Sample Essay on Public Administration

Public Administration

Leadership is among the factors that affect the efficiency of public administration as it influences the perception of the employees towards work. Public administration relates to serving people in the public, private and non-profit organizations.  The following discussion addresses the informal and formal leadership structures in non-profit organizations.

Description of Feeding America

The non-profit organization aims at promoting the welfare of the people by providing food through the more than 200 stations spread throughout the United States. The organization provides hunger relief to more than 46 million people in the country through soup kitchens, shelters and food pantries (Handforth, Hennink & Schwartz, 2013).  To provide food to the communities, the company collects and distributes food to the communities to increase accessibility to food. Inaccessibility to food is among the factors that lead to food insecurity in the country. Apart from providing food to the communities in the country, the company educates the community about food security with an aim of developing a society that is free from hunger. By creating awareness on food security, the organization is able to reduce the number of people requiring food relief in the country.  The other activity conducted by the company in efforts to reduce food insecurity in the country is increasing the level of income earned by individuals. The company has a program that designs activities that support low-income earners to be self-reliant. The program was established after the realization that low income is among the leading contributors to food security.

Formal leadership structure Feeding America

The formal leadership of the company is a set of procedures that the company has established to enhance its efficiency. The company’s formal leadership is committed to promoting equal employment opportunities for all, where the leaders are selected on the basis of their expertise. Formal leadership structure in any organization entails establishing the relationship between the subordinates and the authority.  The line of authority in Feeding America is clear because the levels of authority are well defined. The formal leadership of the organization is comprised of the board of directors and the partners.  Among the officers in the board of directors is the chief executive officer who oversees the activities of the company. The other officer is the chief impact officer who provides the stakeholders such as donors and the government with the necessary information about the company. The formal leadership in the company also comprise of partners such as community agencies that help in distributing food to the members.

Informal leadership presented by Feeding America

Informal structure in organizations develops around the social relations among the employees. The primary aim of the informal structures is to motivate employees to work efficiently to meet the set objectives in a timely way.  Informal structures enhance the performance of employees because feedback is provided quickly due to the firm social interactions established (Tallberg, 2010).  In Feeding America, the informal structures are represented in the work groups or teams that carry out the company’s activities. The different teams are able to execute their mandates effectively due to the social work relations. Among the work groups in the informal structure include the food distribution and food security awareness teams.

How the formal leadership structures and informal leadership manifest themselves, overlap, and relate to one other in the organization.

The manifestation of the formal groups is through the company’s management team, comprised of the board of directors and the partners. The informal leadership on the other hand, is the manifested through the work groups or teams within the organization. The informal structure overlaps the formal structure in the sense that it is more efficient in motivating the work groups to deliver high quality services. The informal and formal structures in the organization relate to one another due to their influence on the ability of the organization to meet its set objectives. The formal groups ensure that the organization’s resources are utilized effectively to ensure sustainable food security in the country. Informal groups enhance the productivity of the organization by motivating the work groups to be more motivated towards meeting the set objectives.

Influence of informal leadership on the organization leadership

The informal leadership is among the aspects that have enabled the organization to meet hunger relief objectives in an efficient way. The leadership structure makes it easy to communicate to the parties involved about the strategies of executing their mandates (Mielonen, 2011). Due to the strong social relations established in the organization, it is easy for the leaders to communicate feedback to the teams. The social environment also promotes creativity among the team members.

Implications of adhering to a formal leadership structure  

Adherence to formal leadership benefits from organized work schedule and reduced organizational conflicts due to well defined roles. Formal leadership also makes leadership easy because of the established procedures and regulations (Tallberg, 2010). However, formal leadership structure may be inefficient in cases where the organization needs changes. The informal leadership structure is advantageous because it motivates employees to work harder. The primary disadvantage is that the leadership structure may lead to conflicts in the company.


Handforth, B., Hennink, M., & Schwartz, M. B. (2013). A qualitative study of nutrition-based     initiatives at selected food banks in the feeding America network. Journal of the            Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics113(3), 411-415

Mielonen, J. (2011). Making sense of shared leadership. A case study of leadership processes        and practices without formal leadership structure in the team context. Acta           Universitatis Lappeenrantaensis.

Tallberg, J. (2010). The power of the chair: Formal leadership in international         cooperation. International Studies Quarterly5