Description of Organization VenturaCounty Health care agency is a very diverse group of individual organizations.HCA supplies hospital and clinics to all of Ventura County. It provides Behavior Health, Public Health aswell as Animal services to the county. The organization stretches to every partof the county with hundreds of working systems.
The origination I will bediscussing is the HCA IT department which maintain all the interworking systemsfor the Health Care Agency.HCAIT operations is responsible for all break and fix IT issues in the enterprise. While at the same time implementing newsystem into the network eco system. HCA IT is responsible for helping maintainthe high availability of IT services. The network operations center isresponsible for the network, server and backup administration and functionswithin the enterprise. These services are provided to the end users across the countyand ensure high availability of all required network resources.
Since this is acounty wide organization, employees working on a specific project, may bebroken up and working from different locations. HCA IT operations center toensure resources are available 24/7 in fast paced Health Care organization. Leadership Practices Thecurrent leadership of the HCA IT director is a transactional leader, also knownas a managerial leader, focuses on the role of supervision, organization, andgroup performance; transactional leadership is a style of leadership in whichthe leader promotes compliance of his/her followers through both rewards andpunishments. This type of leadership iseffective in crisis and emergency situations, as well as for projects that needto be carried out in a specific way. (Transactional Leadership) The function ofthe network Health Care IT operations center operates to support theorganization in times of crisis and emergency situations so a transactionalleader is an appropriate fit in this environment. As the director, he clearlydefines the roles and tasks of subordinates, provides structure, rewardsemployees appropriately, and displays consideration for followers. A practice of this leadership is that hedefines team member’s roles. Defining member’s roles will help increase theireffectiveness and efficiency.
As the network operations center handles multipletasks and duties daily, defining one’s role will aid in the efficiency of theoperations and will ensure crucial tasks are being performed on a day-to-daybasis. Specific duties and task can be assigned to employees based on theirskill set. If a member of the organization is more effective at preforming aspecific task, he or she can be assigned the role of performing that task.
Thisperson can be considered a subject matter expert and will have the ability topass on their knowledge to fellow employees. An example of this is the organization uses anElectronic Medical System the solution has many modules within the solution.This Modals are not easily implemented or maintained and a subject matterexpert is needed for any unforeseen events that may take place. The solution attimes will fail and risk patient safety. This happens quite often, as there arehundreds of servers that require monitoring every day. An assigned team memberwith in depth knowledge of the solution can troubleshoot, diagnose and resolveissues much quicker than their colleagues. As this person is solely assignedthis role, the director is effectively using his skill to ensure modules areproperly running, ensuring crucial data is not lost. Another example of assigning roles is thedirector has assigned teams leads for each project the HCA IT Implements.
The HCAIT five internal groups within the organization. These groups are Informatics,Desktop, Server, Behavior Health , Public Health, And Health Care Plan. As thedirector is not a subject matter expert at each function, he is using his skillof assigning roles to leads that can disseminate knowledge and any importantinformation to their peers in each respective group. As each group has a lead,the lead for each group will act as a conduit to the director; allowing anyimportant information to flow down.
Because of this, each group can operateefficiently and effectively. The director uses this skill to help improveproductivity. This allows for the department to rapidly respond to problemswithin there area. Anotherskill the director practices, as a transactional leader is he providesstructure. The Health Care Agengce is a 24/7,structure must be provided to keep operations flowing smoothly. The directorhas implemented policies and procedures. With multiple issues that may arise,he uses his skill to create a process when a event occurs. There is a structureon what actions to take and who to contact for every circumstance.
If an issuenever seen before arises, he uses his skill to create a process to handle saidissue in the future. An example of this practice is in our afterhours process. On call Another example of the transactional leadership traitexhibited is that he uses his skill to recognize and reward individual andgroup achievements and performance. The network operations center is a highpaced environment and team members must troubleshoot multiple issues per day.
The tasks can come in the form of incident tickets where employees are assignedtasks and projects. It’s a fast paced environment, with a high volume ofassignments and the more you tasks you can perform, the better. The directorhas the skill to recognize the efforts put forth by his team and can recognizethat rewards and recognition of employee achievements is important the moralein network operations center. An example of this is employees are partlyevaluated based on customer surveys. Customers can survey the level of servicethey received from a team member. Those that receive a high rating are rewardedwith an extra day off or a bonus.
This gives the employees a sense of pride andgives others that have not done well, a goal to strive for. Another example isrecognitions are communicated to the group when others outside of the networkoperations center recognizes efforts such as setting up a new server in atimely manner and restoring network services after a major network outage. Thedirector uses his skill to recognize that employees will have a sense of prideand thus improve morale within the group. Relationship Between Leadership and OrganizationalCulture The culture of an organization is the behaviorof humans within an organization and the meaning that people attach to thosebehaviors.
(Organizational culture) The organizational culture of the networkoperations center can be considered a fortress culture. In this particularstyle of organizational culture, employees don’t know if they’ll be laid off ornot. These organizations often undergo massive reorganization. There are manyopportunities for those with timely, specialized skills.
(management culture)Since the company is a defense contractor, the need for IT services is alwayschanging. Countries defense budgets can be very elastic thus the budget defensecontractors have will also be elastic. The director of the network operations centeris skilled and aware that goals must be met to justify the size of his staff.So that he does not lose subordinates due to a smaller budget, he assigns everysubordinate multiple goals to justify the need for each employee. This can be adifficult task since there can have budget restraints. The current fortressculture of the business directly affects the network operations center. Uppermanagement needs to cut costs somewhere and the director of the networkoperations center need to work together to determine how to find savings. Anexample of this is the director is an authentic leader; he remains true to hisvalues and beliefs.
He works for his employees believes that his subordinatesshould remain employed and their budget should not be cut. His view clasheswith the organizations fortress culture.Effects on Current CultureAs a Government Agency, Health Care Agency falls within what would beconsidered a Bureaucratic Organizational Structure. The vertical layout of thestructure is clearly defined to encourage unity of direction and organizationcharts provide a clear chain of authority. Due to sections being spread throughoutthe County, however, Health Care Agency does not have the benefit of dailyface-to-face interactions.
As a result, a member of upper level management,such as the Department Director, can seem rather untouchable or aloof to thelower level employees. This sense of distance, combined with the Department Directors negativereactions in emergency situations and seeming inability to truly empathize withthe daily demands of the field operations, has created a very frustratedworkforce and negative work culture at the section level. Employees have cometo feel as though they are not supported or trusted by upper management. Derogatory commentstowards government workers and their lack of work ethic can be common amongcivil observers.
In the past, government agencies have not always had the bestof reputations. A push to increase productivity and reduce downtime cantherefore be understood because of the Department Director’s desire to changethe culture and in turn change outside perceptions. While this goal can beappreciated, it appears the pendulum has swung to the opposite side. A balancehas yet to be found. In an article entitled “The Happy Workaholic”, authors Friedman and Lobal(2003) make the following observation: “Employees flourish when senior leadershelp them focus on what matters most… (in) their lives—at home, in theircommunities…The happy result: committed people driving hard to achieve superiorperformance.” (Abstract) Redirecting focus to a more personalized approach andreconnecting upper management with field employees will therefore inevitablybecome a crucial key if a true improvement are to be madeSWOT Analysis Organizational StrengthsGoodmomentum and interest in technology planningfrom leadership as well as stakeholders.Healthcare demand for technology has never been higher. Upper management has pointedfor more and more initiatives require new IT infistructure and design.
Adequateoperational support services for ‘keeping the lights on’. The It staff for the most part is invested in theaplications they manage and take pride in the product having no down time forthe users. The staff are aware of limited backup so they attempt to midigatedown time with preventative measures to make sure patients lives are not atrisk. Organizational WeaknessesAweakness of the HCA IT is the staffinglevels are low due to budget constraints, Staffing levels can result in differentgroup being understaffed at times.
This leads to big delays and projects notbeing completed in a timely matter. HCA 24/7 environment yet we only staff forsupport of a 9-5 with an on call staff left to pick up the rest. This canleave a shift without and employee, exposing vulnerabilities and putting thehigh availability of network resources in jeopardy. Anotherweakness of the organization is that other groups not communicate with eachother. The IT groups in HCA it runmostly in Cilos they work independently of each other and believe they do nothave to notify the other groups if changes are made.t.
This increases time totroubleshoot the issue, not knowing that another group is making changes. Thisdecreases the effectiveness of the network operations center.Organizational Opportunities An opportunity that the organization can takeadvantage of is new technology. As technology is constantly changing andevolving, there is an opportunity to implement new hardware or software. Anexample of this is the network operations center has dated monitoring software.It is very limited as far as features to aide in troubleshooting. There aremany options available for the monitoring of network devices. There are manyoptions as far as software that have many more features than the toolscurrently being used.
This can benefit the organization by aiding theefficiency of troubleshooting. Another opportunity is that the networkoperations center is documentation. The organization does not have a single setlocation for documentation. The organization should have a single sharedlocation where all collaboration can take place. This shared location wouldcontain process documents, templates, graphical diagrams, troubleshooting stepsand other core components required to perform tasks. With improveddocumentation, the staff can utilize their skills in a better manner andeliminate the wasted time that occurs when not having the required informationreadily accessible. Organizational Threats Organizational threats can have a big effecton reaching the network operations center’s strategic goals.
As ABE DefenseSystems funding is based on how governments around the world decide how toutilize their defense budgets, the organization’s demand can be very elastic.Demand elasticity is a measure of how much the quantity demanded will change ifanother factor changes. (Demand Elasticity) Thus, a threat to the organizationis funding can fluctuate.
With fluctuations in funding, the need for ITservices will also change. During times when governments are not spending a lotof their budget on defense, the organization requires less IT support sincethere are fewer projects being funded. The organization may see budget cuts.Staff will be reduced but the volume of work will remain.
Here, the organizationwill be challenged to maintain the same amount of productivity, and resolve thesame amount of issues, while maintaining the same quality of service. Another threat the organization faces ischanging technologies. With the constantly changing technologies, the staffneeds to remain up to date with standards and the new operating systems.
Features and processes will change and they will be challenged to keep theirindustry certifications current. Should the group not stay current withtechnologies, they run the risk of having their skill become outdated. Leadership Evaluation The leader selected for analysis is thedirector of the network operations center. The director can be described as atransactional leader. A transactional leader, also known as a managerialleader, focuses on the role of supervision, organization, and groupperformance; transactional leadership is a style of leadership in which theleader promotes compliance of his/her followers through both rewards andpunishments. This type of leadership is effective in crisis and emergencysituations, as well as for projects that need to be carried out in a specificway. (Transactional Leadership) The reason he was selected for analysis was dueto the practices and skills observed while performing his duties as thedirector of the network operations center.
Leadership Strengths A Strength that the director practices in ishis role as a leader is that he defines team member’s roles. Transactionalleaders excel at management functions. They are hardworking, tolerant, and fairminded. They take pride in keeping things running smoothly and efficiently.They have a sense of commitment to the organization and conform toorganizational norms and values. Transactional leadership is important to allorganizations. (Burns, 1978) Using his skill to define member’s roles hashelped increase their effectiveness and efficiency. As the network operationscenter handles multiple tasks and duties on a daily basis, his ability todefine one’s role has helped increase efficiency of the operations and hasensured crucial tasks are being performed on a day-to-day basis.
Specificduties and task have been assigned to employees based on their skill set. Thishas had a positive impact as the team member’s are considered a subject matterexpert in regards to a particular function or technology and been able to passon their knowledge to fellow employees. As a result, the director has used thisskill to ensure the network operations center is able to handle all day-to-dayoperations effectively and efficiently. Another strength exhibited is he providesstructure. The network operations center is constantly monitoring the network24/7, in a very fast paced environment. There are thousands of network devicesin the environment that are constantly monitored.
The structure created helpskeep operations flowing smoothly. The director has implemented policies andprocedures. With multiple issues that may arise, he uses his skill to create aprocess for each scenario and function served in the network operations center.He uses his skill to recognize a process should be created on required actionsto take including any resource or personnel to contact for every circumstance.His ability to provide structure for his team has helped create a cohesivegroup that is well equipped and prepared to handle assigned assignments. Thishas had a positive impact on the organization as all tasks and assignmentsgiven to the team can be addressed quickly and efficiently as they have a process.His subordinates have recognized that the structure provided has createdstability, as they know how to handle tasks that are assigned to the networkoperations center. Transactional Leadership is based upon thepremise of incentives and/or punishments for compliance with and acceptance ofauthority, thus, a reciprocal exchange of work for reward.
(Robina & Brian,2010) This is another strength of the director. He uses his skill to recognizeemployees that do well and will reward them in some form. He is effective atmotivating employees that are not performing well and gives goals to obtain.
The director has the skill to recognize the efforts put forth by his team andcan recognize that rewards and recognition of employee achievements is importantto the morale in network operations center. Leadership Weaknesses Transactional leaders are associated with aless comprehensive decision style and reflect a style that restricts the amountof information that is processed (Eberlin, 2005; Kedia et al., 2002; Tatum etal., 2003). As the organization is a defense contractor, it operates on a needto know basis and includes employees as such. The director is not privileged toa lot of information that could be beneficial to the group. An example of thisis if a system or service is installed in a classified network. The directormay not be made aware of this since he does not immediately need to know aboutthe service.
He needs to be able to pass on any important information to hisemployees in a manner that will not risk putting sensitive information at risk.The negative impact this has on the group is that the network operations centerdoes not have the required information to effectively perform their duties As a transactional leader, it is difficult forthe director to be innovative and to initiate and lead change. This is anotherweakness of the director. While the director is able to create structure, he isunable to change the way team members perform a particular process. It isdifficult to improve on the process in place. He needs to have the ability tolead changes in the organization’s mission, strategy, structure, and culture,as well as to promote innovation in products and technologies.
(Daft & Lane, Nd) This weakness has a negative impact on the organization as team members’morale may be affected negatively since they will begin to feel limited intheir role. In organizations where the transactionalinfluence process prevails, followers will soon cease to experience dignity,meaning, and community so essential for the growth of both the organization andits members. (Mendonca & Kanungo , 2006) This is another weakness that isseen in the director. The network operations center’s function does not change.Growth within the organization can be difficult as a result. Since are limitedonly to the function they perform, it makes learning new skills andtechnologies difficult. An example of this is during periods where theorganization is required to maintain a small budget; there is little room forgrowth.
The director is unable to provide an opportunity for growth and as aresult team members begin to question their meaning to the organization. Recommendations forLeadership Development To enhance leadership development, isrecommended that director develop the ability to lead changes in theorganization’s mission, strategy, structure, and culture, as well as to promoteinnovation in products and technologies. (Daft & Lane , Nd) This is a traitthat can be learned to help the director gain the skills necessary to become atransformational leader. The expected outcome of gaining this skill is to helpincrease morale, motivate team members and to better strategize issues that areencountered in the network operations center. While the director is skilled at recognizingwhen team members should be recognized and rewarded, he should do not relysolely on tangible rules and incentives to control specific transactions withfollowers. (Daft & Lane , Nd) The director needs to gain this skill of recognizingthat he needs to not only recognized and reward team members but learn how tohelp develop his team’s skills both personally and professionally. Thispractice is recommended to help develop team members as it will help benefitthe organization’s skills as a whole.
The outcome of this practice will helpdevelop team members and will assist in the director in his practice to becomea transformational leader. Studies show that transformational leadership has apositive impact on follower development and follower performance. (Daft , Nd) Another practice recommended for the directoris that he inspire and motivate followers, rather than lead based onreinforcement and exchanges. He is skilled at rewarding team members and forrecognition. This practice is recommended to help his team members’ morale andto inspire their growth within the organization.
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