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WA Police Communications is a call centre that operates 24 hours in a day throughout the week. This call centre receives all the emergency and general inquiry calls from the public and also facilitates dispatch of jobs to the police on the streets at any given time (ABC, 2008). The call centre operators control all the unfolding events and respond to all situations that need police attention. The workforce is stretched so much that the efficiency of the centre and service delivery is greatly affected (ABC, 2008). This paper seeks to diagnose WA Police Communications using Bolman and Deal’s reframing model and suggest interventions needed to improve efficiency and effectiveness of WA Police Communications.
In order to diagnose WA Police Communications and develop improvement initiatives, Bolman and Deal’s model of organisational change management will be applied. Specifically this model will be used to outline the forces for change and explore the existing organisational health problems at WA Police Communications. This will be achieved through consideration of the structural, political and cultural perspectives. From these perspectives and with the application of Bolman and Deal’s organisational change model, change interventions will be developed. These change initiatives will be executed along with proposed leadership approaches relevant for the holistic reframing of WA Police Communications.
Forces for Change at WA Police Communications
There are various factors that promote organizational change in various workplace environments. These are both internal and external forces. The forces for change at WA Police Communications are technology, changes in the strategic approaches, alterations in the workplace and change in the attitudes of the employees towards their job and the organization (Tanner & Oakland, 2007). These factors are thus both external and internal forces for change at WA Police Communications. However most of the forces for change at WA Police Communications are internal.
Changes in Strategy and Management
Changes in strategic approach can lead to organisational reframing in any firm. For WA Police Communications to improve its operational efficiency, it must focus on an operational paradigm shift (Cummings & Worley, 2009). This implies a re-organisation of its strategic operations approaches. New strategies aimed at improving efficiency may target areas where the employees are not satisfied, areas where the firm is performing poorly and generally exploiting improvement opportunities. Therefore, a strategic shift in the operations of WA Communications may cause change in this firm towards realization of organisational efficiency.
Changes in Employee Attitude
Employees are key assets in the realisation of the goals of any organisation. Satisfaction of employees with their workplace environment and the management approaches is a motivation that improves their productivity (Cummings & Worley, 2009). For example the employees at WA Police Communications are generally strained and stressed with the workload they do. The nature of their work exposes them to very traumatising situations. This must be responded to effectively by the management in order to improve efficiency. This implies that the management has to work towards providing job security, rewarding the employees well, providing career development plans and generally improving the workplace environment and conditions.
When the employees are satisfied with the working conditions, they will have positive attitude towards their work. The management of WA Police Communications should therefore aim at challenging the employees’ attitudes by putting in place measures that promote participation of employees, democracy and egalitarianism. This can be used as an opportunity to effect organisational changes at WA Police Communications. Employee attitude towards the management and decision making principles is a critical force in the realisation of change in organisations.
Technology is an important aspect and component of organisational change process. In order to improve efficiency and reduce work-related stress, WA Police Communications must re-consider the role of technology. Through technology, WA Police Communication call centre can maintain contact with all the employees in the field and effectively and efficiently coordinate all the police operations (Cummings & Worley, 2009). Through development of technology such as CCTV camera and electronic monitoring, WA Police communications can be able to monitor all the crime scenes and coordinate employees work in the field. This can enhance realisation of efficiency.
Problems of WA Police Communication
WA Police Communications is faced with several challenges. These include inadequate facilities such as cars, alienated decision making structures, poor feedback and recognition of employees, job security issues, lack of amenities, and exposure of the employees to traumatising work environment. Structural, political and cultural perspectives can be used to understand the problems at WA Police Communications. These perspectives will be based on Bolman and Deal’s reframing approaches.
The Structural Perspective
The structural perspective focuses on the structural aspects of an organisation. This perspective assumes that the primary reason for the existence of organisations is achievement of goals and objectives (Bolman & Deal, 2008). However, this is not achievable without appropriate and effective and consistent division of labor and specialisation in tasks. Employees at WA Police Communications work in an environment with poor definition of roles. This causes role confusion since there lacks clear definition of what each employee is expected to do (Oakland & Tanner, 2007).
According to Bolman and Deal’s structural reframing perspective, goal setting and assessment of the achievements or progress made by the personnel in charge is the secret to the realisation of efficiency in any organisation (Bolman & Deal, 2008). However, this is lacking at WA Police Communications. As a result, there is poor coordination and control that is needed for all the employees to work towards efficient and effective achievement of the goals of WA Police Communications. Most employees report that there is generally poor feedback, coordination and promotion of specialisation in tasks by the management.
The structural frame is founded on the principle that organisations achieve efficiency and productivity through systematic assessment and evaluation of goals (Bolman & Deal, 2008). This implies that individual employee is constantly given feedback on individual and organisational progress towards the set goals (Daft, 2011). However, the study conducted by Dr. Niki indicates that most employees are not given feedback on their performance (ABC, 2008). Employees therefore do not know whether or not they are doing a good job. Instead, the management is greatly concerned with management and improvement of poor performance.
The Political Perspective
According to Bolman and Deal’s political framing perspective of organisations, WA Police Communications is composed of coalitions of people and complexity of interest groups (Bolman & Deal, 2008). Organisations and the workplace is therefore characterised by lasting differences among the members of the coalition. Bolman & Deal (2008) cited that these differences and conflicts emanate from differing individual values, beliefs, interests and the way reality is perceived. This is actually evident at WA Police Communications. There is a general uneasy relationship between the employees and the management. This is a barrier to efficient and effective realisation of the goals of the organisation (Bolman & Deal, 2008).
In the study conducted by Dr. Niki, the employees at WA Police Communications reported that the management and supervisors are only quick at grabbing them whenever they make mistakes (ABC, 2008). Further, the employees feel disappointed by the decision making structures. The management does not involve them in decision making. There is thus power struggles between the management and the workers (Bolman & Deal, 2008). This is a great impediment to the realisation of the goals of WA Police Communications and achievement of efficiency in service delivery. Therefore, in order to achieve the organisation’s goals effectively, Bolman and Deal suggest that the management must strive towards minimisation of conflicts and differences among the various interest groups and stakeholders and promote productivity (Bolman & Deal, 2008).
The Cultural Perspective
The cultural framing perspective as espoused by Bolman and Deal focuses on interpretation and illumination of basic issues of meanings and individual beliefs that make symbols more powerful (Bolman & Deal, 2008). In an organisation, issues and situations are therefore interpreted differently since every individual has a symbolic meaning attached to the events at the workplace. For example, at WA Police Communications, employees generally perceive change differently. There is therefore a general mixture in the interpretations of the meanings of each change initiative (Bolman & Deal, 2008). Whereas some employees may perceive job rotations positively, some consider this as an exercise that expose them to more traumatising experiences.
The management at WA Police Communications installed the alarms, alert tones and electronic monitoring devices to help in monitoring of the police and other security operations. However, this change in the operational culture at WA Police Communications is considered by the employees as a source and a contributing factor to their problems (Bolman & Deal, 2008; Branson, 2008). This is because, the employees at the call centre generally lack control over who rings and the schedules of duties and responsibilities. They are only to respond to the rings. However, the symbolic aspects of the organisational culture at WA Police Communications are considered to be very important in differentiating the organisation from other police and security agencies in Australia.
Change Intervention Strategies at WA Police Communications
The problems identified at WA Police Communications call for strategic interventions by the management. The change interventions thus target improvement of efficiency and effective operations by addressing the evident problems. Various interventions can be introduced as outlined in this section.
Improve Performance Management
In order to achieve efficiency, the management of WA Police Communications should consider improving performance management approaches (Bertocci, 2009). Most of the employees are concerned that the management does not assess their performance and give feedback. As a result they can’t tell whether or not they are doing the correct thing. Therefore, it is important that the management of WA Police Communications Centre consider performance monitoring, assessment and evaluation to improve the efficiency of the firm. Besides, the employees should be given feedback on their performance.
Constant communication and feedback coupled with clarity of roles will enhance realisation of the goals of the organisation (ABC, 2008). Effective communication will enhance more immediate positive feedback on the performance of the employees on various tasks. There is also need to tailor the performance management process to be in line with the Police Operations Centre’s (POC). However, this should be done cautiously so as to avoid compromising organisational health and well-being. Performance management and feedback can also be realised through regular one on one meeting between the staff and the management of WA Police Communication.
The management should, as a performance management strategy, put great emphasis on development and not on mere management of poor performance. This is a great problem at WA Police Communications Centre. The management emphasises more on poor performance at the expense of development. Sharing of the goals of the organisation and participatory process in the review and evaluation of performance can greatly enhance realisation of vision of the firm.
Development of Career Pathways
In order to facilitate change, the management should strive to develop and establish clear career pathway especially for the unsworn staff. Presently, only the sworn police are given priority in career development plans. This implies that in terms of job security, the unsworn staffs are not very stable. The employees should be motivated through provision of career development and progress as a performance improvement strategy. This should be improved through development of an all-inclusive career pathway for all the staff at WA Police Communications. This can also be realised through exploration of resilience training.
The availability of the relevant facilities needed by the staff at WA Police Communications should be continually considered and improved. This includes food and exercise. Improvement of the work environment depends greatly on the presence of the lacking social and physical amenities to support the work of the employees.
Leadership Approaches needed for the Realisation of Change
Leadership is an important aspect in the realisation of organisational goals. Realisation of organisational change therefore depends on the leadership approach that is in place. The leadership approaches needed for the realisation of organisational change at WA Police Communications can vary. However, an integration of transactional and transformational leadership approaches can help in the realisation of the needed change.
Transformational Leadership and Change
Transformational leadership involves engagement of one or more individuals in a strategic way so that leaders and the followers influence one another towards the realisation of high motivational and morality levels (Bass & Riggio, 2006). Therefore for change to be realised at WA Police Communications, there has to be close link and cooperation between the leadership/ management and the staff. This leadership is founded on four main traits. These are charisma, inspiration, intellectual stimulation and individualised consideration.
The adoption of transformational leadership approach will enhance promotion of close link between the management and the staff. This will solve the problem of lack of feedback and evaluation of the performance of individual employee. Therefore, WA Police Communications will effectively address performance management issues through adoption and effective implementation of the transformational leadership approach. Bass & Riggio (2006) cited that this approach aims at inspiring and empowering the staff to high performance, satisfaction, and development of leadership (Bertocci, 2009). This approach implies constant sharing of the vision and goals of the organisation with the employees.
Transformational leadership will help in solving the management problems at WA Police Communications. One of the problems that this leadership approach will solve is the fact that the staffs at this organisation are often not involved in strategic planning meetings and decision making forums (Bass & Riggio, 2006). Since this leadership approach stresses the need for vision sharing, pro-activity and motivation of employees towards goals achievement, it will greatly suit WA Police Communications. Realisation of change in organisations is based on the motivation of every player and stakeholder and mobilisation of efforts and skills towards a common goal. This model of leadership is thus very effective in terms of promotion and actualisation of the needed change at WA Police Communications.
Transformation leadership approach is principally concerned with stimulation of change and alteration of the status-quo (Bass & Riggio, 2006). Through inspiration, which is one of its principles, the transformational leadership approach will help address all the aspects and areas of need that the employees cite as problem areas. With this approach, WA Police Communications will generally achieve its goals. Again, this is possible because the indicators of successful transformational leadership approach are in goal sharing, motivation and inspiration of the team to work as one to achieve its change and strategic goals.
Transactional Leadership and Change
Transactional leadership involves one person taking the step to make contact with other individuals with the goal of exchanging something of value (Bertocci, 2009). This leadership is based on two dimensions. These are contingent reward and management-by-exception. The main focus of this leadership approach is meeting the job-related needs of the followers, representation of the needs of followers to higher-level management (Bertocci, 2009). Therefore, through the application of this leadership approach, amenities that are missing at WA Police Communication will be promptly provided by the management. The same approach will help to identify the existing gaps such as inadequate cars. This will expedite realisation of change at WA Police Communications.
The adoption of the transactional leadership approach will enhance achievement of change. The employees will generally be challenged to put in extra effort beyond the set levels of commitment. It will also solve employee job satisfaction issues at WA Police Communications. Uneasy relationship between the management and the subordinates will be solved. The success of the transactional leadership approach in organisations is measured based on the level of satisfaction of the employees. This is only possible when the challenges and needs of the employees such as job security control in the management and decision making structures and clarity of career path are considered.
Change management calls for the participation of employees, addressing of the workplace problems and development of participatory management and decision making structures at every stage. WA Police Communications can achieve great efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery through an integrated adoption of the framing perspectives highlighted by Bolman and Deal. These framing perspectives added to a combined application of transformational and transactional leadership approaches will help solve most of the problems at WA Police Communications that impede performance, effectiveness and efficiency.