Custom «Donor Services Department Case» Essay Paper Sample
There has been a rising and common international concern with regard to initiation of development activities in the Less Developed Countries (LDC's). As a result, philanthropists fund development programs in those countries so as to promote education, health, income-producing projects and community development. This has over time culminated to healthy interactions between the donors and the communities they sponsor including holiday visits. However, these donors and sponsors may or do not have the time and or expertise to man the projects they fund. To bridge this gap, the Donor Services Departments perform the task of reporting, facilitating contacts between the sponsors and beneficiaries and accounting for the funds given. This however requires a good design and well laid out stipulations.
One of the Donor Services Departments based in Latin America, through their Executive Director, Sam William, approached Joanna Reed who would analyze their department following increasing complaints on their efficiency especially from the Headquarters. After scrutinizing the department's leadership, management and organization, she gathered some aspects on which later recommendations were to be based. The leadership ranks provided for an executive director at the top followed by an Executive Secretary and an Assistant Director. The third level consisted of Accounting and Donor Services and Community Services departments. The next level comprised of the general staff in Accounting, Community Services and Donor Services with the latter having a supervisor. Both the Director and the Donor and Community Services Department Head, Jose Barriga, were found to prefer being in the field to being in the office. There seems to be non-cooperation in the running of the internal affairs since the non-assertive supervisor, Elena, leaves all decisions to department head who was hardly present. There are also internal wrangles owing to the fact that the translators under her considered her non-qualified since as a supervisor, she was not bilingual. There was a lot of clique-based internal bickering among the workers while Most of the work was clerical thus never triggered innovativeness on the part of the translators. Cooperation was clique-based.
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Joanna Reed also found out that despite the rapid growth of the agency, there were no laid down procedures of handling the swelling work demands. Instead, there was much unprofessionalism: Unnecessary procedures that resulted in delays, non-sharing of data, carelessness and low employee morale.
The Managerial Styles of Sam, Jose and Elena and their Impacts
From the excerpt, it is evident that Sam was more interested in project management than in administration. He did not have full confidence in Jose, a chief reason as to why the director contracted Joanna. Nevertheless, he had confidence in his Executive Secretary as he (Sam) left all correspondence translations for international donor to the secretary.
Jose was not resourceful and that was one of the reasons as to why he never spent much time in the office. To further support this, he was only monolingual; unable to deal with persons from diverse speech communities and, although there were translators, probably he did not want the subordinates to critique his incompetence. This could be described as an evasive way of running the department's office affairs. He is not aware of the happenings of the office but 'Elena is very responsible'. His influence however made the subordinates respect him. He was also known for instilling fear since even if they were not in the office (him and the director), Elena would watch on the workers- which portrayed Elena as a spy. The friendships he made across the agency (the management and the staff) were also a big boost for the agency as his staff friends, led by Juana, would not want to 'let him down'.
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Both Sam and Jose are non-discriminative as they did not look down upon Elena's religion in her recruitment and operations. Elena was very experienced but not very competent since she was, like Jose, monolingual. Just as Jose put it, she was very responsible and pro-activity was her chief style. She however lacked initiative as she would not comment on what she could have wished changed in her departmental headship. In addition, the supervisor was non-authoritative and preferred to correct mistakes to confronting the doer. She however did nothing regarding workload for the new secretaries.
This issue has to do with personality and should be approached with objectivity. It is important also to really establish why the lady acted in such a way. If it were because of her friendship with the department head, the director should handle the matter professionally but if it revolved around her personality, her influence should be used for the betterment of the agency. Being a graduate of a bilingual secretarial school, Juana could also be put in-charge of refresher trainings for the other clerks or orientation of the new secretaries instead of mere translation. Other possible usefulness includes, for instance, mobilization and looking for sponsors. Since she was influential and fluent, Juana should be involved in some key decision making processes and their consequent implementation. This way, her influence and oratory skill would be tapped for the betterment of the agency. At all costs however, her incitements against Elena should never be condoned since they promoted antagonism and led to Elena's non-assertiveness and lack of authority.
The question of conflict resolution for smooth cooperation can not be neglected though. From Joanna Reed's findings, Juana would have wished to be the supervisor since she was bilingual and Elena was not. The management should thus sit the two down, so as to hear them talk out the cause for their rivalry. Since demoting Elena would be a suicidal, Juana could as well be made responsible for field operations; away from Elena.
Recommendations to Sam Wilson
It is thus imperative to put into perspective the findings of Joanna Reed's investigation. First and foremost, the agency should have a clear set of guiding values which would be core to their operation. Such would include, for instance, cooperation, punctuality, effectiveness, respect, competence among others. This would greatly help in recruitment of qualified personnel, execution of duties and intra-agency mutualism in task doing. Above all, the agency should create a human resource department or division. The Assistant Director and the Executive Secretary should be more involved in the running of the internal affairs of the agency especially the review of case histories following the business of the director.
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Since there is no well outlined communication channel, Jose Barriga should hold regular departmental meetings so as to tackle day-to-day cases that would otherwise cause inefficiency at work- including Juana-Elena antagonism. There should also be social events such as parties geared towards improvement of employee morale. The management should develop performance contracts for every employee and vest some authority in the supervisor who is always in contact with the workers. This would greatly solve the problem of unequal distribution of work and religious-based stigmatization. In addition, refresher trainings should be introduced so as to reduce the occurrence of common mistakes arising from incompetence. Only qualified personnel should handle sensitive records and tasks. To curb the challenge of data and information processing and flow, including statistical records, there should be established an integrated information system with a professional to handle it. Although Joanna Reed did not point out responsibility to the sponsors, it is also important for the agency to continually update the donors and also convene events which brought together both the donors and the community.
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