PSAD 302 University of Maryland Global Strategic Internal Communication Responses

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 engage in discussions with at least three (3) peers.   

Readings From This Week:

Management Vs. Leadership Firefighter Nation Content Directors

This short article by Bradley M. Pinsky, fire chief and attorney, advocates for scientific management principles within Emergency Services.  Because fire, EMS, dispatch, and police have similar structures, much if not all of the article is applicable universally to public safety administrators.

Bureaucracy, managerial disorganization, and administrative breakdown in criminal justice agencies

This is a twelve-page 2006 article by Clarissa Freitas Dias of Georgia State University and Michael Vaughn of Sam Houston State University.  In their article, the two discuss broadly universal principles of management.  The authors then discuss more specifically use examples from organizational failures in criminal justice organizations to illustrate what it looks like when managers fail to properly apply these organizational principles.  Employees in every discipline of public safety will recognize traits of their organization discussed in this article.

  • Peer Responses: Listed below is three Peer Discussion Posts. I need a response to each one at least 150 words. 

Post 1 By Viereck- Response to this person

By relative design, my organization is lead by a new Chief every 2-5 years, and with that comes a change in leadership style; sometimes for the best, and sometimes not. Dias and Vaughn’s six organizational elements really set a great framework for critiquing the Chiefs as an outsider, but also should be studied by anyone wanting to move into a leadership role. While each of the six are important, I am going to focus on two: goals and objectives, and communication.

Some of the best Chiefs have been the ones who have clearly defined goals and objectives, that are obtainable, and specific even if strategic. The military uses the term, “Commander’s Intent”, which “describes how the Commander (read: Chief) envisions the battlefield at the conclusion of the mission. It shows what success looks like.” (Storlie, 2010) When a Chief has laid out his intent, everyone from the line officers to the Majors, to the administrative personnel understand what the end goal looks like. A good Chief will lay these objectives out and allow their subordinates to plan and execute the mission. A poor performing Chief will have an undefined, overly broad objective (i.e. “We are going to be the best department”), fails to communicate the mission out.

  • Some of the worst Chiefs have been the ones who have been unable to effectively communicate with the department. As stated in the previous paragraph, this sometimes takes the form of not being able to communicate goals and objectives; if the department doesn’t understand the intent, then they can not be expected to fully execute the mission. Other times, this could be a Chief being out of touch with their employees or customers, not understanding the issues they are facing or the concerns they have. Chief’s “set the tone for how employees feel about their jobs and their work environment.” (McKain, 2023)

The six organizational elements are all equally important, but what is also key is that they all tie into each other. While Chief’s can be stronger in different parts of the elements, they must at minimum be effective in all six (or have staff that can supplement the elements they lack in).

Post 2 By Scott- Response to this person

Principle 1

Remuneration: Employee satisfaction depends on fair remuneration for everyone; this includes financial and non-financial compensation (Pinksy B, 2017).

Most public safety agencies compensate their employees based upon agreements with their labor unions (Hodges B, 2018). Employees get compensated based upon their tenure and their position or rank. There is minimal financial compensation, if any, based on performance. This is true with the agency in which I’m employed. Yearly ratings do not have any impact on financial compensation; however, they may be reviewed by a supervisor or commander for specialized assignment selection. There are pros and cons to having everyone compensated based off of a labor agreement instead of performance based (The Union Advantage, 2023). It removes bias from impacting someone’s financial income. Second, it removes the problem of certain supervisors being more lenient or strict when it comes to ratings. A downside of this practice is employees that are hard workers and/or high producers will be financially compensated the same as someone who does not produce.

There are several sub-pays within my agency depending on the assignment. Supervisors filling in for their supervisor receive substitution pay. Employees who are assigned trainees are also compensated financially for the responsibility of training the new employee. Certain specialized assignments within my agency receive additional financial compensation based on the assignment. Some specialized units receive hazard pay, helicopter pilots receive additional compensation, and detectives receive additional compensation. These forms of compensation may be for required clothing such as suits which are purchased out of pocket or due to additional responsibility, such as taking care of a K9 dog after hours.

Principle 2

Scalar Chain: Employees should be aware of where they stand in the organization’s hierarchy or chain of command. They must understand how to get things accomplished and where to turn for direction and approval (Pinsky B, 2017).

My agency is a para-military organization. We have a table or organization and a phone directory. These show the rank structure by bureau, division, section, and unit. They also list the commanding officer of each. Additionally, the department has manuals that list all the responsibilities and duties of each bureau, division, section, and unit. It also lists the responsibilities and duties of the commanding officers. These manuals and documents are listed on the department’s intranet which is accessible by everyone. This allows department members to know who is responsible for different areas and duties within the department. Members can refer to any of these to seek guidance and assistance on accomplishing tasks. I believe this is accurately implemented to assist members of the department and there are no shortcomings.

Post 3 By Jaylen- Response to this person 

Fire Protection services in the military is a public safety organization that operates very similar to the civilian sector’s fire department. After reading Pinsky’s discussion of a department’s adoption Fayol’s 14 Principles of Management, I noticed that there are several I suppose they are incorporated into the military fire protection services. They include: division of work, discipline, scalar chain, initiative, and centralization (Pinsky, 2017). This organization in the military performs, each one of these principles, effectively except centralization. Centralization is performed, but it is not as effective as it could be because employees decision-making is often overlooked (Pinsky, 2017). There are very little concentrated areas for employees to make decisions as well. centralization could be performed better if employees decision making was more streamlined.

For the principles that are applied appropriately, they are heavily encouraged. The military as a whole, follows these principles, and integrate him throughout all of their organizations, so in the public safety organizations, such as fire protection principles of initiative, scalar chain, discipline, and division of work are emphasized consistently (Pinsky, 2017). The principles initiative and discipline are also occasionally rewarded. Division of work is seen very often as each aspect of a job can be split into specialties when there are many different things for an employee to do it is usually divided into a different specialty that can focus on a specific portion. Scalar chain is used very often in experience personnel are always guiding new workers are to ask their first line supervisor for initial assistance (Pinsky, 2017). I did not notice any principles that were rejected, and the military is fire protection services.

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