After a recent re-structure three business units that operate in a large government organisation have been merged. The departments previously operated independently and now will report to you (your team) replacing the previous Group Manager. The three areas merged are:
- Facilities Management (30 staff)
- Acquisitions (45 staff), and
- Transport services (22 staff) have been merged.
The new group (FAT) is structured as part of the Corporate Services Area of the organisation. The FAT group collectively has an important role in supporting the entire Organisation to achieve its strategic goals and vision.
You have recently reviewed a consultant’s report that was commissioned due to significant conflict that exists between the department managers. The conflict is particularly negative between the Facilities and Acquisitions managers. The conflict has become so significant these managers no longer speak to each other and both have received counselling and have made complaints about each other to Senior Management and Human Resources. The transport services manager is also challenging and there is no love-loss among this management team.
The Management Team:
The general orientation of the leadership team is to have a tendency to emphasise task outcomes rather than people’s well-being. This can lead to stress and decisions based on status rather than expertise. There was evidence during the interviews that several Managers and Staff presented stress related symptoms and emotional reactions to the interview process. In general the team are described as:
- Dogmatic, rigid and abrupt
- Runs things by themselves instead of collaborating with others
- De-emphasis of team emotion
- Blaming others for mistakes
- Not allowing for mistakes
Also present in the leadership team was a style that described people who subordinate themselves to the organisation but in the process, end up creating stress for themselves and allowing the organisation to stagnate. The cost to the organisation and its teams is often the ability to learn and adapt to change. Specific behaviours that depict this orientation include:
- Evasive and leaving decisions to others
- Conforming; thinking rules are more important than ideas
- Agreeing with everyone
- Avoidance in dealing with difficult situations and conflict