented and the barriers and conflicts between management level would be removed, thus the organization could turn into a learning organization. Barsettshire county counsil was not an exception to this. ...read more.

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