The structure of an organization is crucial because it can benefit or worsen the effective working of various departments of the organization, which has a direct impact on service delivery. For instance, a good structure would encourage and motivate workers by making them put in more effort that leads to the realization of the goals of the organization. Contextual factors, which are measured by the size, age, technology, and environment of an organization affect control factors, such as centralization, formalization, and administration directly and indirectly through complexity(Manning, 2004). Problems within a department can have a negative impact on the realization of the goals of the department because they lower the morale of workers. This essay discusses the rank structure as a problem in my organization, how it has affected effective delivery of service, and how the problem can be resolved.
I work as a sergeant in a police department in my town. My department has experienced many problems for the last few decades,thus, affecting service delivery. First, the rank structure that deals with payment of the employeesis the main problem that has affected my organization. It has been revealed that junior officers make more money as compared to some of their supervisors who are of a higher rank. This problem has caused conflicts in my organization because the senior officers feel that they are being underpaid. Some senior officers have also lost morale of the job and they have decided to quit the job.The organization that I work for is a department of police that is tasked with law enforcement and intelligence gathering. Working in such a department requires hard work and dedication because of the dynamics of thework; for example, sometimes we are required to work extra hours to ensure that law-abiding citizens are safe. Supervisors have been demoralized by the pay scale that is used to remunerate officers. Complaints have been raised and, thus, the organization is working to rectify the problem, which has existed for many years.The commitment that senior officers who are mainly the supervisors have to their work has been adversely affected by their salaries. The design that is used to remunerate them has discouraged and made them to be less committed to their work. Second, junior officers have complained of discrimination in the designation of duties because some feel that supervisors favor other junior officers when assigning duties based on some form of prejudice.
Police outcome and performance are influenced by the structure of the police departments and the distribution of power and authority(Willits, 2014.The hierarchical structure of my organization is composed of officers with different ranks starting from adeputy officer to police commissioner. Power and authority in my organization are distributed in a hierarchical manner whereby the inspector general has much powers to command the entire police force whereas the constable has just enough powers to perform his/her duties. Police have the discretion to enforce some laws and that is why some laws are always enforced, others are never enforced, and others are sometimes enforced and sometimes not. If discretion implies a lack of control,the freedom to choose among the available alternatives is completely unfettered by constraints of law. Police officers enjoy discretion of apprehending suspects, carrying out investigations, and conducting searches. As a sergeant, I have enough powers to direct my juniors who are the corporals and the constables. The role of supervising others in my organization is always assigned to officers who have a higher rank. This is because officers of a higher rank have the power, authority, and discretion to direct juniors to carry out certain duties. Theleadershipstyle in my organization is a more bureaucratic style where senor officers manage the junior by adhering to certain laws and standing orders.Everything is done in accordance with pre-written policies and procedures. When a certain problem is not covered by the book, the person concerned refers to the next level for a decision to be handled appropriately. Police discretion is a double- edged sword because it can be used for good or bad depending on the situation that a police officer is handling. It is not as simple as it being right or wrong, but if the sources of discretion are not within the confines of the law, then it is completely wrong. In my organization the junior officers refer problems that are not clear and they are unable to tackle them effectively to the supervisors who are officers in the senior ranks. Para-military organizations, such as the police,have high levels of organizational commitment because they exhibit organizational cultures that have strong norms for obligation, internalization, and identification (Dick,2011).
The span of control in my department is made in such a way that a senior police officer is assigned several junior officers whom he/she supervises.“Span of control as one of the principles of management refers to the number of people whom a supervisor directly supervises”(Jung and Kim, 2014).Administrative efficiency or performance can be improved by keeping narrow the span of control because a broader span of control carries higher transaction costs in the organization and, in turn, results in a decrease in organizational performance.
A diagram of hierarchy
CaptainLieutenant Sergeant Detective Officer
The current design of the pay scale in my department is not fair and appropriate because of the dynamics that characterize our work. Payment of police officers is based on other aspects, such as academic achievements rather than the rank of the police officer. In the police workforce, juniors are expected to absolutely respect and take commands from officers of the higher rank. The current structure and design of remuneration makes some senior officers to appear inferior and, thus, affect service delivery. This design is not appropriate because it has led to many issues that affect service delivery, for instance, some junior officers showing disrespect to the seniors.
The problem can better be solved if the management comes up with clear policies and structures on remuneration. A structure should be formulated whereby the payment of officers should be pegged on the rank of the officer and other aspects, such as qualifications. Junior Police offers should also be assigned to supervisors who are of high rank so that the seniors are able to command respect from the junior officers. The job design can also be improved by adjusting the pay scale in a hierarchical manner to ensure that no junior officers receive more than their seniors. To improve service delivery, the senior officers should also be given some responsibility allowance because of the nature of their work. They have a responsibility of not only supervising the juniors but also executing out other duties as they are assigned by the law. Specialized task assignment is another remedy that can be used to solve the problem. Conflicts that have characterized my department can be solved if every officer is assigned a specific role unlike in the past whereby we have been performing general duties. A duty roster should be formulated to ensure that every officer actively participates in realizing the goals of my organization rather that just being a passive member. Several officers have complained of discrimination where the supervisor assigns them duties based on some prejudice and certain stereotypes rather than fairness. Some officers have accused the supervisors of favoring other officers and assigning them lighter duties. Decentralization is another strategy that can be used to solve the problem because much power is concentrated at the top. Senior officers have so much power that leads them to misuse their powers, thus, leading to difficult working conditions for junior police officers. The powers of the senior officers should be reduced to that which they can be able to just easily and command the juniors to execute certain duties. Senior officers are mostly in offices and they are not much abreast with the happenings in the field like the junior officers. Reduction of the powers of senior officers will empower the junior officers because some of the powers will be transferred to them to improve service delivery. The standing orders of my department should be amended to increase the discretion that is given to junior police officers so that they can effectively perform their duties while in the field. Some simple tasks in the field do not need the consent of senior police officers; the standing orders should be amended to allow junior police officers to perform certain acts in the field without seeking the permission of their supervisors who are mainly the senor police officers.
A compensation package should be made in my organization so that those officers who have been affected with the problem are paid the whole amount and the damages cost. The department should also come up with a structure that will ensure that all those junior officers who have raised issues of discrimination are compensated as long as they can prove their case. A compensation package will be the most effective way to solve the problem that has affected my department for many years. This will help to avoid future problems because it will act as a deterrence to those people who have perpetuated the problem in the department. All the employees and the executives who have been affected by the problem should receive a package to fit the magnitude of the problem each has experienced as a result of the organizational challenges.
Conflicts and other problems within an organization have a negative effect on the organization because they affect service delivery. Remuneration of work done is a crucial factor, which should be premised on many factors, for instance, rank, academic qualifications, work done, and other factors depending on the kind of job. Architects of the scale of pay must put into consideration many factors, which are diverse before coming up with a final scale.
Dick, G. P. (2011). The Influence of Managerial and Job Variables on Organizational Commitment inthe Police. Public Administration, 89(2), 557-576.
Manning, P. K. (2004). Organizational Structure in American Police Agencies: Context, Complexity and Control. Administrative Science Quarterly, 49(2), 304-307.
Jung, C. S., & Kim, S. E. (2014). Structure and Perceived Performance in Public Organizations. Public Management Review, 16(5), 620-642.
Willits, D. W. (2014). The organizational structure of police departments and assaults on police officers. International Journal of Police Science & Management, 16(2), 140-154