A case study on the lesson in reinvention is what this paper will focus on and the paper will also try to establish the successes and major challenges that a company known as Hampton in Virginia City has faced over the last years since its inception. Hampton organization is currently under major reforms that have led to changes in its organizational culture.
There are a range of activities that were taking place with the most of the 1,300 city employees having participated in the available more than 115 task forces, committees, advisory groups, self-directed teams all who worked under different jobs that were not their usual jobs.
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For instance, the city’s assistant manager, Mary Bunting was preoccupied with the task of digging ditches with a city’s sewer crew, development of a new city park that was required by another agency was performed by a certain heavy construction team that worked under the public works department, the chief housing inspector Mr. Donald Gurley on the other hand was busy organizing for an exhibition that concerned the provision of city services for a college in the neighborhood which was also a training program that could be made available to the city’s residents, Kevin Gallagher who was in charge of the city’s recycling programs assisted the street crews in clearing ice and snow (Lane, 1999 p. 412-418).
All these activities that were taking place mainly because of the change that Hampton’s city manager Bob O’Neil had initiated. He wanted his assistants to integrate well with various agencies and this could only be achieved by making them to work in conjunction with various agencies so as to be able to know and understand how these organizations operated.
As a result, this strategy led to various impacts on the employees of Hampton organization. The assumptions and beliefs that the employees had about each other changed as the case of Mary Bunting’s assumption on sewer employees. She found out that these employees were actually more flexible and skilled on their new responsibilities. Motivation was also apparent on the employees under the heavy construction team. Teamwork is evident and created a positive impact on employees and employers.
For instance, Kevin Gallagher enjoyed the teamwork that was created as it connected him to other employees as well as understanding their roles and responsibilities. This is informal connecting and creation of networking among the employees as a result of the collaboration that was among the employees of Hampton as they tried to achieve the organizational objectives (Lane, 1999 p. 412-418).
This change as offered by city manager Bob O’Neil was essential for Hampton because of the existence of a non-competitive economic as well as fical development structure and the “inside the box “standardized issue of bureaucracy that was intense in the organization was causing a major stagnation to Hampton.
In the past, the employees at Hampton did not portray much flexibility and bureaucracy was felt in the city government whose boss was the manager. The departmental heads were directed on what to do by the assistant city managers and on the other hand these heads of departments guarded their hoarding decisions, their turf and information by commanding supervisors and middle managers who were responsible for controlling the everyday work of employees.
Another issue concerning bureaucracy is that employees as well as managers were preoccupied with operational procedures that were mainly detailed and the chain of command was evident in communication processes in Hampton. In other words the past Hampton organization greatly prized the aspects of stability, control, loyalty and certainty (Lane, 1999 p. 412-418).
As a result, Hampton was slowly dying as noted by James Eason. The impacts then were high population growth rate, high taxes, reduced per-capital income and home values were among the lowest in the region, a strain on the budget that was caused by debt-repayments and lastly there was business loss in the city to the neighboring communities.
This therefore proved that Hampton was non-competitive hence the city council opted to find a suitable city government that could be quick to respond to the needs of the community, an innovative city government as well as action – oriented and flexible.
The city council identified Bob O’Neill who had once worked as an intern in the city hence he clearly understood the bureaucracy right from the inside. Bob O’Neil was given a performance contract that was written by the city council that contained clearly specific and spelled out for city government (Lane, 1999 p. 412-418).
Upon his arrival to the Hampton organization, O’Neill instructed his assistant managers to work on long-term strategic policies rather than micromanaging their departments. Moreover, he asked directors to fully control their agencies.
He also worked with the city council through the method of “core” strategy in order to achieve the set goals. He also put the heads of department under performance contracts which contained spelled out results that they were expected to attain and also included bonuses for any achievements made by these departmental heads (Lane, 1999 p. 412-418).
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