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OB - SummaryPaper - 1 Building Labor and Management...

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1 Building Labor and Management Relationships In order to Improve Organizational Effectiveness Jennifer Baxter Bus 610 Organizational Behavior Professor Theodore February 14, 2011 Introduction The mission of East Olympia Fire District Six is to preserve life and property, promote public safety, and foster good public relations by providing professional fire and emergency medical services to the citizens of the community. Members strive for this mission through visionary leadership, quality training, public education, and their actions as they serve the public. This mission could not be successful without strong relationships among all members which enables the department to remain a progressive organization.
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2 In order for East Olympia Fire District to continue its strong legacy of service to the community and prepare the organization for the future, all members, both Labor and Management, need to develop a strategic Labor-Management process that outlines effective strategies where processes are relationship-based and interest-based rather that positional, so that maintaining positive labor-management relations will be successful. Based on the dynamics of the group and effective communication behaviors among members of the organization, in conjunction with strong leadership styles, the fire department will be better suited to achieve common goals while striving for their mission. This, in turn, creates a more productive organization, as well as enables more effective and efficient emergency services to be delivered. Organizational Change It has become clear that the most concerning employer-employee problems that arise in the fire department stem from the lack of respect for, or recognition of, each other’s importance and roles among labor and management units; where they are not employing any form of relational process to work collectively on challenges, and where they do not work to maintain open lines of communications. Kinicki and Kreitner (2009) describe this issue as conflict, where “one party perceives its interests are being opposed or set back by another party” (pg 276). The authors go on to discuss that “excessive conflict can erode organizational performance” (pg 277). In order to resolve the conflict between labor and management, the units need to manage this excessive conflict and turn it into functional conflict that will positively serve the organization’s interests, as opposed to threatening them (pg 277). Like many fire departments, East Olympia Fire District Six once focused on a definition of strategy that was used only in conjunction with fire-ground tactics. That's not to say that strategy
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3 isn't used daily by the fire chief in political situations or by fellow administrative chief officers to accomplish a goal for their division, but if questioned, many personnel would correlate strategy and its implementation only to an emergency response application. A change in organizational application of strategy, and more specifically strategic planning, was needed. In order to develop a more effective strategic plan, a Labor-Management process would need to
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