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Restructuring the Public Works Department

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What is your diagnosis of the situation in the Public Works Department? From the data collected through the OD consultant, diagnostic interviews, focus groups with employees and stakeholders the Public Works Department is facing serious issues. The department is lacking direction, communication, and budget control. From the data showed each department were doing their own thing instead of having a clear mission and vision for their department. The changes were implemented immediately without giving the departments enough notice and allowing time to accept the changes. Another issue that arose was from some of the work process in each department was similar to other departments’ duties. This increases the expenses of the departments, almost wasteful doing the same exact thing. Money is getting thrown out buying similar equipments for the same job but in two different departments Out of all the issues present, one of the biggest problems in this whole situation is lack of communication. The departments were lacking goals and planning process due to lack of direction from leadership. The engineering department was unsure of the future workload, leading them to feeling anxious for their future workload. The roles and responsibilities seem unsure between the public works director and city engineer. There is a lot of miscommunication or lack of communication taken place to implement all the changes at once. How would you proceed from this point?

At this point to move forward, the department should come together and unravel the confusion and lack of communication present. Employee health and well-being are very important to the organizations performance. Managers can implement changes but if the employees do not follow through with the changes, then the implementation will be a failure (Nielsen, 2013). It seems the employees have invested their time with the department and wants to continue to stay with the city. Therefore, it is worth investing into the concerns and issues the employees have regarding the changes. What interventions would you recommend and why?

The there are three types of system wide process interventions to consider such confrontation meeting, intergroup interventions, and large-group interventions. Out of the three, large-group seems to fit the best, although, intergroup interventions may also work. The intergroup intervention allows two or more groups to find a solution. Members of each group come together and identify the problem and find solution. However, with large-group intervention, a large meeting is held. The purpose is to identify organization wide problems together and implement a new vision. The Public Works Department is facing an issue organizational wide not just in one department. The changes that are being implemented will impact the whole organization therefore large-group intervention works the best. For our preferred intervention, develop an action plan for implementation. The preferred intervention is to use large-group method.

The department will need to discover the organization’s positive core, dream about and envision a more desired and fulfilled future, design the structural and stems arrangements that will best reflect and support the vision or dream, and finally create the specific action plans that will fulfill the organizations destiny (Cummings, 2009). During the first stage of discovering the organizations positive core allows employees to interact with each other to hear stories and factors that cause them to be successful or fail. In the second stage, the employees will use the stories from the first step to develop a bold vision and mission statement. This will be the whole group’s vision for Public Works Department instead of just the City Managers vision of the future. Third step is to have members design strategies, structures, and process to implement the new vision and mission. Lastly, implement the changes. There will be more support and understanding of the changes since more people were involved in making the changes instead of just one person. After all four steps are completed; there should be a time for feedback that evaluates the outcomes (Cummings, 2009).

Cummings, T. G. & Worley, C. G. (2009). Organization Development & Change, 9th edition. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning. Nielsen, Karina. (2013). Review Article: How can we make organizational interventions work? Employees and line managers as actively crafting interventions. Sage
Journal. Retrived from http://hum.sagepub.com/content/66/8/1029.abstract

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