Organization Theory Behavior
In the modern world, every organization strives to get a larger share of the industrial market. The competition is stiff among companies, each striving to the largest market share by offering quality products and services to enhance customers’ experience and increase revenue. Organizations offering similar or slightly differentiated products may opt to merge their operation to dominate the market. Also, state governments have various agencies whose aim is to provide services to the citizens. For instance, the industry of health has different organizations that provide healthcare services to public. Some of them are non-profit organizations and the government funds their operations to ensure quality and timely provision of healthcare. In some cases, organizations offer almost similar services or only slightly differentiated. This increases a burden to the government and duplication of services. Additionally, the quality of services provided is less satisfying since each organization expects the other one to provide the services and by the end of the day, the public does not benefit from what has been funded by the government. The government may opt to merge the agencies to streamline their operation for the benefits of its citizens.At a certain point, two or more competitors may find it better to merge to improve their operation, secure bigger market share, and gain confidence from their consumers. They initiate the merging process and lay down procedures and policies that will govern all activities of the more prominent organizations including sharing of profits and expenses.
The administration may find it necessary to merge the departments to cut cost and enhance the quality of service provision. In Michigan, the state government joined the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Department of Community Health (DCH) to form Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The paper covers brief information and responsibilities of DHS, DCH, and DHHS, the theories of organization behavior, as well as the strategies how to successfully merge DHS and DCH without creating conflicts.
The Department of Community Health
The establishment of DCH took place in 1996 by executive order, consolidating the former Citizens Health and Mental Health Departments with the program of Medicaid (Radin, 2010). A year later, programs for providing services to physically impaired individuals and that of adult home care, office offering services to victims of crime, and to aging persons were transferred from other departments to the DCH (Healthfinder.gov, 2017). The budget of DCH has been increasing steadily since its formation and it was $ 16, 634 million in 2014 (Michigan.gov, 2017). The outcome intended from the DCH consolidation was to refocus health services delivery and administration to the public, integrate and coordinate state functions related to health care, and enhance focus promoting health and prevention of health issues. Also, the formation of DCH aimed at increasing quality of access and care provision by pooling streams of the fund into an integrated system of purchasing health services, and streamline policy, purchasing, and management of state health services.
The Department of Human Services
The DHS in Michigan was established to offer help to families and individuals (Radin, 2010, p. 147). DHS administered programs for financial assistance, services, and regulations of their facilities. For instance, in 2014, there were about 38,387 cases of Family Independence Program (FIP) monthly (Healthfinder.gov, 2017). It assisted people to meet their social, medical, and financial needs until they became self-dependent. Other responsibilities of the organization included protecting adults and children from exploitation, abuse, as well as neglects, regulation and issuance in making licenses for homes for the aged, adult foster care, and children adoption (Greene, 2017). Initially, DHS was The Agency of Family Independence and had offices in every county in the state.
Despite the fact that the state government funded the departments effectively, the outcome of programs offered was less than expected since their organizational structure and culture limited their operations. For instance, the structure of the department of human service was highly decentralized with no discrete division for child welfare. It had various responsibilities for services that ranged widely minimizing experts to focus on the well-being of children. From the directors to the subordinate staff, only very few had specific responsibility for children welfare (MLive.com, 2017). Further, most managers in the department had no experience or education essential to prepare them for their challenging responsibilities for fostering and adopting children.
Merging of DCH and DHS
The Governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, initiated the merge of DCH and DHS after he came to power in the state. Having uses the power provided in the constitution, he signed an executive order to merge the departments in 2015 (MLive.com, 2017). The merging aimed at serving the citizens better through coordinating existing assistance programs and services. He emphasized that the restructuring was not just putting DCH and DHS together, but he also tried to impose a fundamentally better way of serving people by an effective, efficient, and accountable administration, treating them like individuals and not the programs (Schuchat, 2015, p. 20). According to the Head of State, the government funded from about 150 to 200 service programs (MLive.com, 2017), and some citizens were participating in multiple programs in different locations with many caseworkers. The only holistic way of approaching credible service provision was by the initiation of the merge the organizations to form the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
DHHS emerged as the organization with the largest number of departments in the State (approximately 15,000) and combined the budget of about $24 billion (Resources, 2017). The merge saves a significant amount of administrative costs. There was a concern that some employees would be laid off. However, Snyder defended his move by saying that the primary goal was to see that all workers were active in serving the community. The merger was supported by streamlining of operations and the usage of public resources, and the community was provided with “one stop shopping” for services. The question remained how the merging could be efficient without creating conflicts. Besides, some theories of organizational behavior could support the merging of the two departments.
Principles of Organization Behavior
How employees in an organization behave has a significant to its performance as well as the output. Merging of DCH and DHS could be supported by the scientific leadership theory, a theory of organization behavior that put more emphasize on how to work more efficiently. The scientific leadership first determines objectives of the organization and then defines performance standards that will replace the old rules (Brousseau, Garrouste, & Raynaud, 2011, p. 12). The aim of DHHS is to streamline the provision of services to the citizens, enhance efficiency, accountability, and consumers’ satisfaction. When DCH and DHS were operating separately, inefficiency in the delivery of services to the public existed and there was a duplication of some programs in the departments.
Another theory that supports the merge of the departments is the theory of motivation, which comprises financial reason, efficiency factor, and considerations (Stanca, Bruni, & Corazzini, 2009, p. 235). Availability of enough funding is a primary motivating factor for mergers. The state government of Michigan funded the two departments, which was financially inefficient. Duplication of some programs caused a considerable burden to the economy of the state. Initiation to form the department of health and human services was primarily to cut the cost of service provision. Additionally, the governments wanted to improve efficiency at which the agencies provided services to the community (Mahler, & Casamayou, 2009, p. 53). This planned to increase the level and quality of the services. Further, the administration considered how it could create more value for the services provided to the citizens and merging DHS and DCH was the better option than any other. The government had to ensure that the merging process would be accomplished without creating any conflicts that would undermine the efforts of integrating the two departments.
Images of an Organization
Different people approach organizations differently. However, Morgan (2006) in his book depicted the organizational image in eight different ways that include machine, organism, brain, culture, political system, psychic prison, transformation, and domination.
Organizations which run like a machine function through the foundational laws of scientific administration, a method that divides a chain of command through coordination of activities and hierarchy, so every aspect of the organization has a particular role to fulfill. Top management in DHS and DCH controls subordinate staffs (Morgan, 2006, p. 25), like how the parts of a machine operate collectively in-time with each other. Thus, management has the mandate to train workers exactly how to complete an assignment within a given period and should have in mind that each worker is a variable.
Another way of understanding institutions is to approach them as an organism that has to sustain itself by satisfying distinct needs uncommon to that organization. DCH cannot effectively complete all tasks without incorporating other departments like DHS. Despite different institutions adopting various attitudes towards power sharing, those embrace the concept of a “shared future” operated within the capacity of an organism (Morgan, 2006, p. 35). Organizations that work with shared futures to finish jobs, sometimes adopt other aspects, such as machine-like thinking.
Organizations engage in behaviors of mechanical and steady states maintenance. Similar how memory reconstitutes from different brain parts by applying a portion of memory from a diverse brain location, the organization like DHHS has the capability to use holographic systems embedded within its structure of the performance as a procedure to notify, reform, control, and restructure itself during the time of crisis (Morgan, 2006, p. 27). As brain, an organization can miraculously self-regulate by adverse feedback (Datta & RayChaudhuri, 2005), which permits stakeholders to participate in self-questioning and can lead to an extensive process of decision-making in the organization if applied in a vigorous way.
Rules, guidelines, rituals, philosophies, values, and archetypes of organizations emerge and copy new cultures of participating. Though most administrations have a unique culture, it attempts to remake reality through schemes interpretation that underpins control systems (Cekuls, 2015). Many institutions strive to reconfigure understandings and opinions about life through both direct and indirect processes and expectations of staffs. Integration of DCH and DHS cultures in the DHHS made it easier for employees from both departments to embrace merging idea. It is essential to understand the type of culture an organization is encouraging and its impacts on the stakeholders.
All institutions follow a system of rule, autocracy, bureaucracy, technocracy, codetermination, representative democracy, or direct democracy. The sources of the power to rule comprise control of resources, legitimacy, important decisions, technology manipulation, alliance cultivation, and personal charisma among others (Morgan, 2006, p. 43). Since there are differences in political power, organizational politics are chosen by the stakeholders, but not the leaders.
Although organizations are thoughtfully designed by leaders and followers, they are also created automatically by desires, fears, and dreams of key stakeholders, especially leaders, who set the vision of the organization (Morgan, 2006, p. 45). The unreality of an organization and the unreality of an operation within it creates an illusion of realness and how involved parties attempt to preserve an image in their minds based on vision and desire for continuity.Changes in one element of an organization lead to a change in another. The mutual occurrence of events is evident that no single procedure or an individual has full control concerning the direction of the organization.
Domination is a form of rationalization, which can occur in traditional, rational-legal, or charismatic means (Morgan, 2006, p. 51). The contemporary form of the organization emerges from the commencement of the oligopolistic marketplace, where few primary sellers control other agencies’ decisions involved in the same transaction.
Causes of Conflict after Merging Organization
Employees of an organization are an important asset and careful attention to them is necessary when devising a decision of merging. Mergers transform structures, processes, cultures, as well as the systems of one or two organizations involved. This makes the employees feel frustrated, stressed, confused, and even frightened. Employees put any possible effort to prevent the realization of the merger (Raver, 2013, p. 152). Most employees consider mergers as a deliberate plan to violate organizational internal norms and to exercise powers (Constantinou & Opondo, 2015, p. 314). Integration of different structures and procedures of organizations requires harmonization of various aspects of terms and conditions of recruiting employees.
The culture of organizations differs significantly and during mergers interrelated and interdependent system of beliefs, practices, assumptions, and norms that members collectively bear ought to be considered since when altered extensively after merge employees will tend to oppose the move (Bellot, 2011, p. 29). This would adversely affect their productivity (Raver, 2013). Further, poor communication may emerge among the employees after the merger escalating the integration problems. However, various ways of resolving conflicts exist that may emerge in organizations.
How to Merge Two Organizations without Creating a Conflict
Although conflicts are inevitable in organizations, it does not have to result in adverse outcomes. Involved parties need to create environments that promote honest and open discussion regarding problems to prevent conflicts (Cloke, Goldsmith, & Bennis, 2011, p. 25). This may comprise working collaboratively, developing trust as well as new attitude towards conflicts among team members. Organization can successfully merge without creating conflict by means of creating superordinate goals. Establishing all-encompassing and higher ideal goals that all members of merging entities regardless of their role can participate effectively is one most powerful ways of conflict not emerge. This means that holding shared aims and objectives draws the sides together and eventually prevents the conflict.
Another means to avoid conflict after the merger of DCH and DHS is to respect the interests of other people from both organizations by taking advantage of any opportunity that would make them feel they are valuable in a newly created DHHS. Some employees from the previous organizations may have a chance to execute new roles in the newly formed organization (Cloke et al., 2011, p. 57). They may have a different opinion regarding how a particular job should be done, but if each employee will feel respect to the colleagues, the conflicts will not occur.
The merging parties (DCH and DHS) ought to be clear about what their objectives are and why they have set those. They should not give room for confusion, ambiguity, and anarchy that would create anxiety among the employees (Mahler & Casamayou, 2009, p. 49). DHS and DCH managements should establish clear ways and procedures of addressing issues that can lead to conflict development.
After the merger of DCH and DHS, the staff shpuld solicit input and take it seriously. The biggest challenge of merging organizations is the difference in perspectives. However, if this difference is used appropriately, it can be of greatest advantage to the newly emerged department. Individuals who are dropping power and are not happy about it can have the invaluable acumen and relevant information to provide (Siebenpfeiffer, 2012, p. 3). Each member of the merger, DHS and DCH, can study and benefit from the collective experience of the employees in the organizations. Soliciting input and taking it serious is a strong way to prove others that they are recognized, appreciated, and help others contribute sustainability of the new organization, DHHS.
One more way to avoid conflicts in the current situation is to give leaders of DHS and DCH with negative attitude a seat at the table. Despite the fact that this is a risky affair since such em;ployees can shift their negative attitude to others, involving the people with influence and with the history of initiating resistance is the smartest move the directors can make (Siebenpfeiffer, 2012, p. 54). Putting effort to work with such individuals in advance is much better than giving them a chance to sabotage efforts of running the DHHS later.
The clear identification of what is negotiable and what is not is also a means of avoiding conflicts while merger. Taking a productive approach to the conflict does not have to mean negotiating for everything. Some things are hard to settle, and any attempt to allow that undermines credibility and efforts to collaborate with others. Since Gov. Snyder was clear that the aim of merging DCH and DHS was to enhance service to the citizens, it was easier to form DHHS because most people embraced the idea.
Merging of organizations aims at improving operations and enhancing efficiency provision of services and consumers’ experience. In Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder initiated the merger of DCH and DHS after he came to power to form DHHS. DCH focused on health services delivery and administration to public, integrated and coordinated state functions related to health care, and enhanced focus promoting health and prevention of health issues. DHS administered programs for financial assistance, services, and regulations of their facilities. The merger of the two organizations may have caused conflicts, but the administrators used different ways of resolving and preventing those to incorporate a successful merge. In the contemporary world, it is essential to understand various models of organizations and their critical needs. Different people approach organization differently. Through understanding the structure of DCH and DHS, causes and means of resolving conflicts in organization, as well as how people approach organizations made it possible to merge the two departments into DHHS.