Sample Research Paper on Public Sector Management Issue

Public Sector Management Issue

Introduction

During earlier years, especially in the 20th century, people saw the need of coming together and working as a team to produce products and services that could not be realized through attempts by individuals in the community. Though there are people who can work individually, it became important that the members of the community should correlate and work together in order to enhance efficiency and togetherness. Thus, a good number of institutions were established and it became rather vital to arrange, plan and coordinate the activities carried out by individuals. As the demands of the community became more sophisticated, larger groups were formed and larger institutions were established, which made management and the task that was left for managers and administrators indispensable or rather an uphill task. Management and especially public sector management became more spoken about among individuals. Specifically, more people became interested in managing the public sector and gaining from it.

To begin with, management as understood by many is the process whereby people in leading positions utilize human and other resources as efficiently as possible in order to provide certain products or services, with the aim of fulfilling particular needs and achieving the stated goals of the institution (Starling, 2011). For instance, in companies, there are resources that are often provided so that both the employees and employers can utilize them and come up with products and services that are appreciated by customers in the market. Management should always be considered as one of the most important human activities because it is the task of all managers at all levels in all enterprises and institutions. The principles of management are applied by all managers in the performance of their duties to create circumstances in which people can cooperate to achieve stated goals (Starling, 2011). Conversely, public management can be regarded as an integral part of public administration, which is needed in almost all institutions in order performance of public duties to be effective and efficient. The public sector across the globe often has the obligation toward the public to increase the general welfare.

Consequently, the public expects the best possible management processes and services from public institutions. The demands and standards for effective action are known to be on the rise constantly and therefore, officials such as the managers involved have to adapt to the changes witnessed in the public sector. For the public sector management goals to be achieved, the managers should be on the forefront in their day-to-day operations in their various institutions. Therefore, managers should be leaders with vision and judgment for them to identify the right things that should be done in the institutions. That is why they are always seen as the most active participants in institutions as they communicate their vision to their subordinates. Besides, managers should strive to create favorable work environments and place their subordinates in positions where it is possible for them to be successful. In order to achieve their dreams, managers need to use the skills and abilities of their subordinates by delegating duties to them. Managers also need to manage and allocate resources in a fair and balanced manner so that the best results can be achieved with the limited resources that are available (Van & Du, 1999). Despite the struggles by managers to maintain the tempo in the public sector, several issues often crop up and they play an integral part in influencing the normal and smooth running of institutions. Such issues include poor management of funds, poor manager-employee relationships, corruption, and HIV/AIDS and governance among others. Nonetheless, getting rid of these issues has not been a difficult task in the public management sector as managers often come up with the correct and suitable policies that often help to do away with them. In respect to this, this research paper will focus on HIV/AIDS as an issue in the public management sector. Additionally, this research paper will come up with a possible policy that can be helpful in addressing the issue of HIV/AIDS in the public management sector and the rationale for developing and implementing the policy in the community.

Description of Policy

‘HIV/AIDS resolution’ is a policy that if adopted and embraced in the public management sector will help address the issue of HIV/AIDS among public institutions. Some of the public institutions affected by HIV/AIDS are global health institutions. Absolutely, HIV/AIDS as an epidemic has an impact on the public management of health institutions globally due to illness, absenteeism, and low staff morale and also through the increased burden of patient load. To begin with, it is estimated that a large percentage of health workers employed in both private and public health facilities live with HIV/AIDS presently. The implication of this is that other health workers in health institutions across the globe are at risk of HIV infection as the general population. Research shows that among younger health workers, the risk is much higher. This is attributed to too much sexual activity among the youths in the modern generation. That is to say, in case anti-retroviral therapy is not readily available, several countries can expect, in the future, to lose a large number of their workers especially those in the health institutions to the AIDS pandemic. This impact will be felt severely across the world because there is a higher HIV prevalence among youths between the ages of 18 and 45. This will destabilize the public management sector management making it difficult for managers in both the public and private sectors (Shisana, South Africa., Human Sciences Research Council., Medical University of Southern Africa., & South African Medical Research Council, 2003). The other impact that HIV/AIDS has on public sector management is that it may lead to absenteeism of workers from their various institutions. Falling sick because of the disease and also attending to patients or workers who suffer from the disease is likely to increase the possibility of stress or depression among workers. The survey has it that in recent years, a large number of workers in the public sector often take leave due to the effects of HIV infection. This often serves a big blow to the public management sector making it rather difficult for managers to achieve the visions and goals of their institutions (Shisana, South Africa., Human Sciences Research Council., Medical University of Southern Africa., & South African Medical Research Council, 2003). Moreover, in public sector management, the morale and motivation of the workers play an integral part in their contribution to the daily activities and operations of institutions. Good relations with the managers and other workers often boost the morale of employees. It is important to note that when workers are infected with HIV in public institutions, it becomes a big challenge for them. The manner in which they relate with other members of the institutions changes drastically and this leads to low morale among them. Such worker will do their daily duties abnormally and under stressful conditions. In extreme cases, other institutions often go ahead to lower the salaries of their employees infected with HIV and this is stigmatization, which leads to the workers having low morale. In the long run, they end up resigning from their work. The effect of low staff morale and resignation will be felt by managers when it comes to management. Either the staff members will have no significant contribution to the development of the institutions or they will prefer to keep a distance from such matters. Therefore, management of the public sector ends up becoming a big challenge to the managers. If this continues, the profitability of the institutions and productivity is greatly compromised and it might even lead to the closure of the institutions (Shisana, South Africa., Human Sciences Research Council., Medical University of Southern Africa., & South African Medical Research Council, 2003). The public sector management is also impacted by HIV/AIDS as it may lead to misuse of resources and equipment by staff members who are infected by HIV. For instance, in a number of public institutions, there are a number of resources that are always available to the workers. When a staff member is demoralized by HIV infection, he or she will use the available resources recklessly, either by giving them away to friends and relatives or by destroying them. This then makes it hard for managers when it comes to the assessment of tools and equipment in their various institutions.

Therefore, for the policy of ‘HIV/AIDS resolution’,  a number of measures will be put in place so as to prevent or do away with the above-mentioned impacts which are a drawback to the public management sector. The United Nations Security Council framed the HIV/AIDS epidemic as an international security issue. Based on the broad proposed conceptions of security, the HIV/AIDS resolution policy has been regarded as a securitization move, meaning that the potential impact of HIV/AIDS has often been presented as an existential threat, requiring emergency measures and justifying actions outside the normal bounds of political procedure.

The rationale for Development (Inputs and Outputs)

HIV/AIDS has been a challenge to managers and their workers for several years now. Therefore, institutions have struggled to come up with rationales for development that would help in implementing the HIV/AIDS resolution policy. To start with, one of the rationales that managers have come up with so as to do away with the impacts of HIV/AIDS in public sector management is the establishment of HIV programs. HIV/AIDS policy and programs differ among institutions across the world. This is complicated by the fact that it has taken several global institutions a while to regard HV/AIDS as a business issue. In general, non-core issues are outsourced, in order to reduce costs and to focus on core production issues. Similarly, some aspects, if not all, of the HIV/AIDS interventions tend to be outsourced. It is worth noting that several public institutions, in implementing HIV/AIDS policies and programs, have contracted external management consultancy and disease management providers to manage and conduct all or part of their workplace programs. The managements of public institutions have also outsourced specialized activities such as conducting HIV- prevalence surveys, the provision of VCT, or the provision anti-retroviral treatments. This has helped reduce the great impacts or effects of HIV/AIDS in public institutions thus making management in public institutions rather an easy task for managers. Additionally, most institutions have employed the division of labor and this has played an integral role in overseeing interventions aimed at helping address HIV/AIDS. In respect to this, managers of public institutions have carried out activities pertinent to HIV/AIDS in addition to their usual functions in their institutions. The allocation of responsibilities in public institutions has been vital in addressing HIV/AIDS in such institutions (Vass, Phakathi & Human Sciences Research Council (Sydafrika), 2006).

The other rationale that has helped address the issue of HIV/AIDS in public sector management is the involvement of external facilitators and getting into partnerships. A good number of companies have engaged external facilitators to deliver a range of services for them and this has helped address the issue of HIV/AIDS in such institutions. Besides, other institutions have also formed partnerships with external service providers that have helped facilitate the development and implementation of their HIV/AIDS policies and programs. It is clear that, given the resource constraints of small public institutions, the involvement of external facilitators has played an integral role in the capacities of such institutions. The partnerships mean that the institutions have to commit some of their resources such as finance, human resources and time, but in return will be provided with a number of resources, including a range of service providers, examples of policy formats, and the components of HIV/AIDS programs. Through this, it is definite that the effects of HIV/AIDS in public institutions will reduce significantly thus making management in the public sector a simple task for managers (Vass, Phakathi & Human Sciences Research Council (Sydafrika), 2006).

Putting in place workplace occupational health services in public institutions is the other rationale that has been adopted by a number of public institutions in addressing the issue of HIV/AIDS. The survey shows that several public institutions have on-site occupational health facilities. These generally consist of occupational health nurses, either part-time or full-time, consulting doctors and physical health facilities or clinics. It is worth noting that having functional and relevant occupational health facilities in public institutions is a basic block for the implementation of HIV/AIDS intervention systems in public institutions. As well, in implementing this policy, institutions have gone ahead to establish primary healthcare facilities, which provide opportunities, to monitor, detect and treat sexually transmitted infections. This is essential to the HIV prevention programs as untreated Sexually Transmitted Infections may increase the possibility of one getting HIV infections. Further, in implementing this rationale, public institutions should put in place annual medical examinations that are important means of tracking and monitoring major shifts in the health and nutritional status among workers in public institutions. The health and nutritional status of workers in institutions include Sexually Transmitted Infections and significant and unexplained fluctuations in body weight. Besides, in these examinations, information and advice related to good nutrition and building the immune system should be made generally available. In the long run, when this policy is accepted and successfully implemented in institutions, there will be a significant reduction in the case of HIV infection among workers in public institutions. Thus, work and management in the public sector will be effective and easier for the managers (Vass, Phakathi & Human Sciences Research Council (Sydafrika), 2006).

In addition, the role of peer educators is regarded as fundamental to the implementation of effective workplace programs and the participation of the workers. Therefore, the other policy that needs to be adopted by public institutions in addressing HIV/AIDS is the involvement of peer educators to monitor the sexual behavior of the workers. However, in the past years, companies have often experienced difficulties in facilitating the role of peer educators over the long term. Thus, whereas the initial introduction and training of peer educators have been successful in a number of institutions across the world; maintaining their commitment, upgrading their skills, and facilitating access to the workforce have been faced with challenges. In companies that have implemented this policy, there have been observable or rather significant reductions in the number of workers lost due to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Besides, peer educators have made the management in public institutions rather easier for the managers (Vass, Phakathi & Human Sciences Research Council (Sydafrika), 2006).

The Decision-Making Model used

The decision-making model used in implementing the ‘HIV/AIDS resolution’ policy is the PACED decision-making model. The model provides for active involvement in the decision-making process. The model was used in this case, and it involved defining the problem of HIV/AIDS in the public sector management, listing the possible alternatives that could be helpful in addressing the issue, selecting the criteria that could be used to implement the alternatives, evaluating the alternatives and then finally, it involved making the decision. The HIV/AIDS resolution policy has been evaluated and this is the reason why the rationales for developing and implementing the policy have been successful.

Conclusion

To recap it all, public sector management has always been the major focus in almost all institutions across the world. Managers attempt to do their best to ensure that the visions and goals of their various institutions are achieved. However, the match towards the achievement of these goals and visions has been barred by a number of public sector management issues, such as HIV/AIDS and poor governance, which have been discussed in this paper. Though managers of institutions have often had hard times in dealing with such issues, they have come up with several policies that have successfully been implemented thus bringing a kind of relief to the public sector management. As discussed above, the implementation of policies such as the establishment of HIV programs, the involvement of external facilitators and getting into partnerships by public institutions, putting in place workplace occupational health services in public institutions, and the involvement of peer educators to monitor the sexual behavior of the workers, are some of the policies that have helped address the issue of HIV/AIDS pandemic that is a major issue in the public sector management across the world.

References

Shisana, O., South Africa., Human Sciences Research Council., Medical University of Southern Africa., & South African Medical Research Council. (2003). The impact of HIV/AIDS on the health sector: National survey of health personnel, ambulatory and hospitalized patients and health facilities, 2002. Pretoria: National Dept. of Health.

Starling, G. (2011). Managing the public sector. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Van, . W. G., & Du, T. D. F. P. (1999). Managing for excellence in the public sector. Kenwyn: Juta & Co.

Vass, J., Phakathi, S., & Human Sciences Research Council (Sydafrika). (2006). Managing HIV in the workplace: Learning from SMEs. Cape Town: HSRC Press.