The various departments in the college function and relate to each other Essay
The various departments in the college function and relate to each other
My name is Sultan Ahmed and I have recently been appointed as General Assistant to the manager of Client Services Department at City and Islington College. Before I start working, my manager wants me to have an inside view of the college. She therefore, asked me to write a report accordingly.
The following report is based on a thorough understanding of how the college is organized and how the various departments in the college function and relate to each other. I am also going to look at how everyone works towards achieving the objectives of the college.
Type of ownership
City and Islington College is a Public Corporation in the Public sector. A Public Sector consists of organisations that are owned by the government. Public sector includes organisations such as the Post Office, the NHS (National Health Service), schools, colleges and so on. The advantages of being a Public corporation are:
* It is a non-profit making business
* There are no pressures to make profit
* There are no shareholder pressures
* No financial pressures
* It involves helping the local community
* More job security for staff
The drawbacks of this type of ownership are:
* Teachers stress due to extensive working hours and inspection
* Jobs in the public sector such as the Police, Doctors and teachers involve the highest stress.
The college is mainly run by the governors. There are 20 Governors in City & Islington College all from different areas of the community. The governing body of Candi was formed in September 1992 under the Further and Higher Education Act of 1992.
The corporation meets twice every term and has established a number of committees to undertake more detailed work. The committees established are:
* College Governance
* Curriculum and Quality
* Employment Policy
* Finance and General Purposes
* Remuneration and Student Affairs
All committees meet at least once a term and a programme of meetings is established each year to allow committees to report directly to the corporation. The corporation has also established an Academic Board which is called the Curriculum Board.
There are great benefits of having governors in City & Islington College. Some of the benefits include:
Different and wide range of opinions
By having governors from the different areas of the community in the college, Candi benefits from different ideas and opinions from the governors. It also benefits from top and professional advises and recommendations from them on how things can be improved for the favour of Candi.
Quality of Work
Candi has governors from the University of North London, namely Ms Jean Fawcett and Mr. Stephen Pilgrim. The advantage of having governors from the university is that the college could be advised about the quality of work required within the college. Maintaining quality is very important for the success of the college and in order to compete against other top colleges in the UK. Hence governors from the university could give valuable advice on how to maintain quality up to university standards.
The services that Candi offers as a college, mostly involves students. Therefore students need representatives to represent them in the meetings and discussions held every term. The benefits of having governors from the student union is that the needs and requirements of students can be put forward to the other governors so that facilities for students can be met as required. It also helps maintain quality of service of the college as student requirements are met. As a result the performance of the college and the ability to compete against other colleges would increase.
The Local Community
One of the purposes of the existence of Candi is to provide services to the community. There are governors in Candi from London Borough of Islington – Mr. Roger McKenzie, who represents the community of Islington. Candi is based in Islington; hence it has governors from the borough. Islington Borough plays an important role as the college employs lots of its staff from the borough. The governor who represents the local community can provide valuable ideas and recommendations on how services can be improved to help meet the community’s requirements.
There are also many governors from wide range of top businesses and public corporations who play an important role in the running of the college successfully.
Objectives are the goals that a business might have or want to achieve. All organizations have objectives. An example of a business objective could be to obtain a 3% market share over the next year or to increase profit by 10%.
A mission statement is usually a written document and sets out the purpose of an organisation. It is usually used by organisations to inspire stakeholders mainly employees. But they often focus on meeting the needs of customers, identifying the relevant service to be provided and so on. Mission statements also remind staff of their general purpose.
A good mission statement should:
* Be well written
* Identify the values and culture of the organization
* Identify its purpose
* Identify its customers
* Distinguish itself from its competitors
Stakeholders might have an interest in the mission statement of City and Islington College. City and Islington College has mission statements that reflect the desires to satisfy the needs of their stakeholders. Stakeholders in Candi (City & Islington College) would be the students, staff, Lecturers, local community and so on.
Business Objectives are medium to Long-term goals and targets that provide a sense of direction to the business. An example of a long-term objective for Candi could be to achieve the maximum number of pass rates compared to other colleges within the next four years. There are two main types of objectives in Candi. They are,
* Quantitative Objectives
Quantitative objectives are numerical or breakeven. An example of quantitative objective could be targets such as to obtain market share of 3% or to increase the number of students by 10% within the next year and so on. There are usually six quantitative goals:
There are many other quantitative goals a business can take into consideration, but they do not apply to Candi hence I haven’t listed them.
The goals/targets of the production department in City & Islington College would be to make sure that their equipments are running at a very efficient level. They should also make sure that if machineries do breakdown, they are fixed and maintained so that the equipment doesn’t need continuous maintenance. They should make they achieve their goals because if they don’t, it will affect the production of the college such as teaching, movement of goods within the college, etc. which will then affect/slow down the overall performance of the college.
Stock is an important issue in Candi as the college is involved in a lot of paper-work, printing, copying, etc. Therefore it would be essential for stock-controllers in Candi to meet their targets by making sure that there is enough stock available for the running of everyday needs of supplies by the college. Stock factors should not act as barriers to meet the college’s objectives. Hence stock-controllers should make sure that their targets of stocking enough supplies for the college’s needs are met. The main benefit of this approach is that staff in Candi can have peace-of-mind that there will be stock they need for their daily work use such as paper, ink, books for teaching purposes, while support staff will rely on the availability of stocks for their daily toiletries, cleaning substances, and other equipments.
Sales / Service
City & Islington College is involved in providing services to students and the local community. It’s not a profitable organisation hence there is no sales involved to make profits. The overall objectives of the college depend on the quality of service provided by the college to its consumers namely students, the local community and even its staff. Therefore, in order to maintain good quality service the college has to make sure that there is enough revenue coming in and they are used appropriately. The main source of revenue for the college is the government. The government funds the college through the Funding Council about ï¿½24m. It also receives funds from other sources such as ESF (European Social Fund), Student fees and so on. Candi must make sure that it uses the money available very carefully and efficiently so as to provide its consumers with good service.
Every business has objectives for growth. There are drawbacks if a business doesn’t grow as this might result in a loss of competitiveness, decline in demand and even possible closure. Candi received a total of ï¿½50m this year which it will be using for its growth and improvements. The college has 10 different sites situated across London Borough of Islington. The money Candi received will go towards building works in extending Camden Rd site, re-building Finsbury Park site, building a new site in Angel and many other improvements across the other sites. It is very important for Candi to make improvements and grow so as to be able to compete against other top colleges in the UK. It would also motivate its employees/staff as there will be better working environment. More students will also be attracted towards the college. As a result, the college will experience a rise in productivity and performance.
Survival is an important objective for many businesses. It is particularly important when businesses are at risk such as:
* During the first few years of their business trading
* During recession or intense competition
* At a time of crisis such as hostile takeover
City & Islington College has been established for quite long and doesn’t have the threat as that of a new business. But it will still need survival as an objective. If we look at what has happened to Marks & Spencer a few months ago, we can understand that survival was a very big issue for them. Marks & Spencer was about to collapse last year when they failed to attract customers to their stores and due to over-flow of stock. In that situation the main objective for Marks & Spencer was to survive. Therefore Candi has to make survival as one their objectives. So when the worst happens it would know how to react and meet the objective.
Unlike many other businesses, profit is not a big factor for Candi. Objectives for the college are carried out without the fear of losing profit. Although the college doesn’t involve any sorts of profit, it has a very limited budget to spend. The government only provides with just enough money to serve the needs and objectives of the college. Hence the college has to be aware that it doesn’t spend over the provided budget. If the college has excess amount of money left from its budget, then they are not regarded as profit, but they are re-invested into the next year’s budget. The progress in Candi depends on the outcome of the exam results that decides if the college has done well or not.
* Qualitative Objectives
Qualitative objectives include factors such as:
* Providing services to the community
* Developing a more skilled workforce
* Providing high quality services
It is important that the college takes the above objectives into consideration. One of the purposes of the college is to serve the local community. The college is not interested in making profits but in providing a service to the community. Therefore Candi has to have facilities and services that would enable them to serve the community and hence it would be essential for the college to meet its objective.
Developing a skilled workforce is very beneficial for the college, its students as well as its staff. Candi could achieve this objective through the motivation and development of its staff. To meet this objective is important for the college because providing staff with necessary training needs and regular appraisals motivate staff. This would then have a positive affect on the performance of the college as students will also benefit from the motivation and skills of the teachers/staff.
Providing high quality services is a significant objective for many businesses. The college should meet the objective of providing high quality services to all its consumers. This is because it helps Candi to be different from all the other colleges/competitors and can also give the college a sustainable competitive advantage. But the college must also be aware that high quality services can be expensive, especially when the college has a limited budget to spend. Therefore the college must make sure that it balances the costs and the quality of services so that both objectives are met.
I think the college is quite successful in achieving its objectives. We can know this by looking at the inspection report which was published after an inspection that took place in the college at the end of the year 2000 by the Further Education Funding Council (now the Learning and Skills Council). When the inspectors visited the College, they awarded three outstanding grades for:
* Support for students
The college was also awarded a grade 2 for each of the six teaching areas inspected:
* Art and Design and Furniture Crafts
* Access to Higher Education (Humanities)
* Modern Foreign Languages
* English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
* Basic Skills
* Quality Assurance
This shows that the college is quite successful in achieving outstanding performance and maintaining productivity, which would persuade/attract more and more students to the college. As a result, the college can expand even more and into wider subjects. However, this doesn’t mean that the college is achieving all of its objectives. It might be providing good student support, but staff appraisals are very poor in Candi. This could hugely affect the performance of students as students will not be motivated if staff are not motivated.
Another way of knowing if the college is successful is by checking pass rates of students. If the college has low pass rates, it means something, somewhere is wrong hence the college is not successful. It could be because of not fulfilling some or one its objectives that might have led to poor pass rates. On the other hand, if the college has high pass rates, this would mean that the college is very successful in achieving its objectives.
According to the results in 2001, A-level students at Candi’s Sixth Form Centre gained 793 passes, out of whom 101 of them at grade A. This pass rate shows that the college is successful as the results of exams and pass rates were high.
According to Candi’s most recent independent inspection in November 2000, City and Islington College is among the top 10 per cent of further education colleges in the UK. This top ranking is also evidence that the college is extremely successful as there are hundreds of other colleges competing to become among the top colleges in the UK and Candi is one of the top 10 per cent of the colleges.
City & Islington College has been granted ï¿½50m by the government to make improvements to the college. There is a good reason why the government has granted this huge amount of money to Candi for improvements. The government takes every action very carefully and thinks twice before granting any huge amount to anybody. This is yet another evidence of the success the college has achieved. Not everyone is lucky enough to receive ï¿½50m from the government for improvements. Hence the government has a very good faith in the college as successful.
There are four main functional areas in City & Islington College. They are:
* Human Resources Management (HRM)
The finance department in Candi is responsible for the control of money in the college. The Director of Finance and Corporate Planning, Peter Marsh is responsible for all the financial activities in the college. His roles as the director of Finance are:
* Sound Finances
* Corporate Plan
* Accommodation Strategy – Strategic responsibility
Peter Marsh is not the only one who runs the Finance department. There are other staff members below him in the chain who are responsible for many other things. The Finance structure of City & Islington College is drawn below:
The objectives of the Finance department in Candi are as follows:
> Management Information
The finance department records all the financial activities of the college. It lists/calculates the amount of money available to the college and the expenditure necessary for running the college up to high standards. As the college is a non-profitable organisation, it is important that the college makes sure that it uses its money very efficiently and its expenditures are within the limit of the funds available.
> Paying staff and creditors
The finance department is also responsible for paying the college’s staff members and also paying off all outstanding bills to their respective creditors. Any pay-rises and spending on other purposes are controlled by this department. Therefore, the Director of Finance has to make sure that the right amount of money is paid for the right purpose. Any transactions or pay-rises should be discussed with the finance department so that they would know if there is enough money available to cover the extra costs and pay-rises. Paying employees the right amount of money in the right time is one of the main objectives of this department. If it fails to do so, then there will be dissatisfaction among staff members which would lead to poor performance of the college because if staff are not happy/satisfied, they wouldn’t feel like offering much effort in their jobs. Paying-off creditors is also another important thing the Finance department needs to be aware of. The faster the creditors are paid, the better the relationship gets between the supplier and the college.
The Finance department gets its money from the government through the Learning Skills Council and many other sources. The funding comes from the following sources listed below:
* Learning Skills Council – ï¿½24m
* Interest on money – ï¿½600,000
* Student tuition fees – ï¿½2m
* European Social Fund – ï¿½2m – ï¿½3m
* Others – ï¿½2m
That brings the total to approximately ï¿½32m a year. The college receives this amount every year and it is the finance department’s duty to make sure that it utilises the money in a very efficient way. Any money that is left from the end of one year is re-invested into the next year’s budget. Apart from the ï¿½32m, the college also received ï¿½50m last year from the government for building and improvement works. Hence, the total budget for the year 2001-2002 is approximately ï¿½82m.
To make sure this huge sum of money is safe; the finance department writes and produces inspection reports, which are sent to the corporation/governors. External Auditors are also interested in knowing how the college is making use of the money. Therefore, external auditors also make checks on the finance department on behalf of the government. The reason why the government would be interested is because they have funded ï¿½50m to the college and would expect the college to make use of the ï¿½50m very wisely. After all, no one would be stupid enough to give/fund ï¿½50m to an organisation and not care about what the organisation is doing with the money.
Human Resources Management
The aim of the Human Resources Department is to recruit, retain and help the development of staff with the goals and objectives of the College under direction of Governors. The Human Resources Department’s objectives are to provide high standard skills and to provide the appropriate level of support to all of their staff from the beginning of their employment. Theresa Power is the director of Human Resources Management in Candi and is responsible for running the department and meeting its objectives. Some of the other objectives might include:
* To monitor and develop Human Resources Management policy.
* To expand the skills of staff members
* To promote Equal Opportunities in Employment.
* Maintaining quality of work
In City and Islington College the human resources plan requires various information which includes Labour turnover, changes in working hours, human resources statistics, training needs and budget. In producing a Human Resource plan, labour market factors play a very important role as City and Islington College would need to know:
* The right type of people available for the right job
* Skills available
* Types of pay packages people would expect
* Employment trends
These information on the labour market factors can be obtained from Labour Market Trends publications that are published by the government. Labour market trends relate to situation outside the college, which can affect the college’s employment practices such as higher pay packages, demand for job, skills and so on.
Some of the functions that are carried out by the Human Resources Department and their objectives are listed below.
Recruitment and Selection
* To ensure that high quality applicants are recruited, selected and appointed in accordance with staff levels set by Staffing Committee or within the existing funding available.
* To utilise the advertising budget efficiently by maximising recruiting effectiveness.
* To advise and to help write and advertise posts attractively so that the best quality applicants will be recruited.
* To prepare job descriptions and person specifications.
* To plan, implement and monitor recruitment and selection procedures.
* To advise staff involved in recruitment and selection on College policy and best practice.
* To ensure that staff new to the College are helped to settle in quickly by providing them with relevant information and practical support.
* To arrange an induction session for staff new to the College, to be held twice a year.
* To arrange induction at departmental/school level.
* To develop, administer and review appraisal systems throughout the College.
* To provide guidance on appraisal systems and their use.
* To conduct training workshops for all those involved in appraisal.
* To provide specialist support in response to particular departmental needs.
* To develop the skills of staff members by devising and implementing appropriate development programmes.
Disciplinary & Grievance Procedures
* To advise managers and staff on dismissal, disciplinary and grievance procedures and other related employment matters.
By carrying out all the above functions, the HRM department makes a great contribution to the good performance of the college. The proof of the success of this department is the top ranking of Candi in the UK. By recruiting good staff members the performance of the college gets better. However, there are negative/poor aspects in the HRM department. Functions such as Induction and Appraisal are very poor in Candi. According to my own research, I found out that 60% of the college staff do not receive proper appraisals. The HRM is also not very successful in providing proper induction to new comers to the college. Even new students don’t always get induction. This has a very bad affect on new comers to Candi as they would get the wrong impression of the college. New members of staff will not feel welcomed and can easily rule out the college as not caring about their own employees. This would then lead to high staff-turnover and would only make things harder for the HRM dept.
The Marketing department of Candi carries out a wide range of functions for the college. The main aim of the marketing function of Candi is:
* To raise the profile and awareness of City & Islington College and its role in lifelong learning and regeneration.
* The primary aim of Candi is to support the recruitment strategy of the college.
The marketing functions in Candi include:
* Direct Marketing
Direct marketing in Candi is done through school liaison work. This type of marketing function is basically done face-to-face with consumers such as going from one school to another informing secondary school students about the college and the benefits of studying in Candi.
Organising events such as Open Evenings, Adult Learners’ Week and so on is another way of marketing and campaigning carried out/organised by the Marketing department of Candi. During these sorts of events, consumers are welcomed to come to the college and are given the freedom to explore and ask about different aspects about the college or different courses available in Candi.
* Market Research
This function is carried out through perception surveys. Perception surveys are all about views and opinions about the college. These surveys are usually aimed at the students of Candi, who could give their opinions on the good sides and the bad sides of Candi so that the marketing department would be able to identify the problem areas. This function is a very effective way of identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the college through students’ views and opinions. This helps improve the college’s performance
* Sales Promotion
Sales promotions in Candi are done by offering particular courses for free for a limited period of time, otherwise called ‘Free taster session’. These sessions are not complete courses. They usually include the first term of a course for free and then if the candidate wills to continue with the course has to pay for the complete course.
* Press Relations
In this type of marketing function, the college tries to gain attention/publicity through local and national newspapers. This can be done when something new takes place in the college, for example, the introduction of largest/No.1 IT facility in London or something that attracts the attention of the press. This type of marketing has great benefits as it attracts consumers from wider areas or even from outside London. It also increases the reputation of the college as one of the most competitive and successful colleges.
Publications function include deigning and publishing all sorts of advertising materials such as college leaflets and flyers that could be distributed to various places in order to attract more students. Prospectuses are also distributed to certain places.
Marketing managers in Candi are responsible for performing a range of activities including:
* Identifying student needs
* Designing goods and services that meet these needs
* Communicating information about those goods and services to prospective consumers
* Making the goods and services available at times and places that meet students’ needs
* Providing for the necessary service and follow-up to ensure students’ satisfaction after joining the college and so on.
All the three functional areas of City & Islington College link together with each other. The finance department’s role is to finance the HRM department for its services such as recruiting, training and so on. It also has to pay the marketing department for advertising and research purposes that would be vital for improvements to the college. Similarly, HRM is equally important to the other functional areas too. HRM department has to recruit staff members who would run and control Finance and Marketing department and also provide with training and other facilities. Marketing department would help the other two functional areas by providing researched information to the HRM or Finance department. This research information is vital for the performance of the college as it can point out weak points of Candi which should be pointed out in order to make improvements to the college.
All the departments have to function together and support each other so as to enable Candi to achieve its objectives. If any one of them doesn’t function properly, then the quality and performance of the college will be hugely affected which is very bad for the college as it will not meet the objectives of Candi.
Organisational Structure, Management Style and Culture
City and Islington College uses the hierarchical structure. The hierarchical structure takes the shape of a triangle. The top of the triangle is narrower and that’s where the ultimate power of the college lies and gets broader towards the base of the triangle where many other employees are based. In the hierarchical structure of Candi, there is a clear line of authority with the Principal at the top of the organisation to the bottom. In this type of structure the span of control is narrow on the top and wide in the bottom. The hierarchical structure of City & Islington College could look like the following:
The advantages of hierarchical structure include:
* Clear management structure
* Clear lines of responsibility and control
* Functions are clear and distinct
The drawbacks of this type of structure are:
* Many layers of communication
* Many layers of authority and decision making
* Cross-departmental communication can be difficult
(Source: Business Book)
Management style refers to the approach that an organisation takes in setting objectives for its employees and the way it manages relations between managers and employees. There are three main types of management styles:
Autocratic management style is the type of management where a manager takes entire responsibility for all the decisions made and expects all the employees to carry out their jobs according to the objectives and tasks set to them. In this type of management, employees are told exactly what work is to be done and when to be finished, and managers wouldn’t normally expect any sort of delays. Autocratic management style can be appropriate in many situations:
* In small organizations where the leader is very hands on and is in a position to get involved in every day-to-day decisions
* Where workforce comprises unskilled people with little ambition and motivation beyond their pay
* In working environment where there are very serious risks of health and safety such as the Armed forces and battle field/war jobs.
The main advantages of being an autocratic manager are:
* The manager gets the job done quickly
* It motivates some employees who do not like responsibilities and like to be ordered.
However, there are disadvantages of this type of management style. They are:
* Autocratic style of management could lead to conflicts at work
* There are high staff turnover
* It de-motivates certain employees who do not like to be ordered
* Good opinions from employees might be lost
* Employees try to take the opportunity to relax when the manager is not around to supervise
In City & Islington College, autocratic management style is practised by certain managers. The director of HRM, Theresa Power uses the autocratic management style in her management area. She admits to being harsh to her staff sometimes. Theresa Power likes her way of managing which is ‘Shoot first, ask question later’, which is very autocratic where she gives orders to someone to do the job however possible and ask any questions later on. She is also usually direct to the point. By this way she meets her objectives swiftly. But, Theresa says although she is harsh to her staff she motivates them by good pension rates and pay packages.
In this type of management style, employees are given empowerment and responsibilities. The team or the person who has been given the power is responsible and held accountable for the decision he/she makes. A manager who uses this type of management style distributes power upon his/her staff and would expect and want regular feedbacks from his/her staff to make sure every thing is going smoothly and under control. Democratic management style also creates trust between managers and employees. Communication and inter-personal skills are essential for a democratic manager.
The advantages of Democratic management style are:
* Employees feel trusted
* Staff can be innovative
* Motivation is high
* There is more contact between managers and their staff.
However, democratic style has disadvantages:
* Power can corrupt as some employees might abuse the power assigned to them.
* It can slow down decision making as contacting one another is time-consuming and hence might lose opportunities to the organisation and problems might arise
In Candi, Peter Marsh, the Director of Finance and Corporate Plan uses the democratic style to manage his staff. He distributes responsibilities to his staff and gives them power to take certain actions themselves. Providing power to his staff, he also makes sure that he conducts support supervision meetings so that his staff members know what they are doing and check decisions with Peter Marsh. Peter Marsh has meetings with the Principal/Acting Principal of Candi every 2 weeks where he discusses his plans and actions with the Principal and other directors from other departments. He also has meetings with the governors every term where the governors monitor the performance of Candi financially through Peter Marsh where Peter explains all the movements and actions that are taking place in the college.
This type of manager consults other managers before making a final decision. This type of management doesn’t involve giving power to anyone else. It’s all about asking for opinions and making a final decision on the most relevant opinion and the manager himself decides what action to take. The manager in this situation has excellent listening and interpersonal skills. The advantages of this type of management style are:
* It motivates employees as the manger consults and asks his staff for their opinions.
* Employees feel that they are part of the organisation
The disadvantages of Consultative management style are:
* Staff may feel exploited
* Managers usually take all the credit for the opinions given by others.
* De-motivates some employees as they may feel they are not valued
The Principal/Acting Principal (Frank McLoughlin) of City & Islington College uses the consultative management. He consults different managers and directors of various departments of Candi to make a final decision. Consultative style is also used in other parts of Candi. For example, teachers consult each other alongside their managers to take certain actions. A very good example would be a case where some students in a particular subject in Candi fell behind in portfolio work and teachers in that case didn’t have many options to solve the problem.
Hence teachers of those subjects consulted their manager who held a meeting with other senior members of staff along with the teachers to solve the problem. Many opinions were brought forward to solve the problem. One opinion that was particularly very likely to be successful way to solve the problem was put forward in the meeting. But in the end, it was the senior member’s decision to go ahead with the solution. Eventually, they refused that particular opinion that was put forward by teachers and the decision has to be followed as the other members of staff don’t have the power to change decisions.
Culture describes the value and beliefs of the people who make up an organisation. An organisation’s culture will be displayed in the attitudes of its staff and the ways in which they interact with each other. Culture is also regarded as referring to the shared assumptions, beliefs, values and norms, actions as well as language patterns. The culture in Candi can be described as dynamic, as it is competitive, organized, meets the needs of its consumers. The college is also seeing itself as dynamic by expanding itself. The different cultures that can be seen in Candi are listed below in the diagram.
Power culture is where a single person can have an overview of the entire organisation and where risks would have to be taken if the business were to grow. Power culture can mostly be seen in small or medium sized businesses where tall or hierarchical structures are used. The advantages of Power culture are:
* Things get done quickly and properly
* The organisation is always in control
The drawbacks of this type of culture are:
* Staff are usually unhappy
* It de-motivates employees
* As a result, there is high staff turn-over
* The organisation loses its team spirit
* This can also lead to lower productivity
In City and Islington College, the Principal has the most power and hence uses power culture to run the college. The Principal in this case is autocratic and has a very narrow span of control. Theresa Power (HRM Director) also uses power culture on her staff members as she is autocratic. She claims that using power culture and being autocratic helps meet objectives faster and more effectively. The objectives involved in Power culture might include survival, growth, be among the top colleges in the UK.
In this type of culture employees are expected to behave conventionally and have defined tasks. Role cultures are more likely to appear in a stable and predictable environment. The organisation is usually hierarchical and bureaucratic. The management style in this culture would be democratic and it would also have a wide span of control. The benefit of role culture is that staff know what to do and what they are doing. It also helps the organisation to increase productivity. The drawback of this culture could be that some employees might like to be advised or guided in their job, and role culture would be a de-motivating factor for them.
This type of culture can be widely seen in City & Islington College especially among the teaching staff. Teachers and lecturers know their daily routines and do not need to be advised or ordered to do their tasks and hence fall under role culture. Role culture benefits the college as staff feel confident and know what they are doing which increases the productivity of staff and hence would help increase the performance of Candi. The main objectives that can be seen in the college due to role culture might include:
* Providing services to the community
* Developing a skilled workforce
* Offering high quality services
In task culture some organisations might get expert teams or make a group to solve particular problems or to complete projects. The main focus is on solving problems.
The benefits of Task culture are:
* More team work is involved
* Staff are motivated
* Work done in better ways
* An organisation would reach its objectives quicker and more professionally.
Course managers use this form of culture in Candi. Course managers hold meetings and discuss problems and solutions to all different sorts of things regarding courses, timetables and many other things where they are accompanied by many other experienced managers and higher members of staff in the hierarchy. Task Culture is most likely to be seen in organisations where Matrix structure is used. Although Candi does not have a Matrix structure, it still uses task culture. The management style used in this type of culture is very democratic and the span of control is also wide as many people are involved. Task culture is appropriate for Candi as Candi is in a highly competitive and innovative environment. The objectives the college might like to see from this type of culture would be:
* Supply high-quality services
* Increase competitiveness or market share
Forward and Backward looking culture
In a forward looking Culture an organisation takes risk by expanding itself to the future and is always changing. The benefits of using this type of culture are that the organisation can grow and make more profit. The drawback is that this type of culture involves too much risk. In a backward culture it is the other way around as forward culture. Organisations in backward looking culture never take risks and they never change. The benefits are that they won’t have any loss by not expanding. The drawback is that they will never grow and hence profits might not increase as much as a forward looking organisation.
City & Islington College uses forward looking culture as it is planning to expand. The college has received a total of ï¿½50m funds from the government to expand and improve itself. By this forward looking expansion, the college is trying to section the college from 10 sites to 4 new sites that will accommodate all the present students and there will also be enough space to recruit more students. The college is also planning to expand its courses and introduce new and wider choice of courses as part of the forward looking culture.
Backward looking culture doesn’t apply to Candi as it always looks forward and is prepared to take risks rather than look backward and stay how it is.
Information and Communication Technology
Efficient communication of information is essential for organisations that operate in highly competitive markets. Both internal and external communication is necessary in an organisation as the organisation would have to communicate with its customers and suppliers.
There are many different ways of communicating in business. The traditional way of communicating was by sending letters, passing on messages in person, telegrams, etc. But these days technology has made communicating much simpler and quicker than before. A single telephone line gives a lots of different communication methods such as fax, email, internet, etc. Jane O’ Neil is the Head if Information Communication and Learning Technology (ICLT) in Candi. His department’s responsibilities include:
* Managing IT services in City & Islington College
* Learning technology
* Using IT to improve learning for students
* Assign ILT Champions to help IT learning and to train teachers.
The objectives of ICLT department are:
* To ensure that IT systems in the college works
* Make use of IT in classrooms
* Make sure computers in the college are replaced every 3 years as technology is moving very fast and computers need to be upgraded in order to communicate effectively and provide better service.
* Attend meetings weekly or fortnightly. This is done so that the department keeps the management team informed of the plans and targets. It is also carried out by the management team to make sure ICLT are meeting their objectives.
* Be the leader in providing IT facilities to students in the whole of London.
The customers of the ICLT department are:
* Staff and students
* Anyone who uses a PC in City & Islington College
* IT helpdesks, if there are problems with any of the college’s PCs
In Candi different types of technology are used for internal and external communication. Internal and external communication methods in Candi include:
* LAN/WAN network connection
Email plays a very important role in Candi. It is used by the staff members to communicate with each other. Managers and higher members of staff in the college use email to contact lecturers and managers. The benefits of email in Candi are:
* Information flows quickly
* Staff members can react and respond quickly
Despite the benefits, there are a number of drawbacks in communicating using email:
* Staff lack interpersonal skills
* Information overflows. This happens when too many emails are sent to staff and hence important orders and communications can be ignored unknowingly.
* The culture could be very mechanistic
* Takes a large amount of staff time
* Objectives don’t get met properly or quickly.
These aspects are very bad for the college as they can reduce the productivity of staff and lead to a more stressful working environment that could result in higher staff turnover and could affect the performance of the college.
Intranet is a very good way of keeping staff up-to-date with all the necessary information. For example, daily staff/student newsletters can be put on to the intranet which would save the college publishing costs and other expenses. Every student’s information and details can be available to staff on the click of a button through the staff intranet. This saves a lot of time for both teaching staff and administrative staff as they won’t have to go through and search for paperwork for student information. The information can be easily accessed by staff on the intranet whenever they are needed. The benefits of this are that student records can be accessed very quickly. It also reduces paperwork of the staff members and information can be updated easily and very efficiently which keeps staff up-to-date.
Students also benefit from the intranet as student news are displayed on the student intranet so that students can be kept up-to-date with the latest news of the college and different events going around the college. Intranet is also a medium to keep students in touch with news and events organised by the NUS (National Union of Students) and other entertainment programmes held by the college.
Internet is used by almost every college these days. It is a very good, efficient and cost-effective way of informing target consumers/students. Students can find all about City and Islington College on the Candi website (www.candi.ac.uk). Internet helps the college attract huge number of students from all around the UK and even overseas students.
Internet is used as a source of distance learning by Candi. Distance learning is a new form online learning system where students can register with the college and learn online on the internet in the comfort of their own home. This is mainly suitable for higher education such as degrees, diplomas and so on and is suitable for people who are very busy at work and do not usually have time to attend college and lectures. The college is also planning to use a similar scheme for present students who attend the college and learn through lectures.
In the new scheme all lecturers are asked to put up 20% of their lecture notes on the internet which will help students to look at the notes when they need to. In my opinion this scheme is not necessarily an effective one as students might and will stop attending lectures due to daily notes being displayed on the internet. A university used a similar scheme for their students where every lecture was video taped and put in the library for reference. As a result, more than 80% of the students never turned up to lectures as they were able to get hold of all the notes afterwards in the library. Therefore, using these types of schemes can be very bad for the performance and objectives of the college as student attendance will hugely drop and hence pass rates will also come down.
LAN / WAN
In the environment of computers, a system in which a number of independent computers are linked together to share data and information is called a network. LAN and WAN are two forms of network connections used in City and Islington College. They are widely used by members of staff and students in the college.
LAN stands for Local Area Network. LAN is a network of computers connected in a geographically confined network without using telecommunication links, such as in the same building or site. LAN is very beneficial for both staff and students in Candi. It makes work easier for staff as they can communicate with their colleagues and managers very quickly and efficiently. It also reduces work load and paper work as both staff and students do not have to carry their paperwork along with them inside the college campus as files can be saved on the college network and can be accessed on any LAN computer in the college.
Email can also be sent using LAN. This means that staff can communicate with each other and can also exchange important files rather than distributing written paperwork which would only create a mess and stress among staff. It is also very useful for managers as they can pass on orders and messages upon their employees quickly and efficiently which saves them time and the effort of running around looking for the respective employee.
WAN stands for Wide Area Network. WAN is a computer network that uses long-range telecommunication links to connect networked computers across long distances such as different buildings and sites of City & Islington College located in various parts of Islington. Just like LAN, WAN is also used for the college’s internal purposes only i.e. within the organisation. The only difference between LAN and WAN is that LAN can only be used in one building where the network is setup. But WAN can be used across all the sites wherever WAN is created. The benefits of WAN is that when staff travel to different sites of the college for their daily purposes, they can access their files and saved materials from different sites of the college.
It also helps managers in different sites as they can email and contact senior members of the college’s management team easily without having to travel to them, arrange appointments, etc. which is time consuming. Hence, this makes work for staff much easier as they have less workload and paperwork to carry when on the move. The same benefits apply to students of City & Islington College. As different sites of the college are assigned for different courses, most of the students have to move from one site to another for different lessons. This therefore makes it important that they be able to access their user accounts in their respective sites. Hence, WAN is of great benefit for both students and staff alike.
Despite all the benefits of information technology in City & Islington College, there are drawbacks as well. The drawbacks include:
* System breakdown
* Hackers hacking into college networks
If the main server of LAN and WAN breaks down, then this will stop the whole college’s communications as most of the communication is done through the network in Candi. All the ten sites of Candi will be out of communication due to the server breakdown. This will hugely affect the running of the college because managers won’t be able to communicate with their staff members, hence hugely delaying things. Staff and students will also face huge problems as they won’t be able to access their user accounts where important files and notes might be stored.
Viruses are dangerous to the server of the college. Virus can destroy the hard drive of the server and can also spread to all other computers that are connected to the server. Viruses are usually man made and there are preventive measures to prevent viruses from getting into the server.
Hackers are people who enter other computers without authorisation and can access everything in the hacked computer. Most hackers are professionally employed by organisations to break into competitors’ systems. Some organisations employ hackers to test their own security systems. Hacking can have very big impact on the college. If a hacker is able to hack into Candi’s website, then he/she can destroy/delete everything in the website. This will affect Candi’s customers who will unable to access Candi’s website for information about the college and different courses. Students enrolled for distance learning will also be hugely affected by hacking as the whole purpose of distance learning is to learn through the internet. Students and staff within the college will also be affected if a hacker is able to hack into the college’s server.
Vertical and Lateral communication
Vertical and Lateral communication applies to City & Islington College as the college uses the hierarchical structure. In the hierarchical structure of Candi, the top Directors and the management team would communicate with the lower levels of the hierarchy in the form of giving instructions about decisions already made. This is called downwards communication.
Upwards communication is the process when the lower levels in the hierarchy communicate with the management team above them in the hierarchy. This type of communication is essential as employees in the lower levels are part of the college and need to be heard. Communication in this case could in the form of feedback, ideas and complaints from the workforce. These information that are obtained from the lower levels should be valued by the management in the higher levels of hierarchy so that the college’s performance could be monitored and also to check up to what extent the objectives are met.
Lateral communication takes place when two people/departments in the same level communicate with each other. For example, the Marketing department would communicate with the Finance department for any extra money required for marketing purposes. Similarly, the HRM department might also communicate with the Finance department for pay rises or other needs and the Marketing department for advertisement of jobs and so on. These types of communications are all done in a lateral way as they are all in the same level in the hierarchy. It is very important that lateral communication takes place in the college so as to make sure that the college runs effectively.
Management Style of ILT department
The management style of ILT department is democratic. In this department, staff are involved in decision making. They discuss between each other about various factors related to ICT in the college and make decisions upon various ideas and opinions brought forward by staff members. The managers in this department listen to what every employee says.
This management style is a very good way of keeping staff motivated. Staff have a sense of challenge in them which gives them a boost in motivation and makes them part of the college. By this way, the college also benefits as it can take advantage of valuable different ideas from its employees. This sets high standards in the college and therefore increases the performance of the college and meets its objectives.
The impacts of ICT in external communications are:
* Level of customer satisfaction
Customer will always be happy and will have a good impression of the college due to the use of ICT. The college can provide as many details as a customer needs due to the high use of information technology.
* Relations with suppliers
Relations with suppliers would also be good if the college uses ICT for communications with suppliers as this quickens things up.
* Speed of response to enquiries
Using ICT would speed up the response provided to the enquiries of Candi’s customers. This increases the level of satisfaction among customers and would attract even more customers if the speed of response is high.
Production and Quality
There are many ways of how quality is monitored in City & Islington College. Some of them are:
* Assignment being moderated
* Student Recruitment
Inspection is carried out in the college by both internal and external bodies in the college. In the internal inspection, people within the college carry out the inspection process. During this inspection the college can point out its weak spots and rectify it immediately. The benefit of internal inspection is also to ensure that the college is going in the right direction towards achieving its objectives.
External inspection takes place when inspectors from external government bodies (FEFC)come to the college to inspect the performance of the college. During the external inspection process, the inspectors will check all the fields in the college and will point out weak points and drawbacks in the services of the college. After the external inspection process, an inspection report is published which is made available to the public. The advantage of this is that if the inspection showed positive signs to the college, then that increases the college’s publicity and hence more and more students are attracted to the college. This would mean that quality maintenance at Candi is high.
In the government inspection report, the college is graded for each of the five categories – Management, Governance, Support for students, General Resources and Quality Assurance. The inspectors use a five-point scale to summarise the balance between strengths and weaknesses of the college.
The descriptors for the grades are:
* Grade 1 – outstanding provision which has many strengths and few weaknesses
* Grade 2 – good provision in which the strengths clearly outweigh the weaknesses
* Grade 3 – satisfactory provision with strengths but also some weaknesses
* Grade 4 – less than satisfactory provision in which the weaknesses clearly outweigh the strengths
* Grade 5 – poor provision which has few strengths and many weaknesses.
(Source: CIC Inspection report)
City & Islington College has managed to achieve top grades on most of their five categories. The grading that was given to the college by the inspectors are as follows:
* Support for students – Grade 1
* General Resources – Grade 3
* Quality Assurance – Grade 2
* Governance – Grade 1
* Management – Grade 1
(Source : CIC Inspection Report)
I agree with the above grades, especially the fact that the college got a Grade 3 for General Resources as there is shortage of resources for students in the college. There are not enough computers for students to work on, especially in the library. Even if there were enough PCs, many of them would be broken down. Other than PCs for students, teaching staff also have shortage in teaching resources. Teachers and lecturers would expect to find necessary equipments for teaching when they enter classrooms. Teaching resources such as projectors, TVs, Videos, etc. should be available in every classroom ready for use. But, as far as I’ve seen there is always shortage of these types of resources. By this way students and lecturers lose an average of 15minutes of teaching time which affects students and hence the overall performance of the college is also affected.
Assignment being moderated
Assignments that are marked by teachers in Candi are sent to the external moderators. External moderators check the marked papers of Candi to make sure the markings are up to exam standards and are accurate. Therefore teachers and lecturers in Candi have to make sure that they mark assignments very carefully and accurately so as to maintain their quality of work. So far the records of City & Islington College’s markings have been very good and accurate which shows that the college is well maintaining their quality of work.
In Human Resources Management, quality can be maintained by making sure that the right person is employed for the right. Employing a wrong person could be very costly to the college as recruiting cost money. It can directly affect the performance of the college as if the wrong candidate without any experience and knowledge is employed then his/her effectiveness to the work would be low, hence affecting the performance of the college. Therefore, it is very important that the HRM department maintains its quality by employing the right candidate at the right time. Delaying to recruit the right staff would be very bad for the performance of the college.
For example, if there is a shortage in Maths teaching staff, it is very important that the college fills the vacancy as soon as possible. Failing to do so would mean students will face lesson cancellations, delay in covering subject topics and so on. Apart from that, if existing staff are asked/assigned to cover for the shortage, then they will come across more stress, which could lead to higher staff turnover. Therefore it is very important that the HRM recruits and fill gaps in important areas as quick as possible.
I think on overall, the HRM department is trying its best to recruit more teaching staff. I wouldn’t blame them if they weren’t able to do so in time as the labour market trends show that there is huge shortage in teaching staff nationwide. This makes it virtually impossible for HRM to find the required staff on time.
This is another way of judging if Candi’s quality maintenance is satisfactory. If City & Islington College maintains quality to its highest level, then more and more students from across London would be attracted to the college. This would increase the number of students in Candi and therefore there would be more funding available for the college as Candi gets funded depending on the number of students recruited. Quality should also be maintained during recruiting students. For example, demanding higher GCSE grades would increase the reputation and view of the college and would also attract good students who would contribute to better performance of the college. Grades achieved by the students would also be to a very high level. On the other hand, more students can also be attracted by introducing new courses. This would give students a wider choice of subjects and hence the college can expand as a result of this.
Providing students and staff with the right resources is essential to maintain quality of the college. Students need resources such as PCs, books, quite study areas, etc. for their daily studying purposes. As I have mentioned before, the college is failing to provide these resources to students. This can be clearly seen in the Camden site’s library where each PC is always packed with 3 to 4 students at a time. This shows that students do not have enough PCs to work on which leads to overcrowded PCs. The library itself sounds like a social club. Students come to the library and use it to socialise with friends. This is not how a library is supposed to be. There should be a place for students to socialise. The college used to have one before, but not any more as it has been replaced by the new leadership centre which saw the presence of Prince Charles in the opening ceremony. In the opening ceremony, Prince Charles even criticised the college for demolishing the students’ social area.
Quieter study areas are also not available for students who want quite environment to study as the library is always crowded and noisy although there are labels in the library saying ‘Quite Study Area’. This is a very bad way of maintaining quality as students will be dissatisfied by the service provided by the college and might eventually leave.
As I have mentioned before teachers and lecturers are also victims of the poor service provided by the college as resources are not available for use on time. Teachers and lecturers require projectors, TVs and Videos for their daily teaching sessions. If these resources are unavailable to them on time at the right place, then obviously there will be huge dissatisfaction. Students are also affected by this poor service quality as it consumes quite a bit of teaching time and gets annoying when things like that continue to happen.
Quality Assurance can be best described as ‘Prevention rather than Detection’. Quality Assurance is a method of ensuring quality that takes into account customer views. This can affect the college in a number of ways. By this way the college would know its strong points and weaknesses through the view of its customers/consumers. It is very important that Candi takes necessary measures to prevent dissatisfaction and conflicts.
The production process of Candi starts when students begin enrolling in August and start the educational term in September. As soon as this is done, students sorted into groups and are given their term timetable. Students are then introduced to their tutor and other subject teachers. This is where students begin their education in Candi and carry on according to the layout of their chosen course. This is the college’s production process. Candi’s production process is carried out by providing service and not manufacturing. To make sure that Candi’s production process runs smoothly, they have to make sure that their quality of service is checked. Any drawbacks and disadvantages the college might be facing must be eliminated at once. If quality is not assured, then the college might not be seeing many students coming in.
In a normal manufacturing company such as MINI car company which is now owned by BMW, quality assurance is carried out by picking a car in random out of every 20 cars or so and then inspected and examined for any faults or problems. There are many batches of cars produced in the factory and if a car from a certain batch proves to have faults, then all the other cars in that batch have to be inspected to make sure that dangers are prevented. MINI once failed to meet the quality assurance of some of the first batches of its newly designed MINI Coopers. There were some dangerous faults with the new MINIs that weren’t pointed out and prevented before their release to customers.
The fault was that if the MINI Cooper was driven for long distances without stop; the engine would get very hot, which would lead to explosion of the car. However, when the fault was detected, MINI had to recall all of the cars of that batch to overcome the dangerous problem, which cost MINI a lot to collect the faulty cars and fix them. If this problem was not detected then many peoples’ lives would have been in danger. Therefore, if MINI’s quality assurance was carried out properly in the first place, they wouldn’t have had to go through this expensive process of recalling and fixing all those cars. Besides, this fatal error has put off many customers from buying the new MINI Coopers and has also put off customers who bought them.
Adding value to an existing product increases the likelihood of the product to be sold more efficiently and boost customer satisfaction. For example, if Samsung made new TVs and released them into the market for very reasonable price without any other additional benefits, then the likelihood of selling those TVs in enormous numbers would be very low. But, if Samsung offered added benefits such as ‘1 Year Warranty’, then sales would be higher than selling them without warranty. If it added more value to the sets of television by offering ‘Peace of Mind Guarantee’, then sales would increase further more and hence customers would also be very satisfied.
Since City & Islington College is not a manufacturing firm, it does not have any products to sell or add value to. But, the college provides service to students and the local community. Value can be added in providing services to students and the local community. Students study in City & Islington College to achieve necessary qualifications to work or proceed to higher education in universities. The college’s production process includes teaching students throughout their educational term in the college. In Candi, value is added by providing students who want to proceed to higher education with the opportunity to proceed to higher education as City & Islington College has linked up with North London University to provide Candi students the privilege to be able to study in the university. This makes students happy about studying in Candi as they would have the confidence of moving into higher education easily through this college.
Some courses in Candi are training based where students or trainees would come to the college to receive training on a particular field. Value is added in this type of course by providing peace of mind to trainees that they would be guaranteed a job placement at the end of the training session if the training is successful. This type of added value is very effective as it attracts more trainees to the college and hence the college would expand more with greater number of students.