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North Carolina Department of Health: Organisational Design Research Paper

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Updated: Jun 30th, 2020

History of NC Department of Health and Human Services

The history of this organisation dates back to the early seventies when there were a great number of separate agencies that served various needs of the population. Nevertheless, the situation changed after the adoption of Executive Organization Act in 1973 which implied that these institutions had to join their efforts and act as a single entity. The main goal of this organisation is to protect “the health and safety of all North Carolinians and provides essential human services” (NC Department of Health and Human Services, 2013). Overall, the consolidation of different organisation can better serve the needs of citizens who may require the assistance of the state. This is the main rationale that can be distinguished.

Organisational Design

Director (Mark Gogal) It is important to mention that the agency incorporates many divisions that serve various purposes. For instance, one can distinguish the Division of Aging and Adult Services, the Division of Medical Assistance, Council on Developmental Disabilities, Office of Communications, and so forth (NC Department of Health and Human Services, 2014). The main limitation of this approach is that the activities of these divisions often overlap, and they may not use their resources effectively. Moreover, it is rather difficult to coordinate the work of different departments that may try to achieve the same goal. Additionally, one should point out that separate divisions within this agency are very hierarchical. For instance, one can speak about HR division of this agency. Overall, the organisational peculiarities can be illustrated with the help of the following chart.

Organisational Design
Organisational Design

This chart indicates that this division includes director, deputy director, three assistant directors, and a group of managers (Division of Human Resources, 2014). This complex hierarchy can be observed in other divisions of this agency. Overall, it is important to mention that the functioning of NC Department of Health and Human Services is based on the rigid division of labor. In particular, separate departments focus on the specific needs of the population such as education, employment, rural health, child development, and so forth. The main problem is that this approach slows down decision-making within the entire agency because top executives may not learn about the main concerns of citizens and employees as quickly as possible. This is one of the main challenges that should be overcome.

Assessment of Organisational Design

In my opinion, it is necessary to make several changes in the organisational design of NC Department of Health and Human Services. The most important task is to reduce the workplace hierarchy. In particular, it is important to make sure that frontline managers can report directly to the heads of each department or deputy directors. This procedure can speed up the flow of information within various divisions of this organisation. Moreover, this approach can be important for better decision-making because the main executives will learn about the problems faced by frontline employees and managers as quickly as possible. The new design can be described with the help of the following chart.

Assessment of Organisational Design
Assessment of Organisational Design

This approach should not be applied only one of the divisions. This change can be implemented throughout this organisation. This policy can reduce the operational costs of the company. Furthermore, it will not prevent the agency from providing services to population. Furthermore, the management can merge some of the divisions that provide similar services. For instance, the departments of rural and public health can act as a single entity. This new division can work effectively if the duties of workers are properly allocated.

Evaluation of Planning and Implementation

Overall, it is possible to identify several factors that affect the functioning of this agency. First, one should speak about the overall culture of governmental institutions that usually tend to be more bureaucratic, especially in comparison with non-governmental agencies or private companies. Furthermore, one should speak about the complexity of tasks that NC Department of Health and Human Services should perform. As it has been said before, this organisation serves very diverse needs of the population, and this factor contributes to the departmentalisation of this agency. On the whole, the main factor that impedes the performance of this agency is the complex bureaucracy. In particular, it makes this agency less responsive to different challenges and problems since the senior managers can learn about various challenges only through mediators such as assistant directors. Yet, this issue can be addressed by the management. Furthermore, much attention should be paid to budget constraints. In particular, they limit the decision-making capacity of different departments. Different actors within this agency cannot develop plans independently because they should make sure that their activities comply with budget requirements. These are some of the main aspects that can be considered.

Recommendations for Planning and Implementation

One of the suggestions is related to the simplification of workplace hierarchy. To a great extent, this recommendation has already been described. The main task is to shorten the chain of command. NC Department of Health and Human Services should strive to become a flat organisation in which frontline employees and senior managers can directly communicate to one another (Yolles, 2006, p. 343). This approach is not widely adopted by governmental institutions, but it has been of great benefit to many private businesses (Yolles, 2006, p. 343). The main benefit of this approach is the improvement of decision-making because they can empower frontline managers and employees. Moreover, the managers of this agency will modify their plans as quickly as possible, if some of them prove faulty. So, this strategy is important for the identification of errors at the early stages.

Another recommendation that can be made is the adoption of the open-door policy. This approach is based on the premise that employees should be able to address the senior managers and discuss their concerns or suggestions almost at any time (Yolles, 2006). This approach is vital for increasing the agility of this agency. Overall, these recommendations are based on the premise that governmental institutions should pay more attention to the practices of private businesses.

Apart from that, it is possible to construct the cause and effect diagram that can illustrate the factors that can impair the functioning of this organisation.

Problems faced by the company are caused by two-group factors
Problems faced by the company are caused by two-group factors

Overall, this diagram indicates that problems faced by the company are caused by factors that can be divided into two groups. The external ones are related to financial limitations and the needs of the community. In turn, the internal forces take their origins in the culture of this agency. These are the main details that should be considered. Overall, the management of this agency can address primarily internal problems by applying different principles of design.

Reference List

Division of Human Resources. (2014). Contact. Web.

NC Department of Health and Human Services. (2013). . Web.

NC Department of Health and Human Services. (2014). . Web.

Yolles, M. (2006). Organizations as Complex Systems: An Introduction to Knowledge Cybernetics. New York, NY: IAP.

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